Our Farm

Charlotteville Brewing Company

We Had This Idea...

A Reflection of Us

Our Vision

Being nestled in the Carolinian forest, we are surrounded by a lush, ecological habitat that is home to unique flora and fauna such as: the tulip tree, pawpaw, and the rare southern flying squirrel. This makes the local area very special and one that we feel needs to be respected, protected, and celebrated.

Our modus operandi is to tread as lightly on the Earth as we can. If possible, we’d actually like to leave it in better shape then we found it. Needless to say, the business approach we’ve taken is a little different. To create an environmental, social, and economic impact in the community that supports us, we’ve placed the following values at the core of our business model:

  1. Utilize as much repurposed material as possible
  2. Grow raw ingredients organically and/or purchase organic
  3. Pay personnel a living wage so they can prosper
  4. Strive to be as close to zero waste as possible
  5. Serve artisanal beer and food that is as sustainable as it is delicious
Why An Organic Farm?

The rational for our organic farm is deeply imbedded in something called agroecology. Although the term might sound familiar (agro – agriculture and ecology – ecological/environmental), many still find it difficult to wrap his/her head around the concept. Agroecology can best be summarized as an approach where nutrients and energy are recycled on the farm in closed loops, rather than relying on external inputs.

It can also be approached as a way of understanding how ecological, social, and economic factors (in that order) all interact with one another. When applied correctly, it is a system that is less resource oriented, more socially inviting, and environmentally focused. Agroecology seeks to create a farming system that is diverse, productive, resilient, and efficient.

Applying an agroecological approach to our farm has allowed us to explore more effective ways of applying traditional knowledge and techniques to our crops and land (i.e. soil). Through this environmental stewardship we believe we’re creating a rich habitat and dynamic ecosystem that from the soil, to the seed, to the plate, is enabling us to move towards a better, more responsible, agricultural model.

What Sustainability Looks Like To Us

When most people hear the word “sustainability,” they think “green” or “environmentally-friend­ly.” Though these associations can be helpful to consumers, they don’t always tell the whole story.  This is largely because we live in a world where the ‘green washing’ of environmental claims runs rampant, making it hard to tell fact from fiction sometimes.  In an attempt to be transparent, we want to share with you our views of sustainability and what we’re doing everyday to ensure our business practices environmental stewardship and social integrity.

Sustainability for us is an awareness of how we, as both individuals and a small business, impact our surroundings over the long-term. It is the idea that if we are aware of how we impact our surroundings, we can act in ways that provide for environmental, social, and economic benefits for future generations.

Some Examples of our Sustainability

Reducing Impact

  • A local farmer picks up spent grain and uses it to feed his cattle and pigs
  • Bicycle racks support employee and visitor commuting.  An outdoor Fix-It Station with bike repair tools is also available for employees and guests at our brewery
  • A discount is given to cyclists.  We encourage people to ride their bicycles to the brewery; those that do receive a ‘green discount’ for doing so
  • We use biodegradable beer carriers.  Our 4 and 6-pack rings are compostable, animal safe and made from bio-based by-product waste from the food and beverage industry
  • Toilet tissue, paper towel, and tissue are made from recycled paper
  • Biodegradable, natural cleaners and detergents, no phosphates or harsh chemical, purchased in bulk and concentrated, and scented with essential oils, which we transfer into re-useable spray bottles

Efficiency

  • A heat exchanger not only cools wort so yeast can thrive to ferment healthy beer, it also pre-heats water that goes into subsequent batches of beer
  • Energy efficient LED lighting illuminates all interior and exterior areas of the property
  • Water-efficient toilets and faucets throughout the brewery
  • Energy efficient hand-driers in our restrooms
  • An Energy Star certified Navien Combi-Boiler with an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95% supplies both heat (in-floor) and hot water for the brewery and kitchen
  • A 700 hp steam boiler with 85-percent overall efficiency conserves and recycles energy for steam production used in all processes from heating, mashing, boiling, and general tank cleaning
  • 90% of appliances are Energy-Star rated and/or managed properly for peak efficiency and low energy consumption

Waste Management

  • All cardboard, paper, aluminum, and glass from the production process of brewing and cooking are recycled
  • Re-use program in place for our brewery, bar and kitchen towels
  • No-go plastic bottle zone for staff and guests
  • Food scraps from the kitchen, tap house, and brewery are composted on a daily basis. Once broken down, the compost is applied to our flower beds and perennial gardens

Water Conservation

  • A C.I.P. (Clean-in-Place) system has reduced the amount of water to clean tanks by about 65 percent
  • Our water is sourced from an on-site well
  • Garden hoses are equipped with flow meters

