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.
Greenmarket customer and food writer Melissa Clark discovered Ray’s turnips and created this beautiful raw salad with arugula and prosciutto. Read the full article in her New York Times column, A Good Appetite.
Shaved Turnip Salad With Arugula and Prosciutto
Published: New York Times, November 28, 2011
Time: About 10 minutes
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 small turnips, about 5 ounces, peeled
8 cups arugula, wild if possible
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Whisk in the honey, oil and pepper.
2. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the turnips into paper-thin rounds. In a large bowl, combine turnips, arugula and prosciutto. Toss with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Yield: 4 servings.
This week Ray was featured in the NYTimes, on Gilt Taste, and in an episode of the Perennial Plate. Here are the incredibly well-told and inspiring stories of how Bradley Farm and its neighbors are working to recover after the floods.
It Takes a Village to Save a Drowning Farm
This article on Gilt Taste tells about the losses suffered by Ray and his fellow farmers and how much the support of customers and friends means to them in these challenging times.
The Perennial Plate Episode 72: After the Flood
The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating. This week they tell the story of Ray and his neighbor, Pete Taliaferro, and the losses they’ve suffered in this amazing and moving video:
Thank you to everyone who came out to show their support at the Annual Farm festival on Sunday. We hope you had a great time and enjoyed all of the amazing food that Ray and his friends cooked for you. If you couldn’t make it to the event and want to help Bradley Farm recover from the floods, you can still make a donation or buy a ‘Fresh & Dirty’ t-shirt. See you at the market!
The Foodshed: Agrarian Idol
Ex-chef Ray Bradley excels in a (muddy) new field
There’s a fantastic feature article about Ray in the Summer issue of Edible Brooklyn.
A must read. Download a PDF of the article, or of pick up a copy for yourself!
There’s a great article about Ray in the Summer issue of Valley Table Magazine. Hudson Valley customers be sure to pick up a copy and check out the full story.
Up close: Ray Bradley
Of his current role as farmer-chef, Bradley maintains, “In the restaurant business, it’s work, work, work and more work with no time off. Farming is a lot of work too, but at least there’s an end, a down time.”
Mistakes are made for learning, I guess. About the only thing I got right in our BLTs the other day was the tomato, a fat, juicy heirloom from Ray Bradley’s farm (that’s him suggestively hefting two more this morning).
I was feeling pretty smug that everything but the mayonnaise was local, and what follows pride? I started with multi-grain bread from Cayuga Pure Organics, which is amazing stuff but way too sturdy, not to mention flavorful, for a BLT. Now I know plain white toast is always better. I used mesclun for the L when crisp lettuce was needed for crunch (I wouldn’t go so far as to think iceberg, though; zookeepers don’t even feed that to animals because it’s so nutrient-free). And the B in the equation was not smoky enough. Luckily, I fried it to a crisp and laid in plenty of it. You should get a blast of bacon in every bite. At least I’m set for the season; the tomatoes are great this year after last year’s wipe-out.
Funny how sandwiches seem so simple when you really need a streak of architect in you to do them perfectly. I’m sure Elvis was even fussy about the proportion of bacon to bananas and peanut butter in his favorite.
Wait no longer, the tomatoes are coming! In June of 2005, Ray was featured in The New York Times article, Fresh and Ripe for the Shopping. Read the full article including tips on buying, storing and cooking tomatoes from Ray.
Ray Bradley used to be a sous-chef for David Bouley, a childhood friend, so believe him when he says a perfect tomato needs no embellishment. He grows 10 heirlooms: 7 known successes like Prudence Purple, Striped German and German Green, and 3 wild cards each year…
Ray was recently featured in the New York Times article, Suddenly a Stampede of Local Meat:
…Greenmarket veteran Ray Bradley, who a couple of years ago added pork from a breed of pig called Large Blacks to the produce he sells in New York City. It’s some of the most sought-after pork at Greenmarkets.
Read the full article.