News from the Farm
by on Nov 9, 2015 • 6:30 am
It all started with a chance encounter at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket in Brooklyn. New Paltz farmer Ray Bradley was there to sell his farm products. Kurt Schlachter was there to buy ingredients for a cooking lesson he’d been given as a birthday present. But Schlachter was also a craft beer brewer working out of his home in a Brooklyn brownstone, and he’d run out of options for how to discard the five-gallon buckets of grain left behind from the brewing process. So after some discussion with Bradley about heirloom tomatoes and such, Schlachter asked the farmer whether he would like the leftover grain to feed his chickens. “Forget the grains,” Bradley told him. “I want to try the beer.”
That was five years ago. These days, Schlachter and fellow brewer and business partner, Eric Knapp, are proprietors of the newly formed Pull Brewing Company located on Bradley’s 27-acre New Paltz farm. The hops used for the beer are grown on site. And this past Sunday, Pull Brewing Co. officially launched their first farm-brewed batch of Bradley Farmhouse Ale, an Americanized Franco-Belgian style of beer, according to Knapp; light-bodied with moderate alcohol and a slightly tart finish.
Starting their new venture working out of an old barn at Bradley Farm was a natural progression for the craft beer entrepreneurs. They’ve been supplying home brews to go with the hors d’oeuvres course at the farm’s Summer Series farm-to-table dinners for several years now, after that chance meeting at the Brooklyn Greenmarket with Schlachter led to Bradley sampling their beer.
The Summer Series dinners arose out of Bradley’s background as a professional chef; a stint at Le Cirque is among his credentials. When he traded a chef’s hat for the farmer’s life in New Paltz, Bradley built a commercial kitchen at his farm on Springtown Road and in 2012 began inviting wine experts and top-notch chefs to create monthly dinners for 40 guests utilizing the seasonal products of the farm paired with the best wines in the region.
When Schlachter and Knapp first came up to New Paltz to contribute brews to the farm dinners, they were impressed with the culinary credentials of the people involved and taken with the friendliness of the people they met in the area. Both men were interested in establishing their own brewing business, so when Governor Cuomo signed into law the Craft New York Act in 2014 — designed to encourage agribusiness in the state by easing restrictions on craft beverage producers and reducing costs for small manufacturers — the time was right to create the Pull Brewing Company and bring it to Bradley Farm in the Hudson Valley.
They have the opportunity in New Paltz to start small, Knapp says. The beer is currently being sold through the farm and they’re exploring various venues in which to offer their products. And they plan to do custom brews for local restaurants that are interested in that. For example, they met with the 1850 House in Rosendale to see if they’d be interested in carrying a beer made just for them with a recipe from 1850.
Information about ordering Bradley Farmhouse Ale is online athttp://www.raybradleyfarm.com. It’s sold in 64-ounce refillable “growlers,” five-gallon sixtels (approximately 40 pints of beer) and 15.5-gallon kegs (approximately 120 pints of beer). Additional beer styles will be available soon.
Pull Brewing Company at Bradley Farm on Springtown Road introduces their Bradley Farm Ale Farmhouse Ale. Pictured (L-R) are: founders and brewers Eric Knapp and Kurt Schlachter with farm owner Ray Bradley. (photo by Lauren Thomas)
We now have growlers available for sale- You can refill your growler once weekly or we are happy to accommodate any schedule you want. At the moment, growlers can be refilled at the farm only, but we anticipate being able to re fill them at the Greenmarkets very very soon.
Right now we have Bradley Farm House Ale ready to go! This is an ale brewed with Belgian and New York State grains, hops, and Ray’s prize honey. Made in the Franco-Belgian style of Bier-de-Garde/Saison it has a light body, moderate alcohol, and a slightly tart finish.
Each growler is 64 ounces (roughly 4 glasses). Price is $20 including tax, plus a $4 bottle deposit. Refill your growler when you want for $20 – right now, refills can only be done at the farm, but very very soon we should be able to refill them at both of Ray’s Greenmarkets!
Get a growler subscription to suit your needs!!!
- 3 Months of Beer (1) 64 oz. growler per week for 12 weeks – $275 plus tax
- 6 Months of Beer (1) 64 oz. growler per week for 24 weeks- $500 plus tax
Having a Party???
- Order your kegs and sixtels for any upcoming holiday parties!!! We should have the Farm House Ale available, as well as a Porter Rye and a Tricerahopter IPA.
- Kegs ( ½ barrel, 15.5 gallons, about 120 glasses)are $285 plus tax.
- Sixtels ( 1/6 keg), 5 gallons, 40 glasses) are $95 plus tax
Please note that deposits are required on kegs and sixtels, and delivery fees vary based on location if they cannot be picked up at the farm or greenmarkets. We can also rent you taps for dispensing the beer.
Kuddos to our guest chefs
What a summer it has been for our farm dinners. We are so grateful to each and every chef who participated, who went above and beyond - prepping parts of the meal in their own kitchens, diligently driving the feast up, coming early, staying late, enlisting families and friends. They put the finishing touches at the farm kitchen with a smile, love for their craft, for the farm, and for the happy diners who greet them with standing ovations like the rock stars they are.
To Chefs Ralph Scarmadella and John Deloach, Chef Justin Bazdarich and wonderful wild card Dan Churchill, Chef Saul Bolton and Chef Josh Cohen, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and stomachs. We dream of encore performances to come. Ray will name a row after each of you for sure.
Kuddos to our guests
Whether you walked across the road, made the trek up from NYC, have been coming for one year or 5, we cannot say enough to those who came and enjoyed the dinners this year. Everyone is so good natured, no one complains (almost), no one asks for salt on the table, and suddenly everyone wants a bread basket so they can soak up every flavor. You appreciate what Ray grows, you appreciate what the chefs create, and you take it all in, literally and figuratively, many of you,over and over again. You tell your friends, and before long, they bring their families. We cannot thank you enough for selling out every single dinner, and keeping no chair empty.
Kevin Zraly and Daniel Johnnes
For 5 years we have held dinners and for 5 years you never hesitate to say “yes, count me in.” Please keep saying yes, everyone love and appreciates you both. Although we also love our newbies, Nick Bill and Edouard Bourgeois, there is nothing like men of a certain age.
For 5 years and 15 dinners, you have made sure that our menus are painted as wonderfully as only you can do. You do each and every one one of our meals justice.
Five years of dinners and you never missed one. We cannot wait to start selling your beer and serving it everywhere including the future farm dinners!
xoxo xoxo xoxo, Ray
Photos by Etienne Frossard