Growing A Biodiverse Environment

  • Brewery kitchen garden that uses organic fertilizers and companion plantings which act as natural insect repellents
  • In 2019, we started working with a conservation group called ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services), who helped us turn a portion of our farmland into a pollinator row – consisting of natives species, prairie grass, and wild flowers
  • Each year we plant a rare or endangered Carolinian plant, shrub, or tree species.  Thus far we’ve successfully established: pawpaw, hop, mulberry, quince, and dogwood to name a few
  • We’ve established hives on the property to help with the pollination of the fruits, vegetables, and flowers on the farm
  • We connected with St. William’s Nursery in 2020 to purchased some of their “pollinator habitat” boxes – filled with 18 different native perennial plant species known to flourish in our Carolinian zone 
our culinary environment

What We Do

We like to celebrate our bio-diversity here at the CBC.  We produce certified organic hops, a wide variety of nutrient dense fruits/vegetables and of course delicious beer. We think the way to a good life is through your stomach, so what we consume on a daily basis is very important to our overall health and well-being (both personally and environmentally).  In taking this approach, we’re actively choosing ingredients, packaging, and even production size based on the values of something called ‘conscious consumption’.  Which is an understanding and appreciation for the connection between brewers, chefs, farmers, and the people consuming the food/drink being produced.

Despite our rural and somewhat remote setting, we’ve found an enthusiastic audience who enjoy the artisanal products we produce.  We try hard to maintain the utmost standards for our beers, preserves, fruits, vegetables, and take away items by:

  • Taking a seasonal approach to the products we produce
  • Working with local fruit & vegetable farmers
  • Sourcing meat and fish from nearby farms 
  • Using high quality ingredients in the items we preserve, cook, and bake

With ever evolving expectations, we continuously press forward with an eye towards providing an even better experience for our guests. We want to use our food and beer to help cultivate connections, compassion, and purpose.  It is our desire to continually innovate and further explore what’s possible at the ‘other CBC’.

Menu ingredients grown on premises (in season) 60%
spent grains used as animal food 95%
recycled water used in our brew system 70%
composted food waste 90%
Artisanal Food

At the core of our food philosophy is an international movement called Slow Food. The movement was born in Italy during the 1980s and since then has influenced hundreds of thousands of people around the world to become part of a larger food community.

Slow Food encourages us to be both co-producers (“a conscious consumer who goes beyond the passive role of consuming and takes an interest in those who produce our food, how they produce it and the problems they face in doing so”) and an eco-gastronomes (those who recognize the “strong connection between planet and plate, and the fact that our food choices have a major impact on the health of the environment and society”). This combination allows individuals to realize the pivotal roles that food and nature play in our day-to-day lives.

We believe the consumption of local, seasonal products is not only pleasurable, but it’s also educational and necessary to make the production of our food and drink efficient, in harmony with and to the benefit of the natural cycles around us. This mindset motivates us throughout the year to preserve, ferment, dehydrate, freeze, smoke, cure and pickle a wide variety of seasonal items that we grow ourselves, forage for, or purchase from local farms in the surrounding area.

farming

Our Hops

  • Aroma Hops
  • Bittering Hops
  • Dual Purpose Hops

As well as being craft beer lovers, we’re also certified organic hop farmers.

The Carolinian Hop Yard is our sister business where we currently grow 4-acres of award winning hops.  We have 7 different types which include:

AROMA HOPS
1. Crystal

BITTERING HOPS
1. Galena
2. Magnum

DUAL PURPOSE HOPS
1. Cascade
2. Centennial
3. Chinook
4. Columbus

We will be adding more aroma varietals in 2022 to our overall crop production.

A Certified Organic Crop

On November 1st, 2019 ECOCERT Canada issued an organic product certificate to the Carolinian Hop Yard.  Basically stating the production, preparation, and marketing of our hops is compliant with Canada’s organic standards. For the nine years prior to our certification, we didn’t spread, spray, or seed anything on our property that would not exist in our environment naturally.  The benefits of this choice have come back to us ten fold, as we’ve watched our hops flourish from year-to-year.  In addition to this, we are continuously amazed at the diversity of the natural world that thrives in and around the hop yard. Fawns, bats, wild turkeys, salamanders, snapping turtles, and a wide variety of birds, insects, and mushrooms have successfully made Carolinian Hop Yard and/or Charlotteville Brewing Company their home. Watching this diversity grow and prosper tells us that we’re making the right decisions in our agricultural approach to hop yard and on the farm itself.

Check This Out!

In The News

Tim Bollan and his crew from Morning Live on CHCH TV came to visit us on August 25, 2020 for the first day of hop harvest.
Take a look the four vignettes by clicking the image below.

Our Gallery

Farm Tour