We’re starting a new series on the Kiln Blog: Meet the Brewer. The Meet the Brewer posts will introduce you to some of the special people that make what we do possible. They’re the ones crafting delicious brews out of our malt.
Though Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton just opened last fall, they’ve quickly made a name for themselves with their unique, locally-focused craft beer. Head brewer Todd Boera has made a wide range of beers that you just can’t find anywhere else: a dandelion brett saison, a local carrot IPA, a Belgian blonde with local kiwi. In anticipation of this weekend’s State of Origin beer festival (where Fonta Flora will debut their NC grain/NC honey honeysuckle blonde), we asked Todd a few questions to get a better sense of what he’s all about.
How does using Riverbend malt fit into your brewing philosophy?
The main brewing philosophy at Fonta Flora Brewery is to create a menagerie of complex, creative and rustic libations while utilizing local flora. Riverbend provides us with malted grain, which is obviously a huge component to creating the beer itself. The unique grain that Riverbend manipulates through malting is perfectly suited for the vast range of Belgian beers being created at Fonta Flora Brewery.
What’s your favorite beer to brew?
Fonta Flora Brewery focuses on Belgian/Appalachian Style Saisons. I use the term “Appalachian” to help the drinker realize that they are not typical Saisons. The style originated on farms across Belgium and was brewed with a variety of grains available at the time, which often became a multigrain beer. By utilizing their local grown and malted grains, Riverbend is instrumental in the quest for Fonta Flora Brewery to create a style of beer that is truly unique to the Appalachian Mountains.
You recently mentioned you love to brew with rye. Why is that?
I find Riverbend’s Carolina Rye™ to be the most complex and interesting grain I have ever worked with. The taste profile is incredibly earthy, slick, and slightly spicy. While most brewers stick to the traditional wheat addition in their Saisons, I prefer heavy additions of rye. Although a bit more fickle to work with, the taste profile fits with what I am looking for in my Saisons.
Tell us a little about the State of Origin festival coming up this Saturday. What beers are you looking forward to the most?
To our knowledge, this is the first craft beer festival in the state of North Carolina focused on local ingredients. We asked every invited brewer to craft at least one beer with some/all North Carolina grown ingredients. There are a variety of brewers out there who already do this and some who are crafting something special for the festival. We are releasing a highly anticipated Riverbend grain Belgian blond aged on local honeysuckle flowers and also have one last keg of our dandelion saison. The Wicked Weed/Fonta Flora collaboration will also be released at the festival. “Hipster Nuveau” is a Riverbend grain saison aged on local rhubarb. I am personally looking forward to trying all of the North Carolina ingredient beers from all of the awesome brewers in attendance!
Don’t miss the State of Origin festival this Saturday! VIP doors at 1:30pm, GA doors at 3pm, close at 7:30pm. Tickets available here.