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Sarah Kirton
Created on Jul 2nd, 2023
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Persephone Brewing Company 2023: A Unique Farmhouse Approach

DeliveryRank chats with Brian Smith, the mastermind behind Persephone Brewing Company's unique and innovative approach to beer production. With their slogan, "Come for a beer. Leave with a carton of eggs," Persephone Brewing Company reinforces the interconnectedness of the system. Join us as we delve into the story behind Persephone Brewing Company and the remarkable creations of Brian Smith.

Can you elaborate on Persephone Brewing Company's unique "farmhouse" approach and how it integrates onsite farming in support of local food security, regenerative agriculture, and the production of exceptional craft beer?

Within the production cycle at Persephone Brewing Company, various elements work in a cyclical manner, reinforcing the interconnectedness of the system.

Starting with the cultivation of hops and barley, Persephone relies on its own agricultural products but also procures hops and barley from other sources across North America. These agricultural inputs are then utilized in the beer production process – we source from as local and organic as possible and make sure the highest quality ingredients are used to ensure fantastic beer, cider and hard seltzer.  

Upon completion of the brewing process, one of the byproducts generated is spent grain or mash. Rather than discarding this waste, Persephone incorporates it into its composting system. The spent grain, along with other organic waste items such as horse manure, grass, tree trimmings, food scraps, and tree mulch, undergoes composting.

After the composting process, a nutrient-rich soil amendment is produced. This amendment, rich in organic matter and vital nutrients, is utilized to enhance the quality, vitality, and overall health of the farm fields. These farm fields, in turn, are used to cultivate more food, barley, hops, apples, honey and more which are essential ingredients for brewing more beer, cider…. Thus, the cycle continues.

This example showcases how the Persephone system operates in a cyclical manner, with no definitive beginning or end. It represents a regenerative approach rather than an extractive one commonly found in conventional agricultural systems and business models. In the realm of regenerative agriculture, the aim is to build and improve the land rather than deplete it. By adopting regenerative practices, Persephone strives to restore and nourish the soil, recognizing that extractive practices have put our world at significant risk.

Persephone Brewing Company has received numerous awards, including a Land Award from the Real Estate Foundation. Could you share some insights into the company's commitment to quality and what sets its craft beer apart from others in the industry?

At Persephone Brewing Company, our commitment to quality is a deeply-rooted ethos that shapes every aspect of our operations. We believe that superior craft beer, cider and seltzer starts with exceptional ingredients. That's why we cultivate honey, apples, hops and barley right here on our farm while maintaining close relationships with the other farmers and supplying the bulk of our ingredients. This allows us to ensure an unrivalled level of quality and sustainability that contributes directly to the remarkable flavour profiles of our products.

Winning the Land Award from the Real Estate Foundation was an honour, a testament to our dedication to sustainable land use practices. We strive to minimize our environmental footprint, and this award reflects our efforts in adopting organic and regenerative farming practices, promoting biodiversity, and prioritizing water conservation in production.

What truly sets our product line apart is the synthesis of traditional brewing methods and innovative practices, combined with our sustainability-driven farm-to-bottle ethos. We pay homage to time-honoured brewing traditions, while at the same time exploring bold, new flavour combinations. This allows us to create a diverse range of products that appeals to both the classic beer connoisseur and adventurous craft beer, cider and seltzer enthusiast.

In the end, every award we receive is both a recognition of our team's hard work and passion and a reminder of our commitment to continue pushing the boundaries of quality in the craft industry. We are grateful for the acknowledgement and support, and we look forward to sharing our unique, sustainably-produced craft products with even more people in the future.

As a B Corp "Best for the World" Honouree, how does Persephone Brewing Company incorporate sustainable practices and social responsibility into its operations and community engagement?

Being a B Corp "Best for the World" Honouree is a recognition we're immensely proud of, as it underscores our commitment to balancing profit with purpose.

At the heart of Persephone Brewing Company's operations is our mission to create a positive impact on society, the environment, and the economy. We believe that sustainability and social responsibility are not just checkboxes to tick, but integral to our purpose and business model.

On the environmental front, our sustainable practices go beyond just brewing. Our farm-to-bottle approach sees us growing ingredients on-site, reducing our carbon footprint associated with transportation and cycling nutrients and organics through our compost and fields. We follow organic and regenerative farming methods and prioritize water conservation in our brewing process. We're also working towards being carbon neutral and continuously strive to minimize waste, incorporating recycling and composting programs wherever possible.

As for social responsibility, we are deeply committed to our local community. We provide living wage employment opportunities and strive to create an inclusive and supportive work environment. We prioritize local suppliers and foster relationships that help stimulate the local economy. Additionally, we actively engage in community initiatives and partnerships, such as supporting local charities and hosting community events at our venues.

Our vision as a B Corp extends to inspire others about sustainable practices and social responsibility. We invite our customers to visit our farm, providing an opportunity for them to see our operations firsthand and understand the real-world implications of sustainable brewing.

We view our B Corp "Best for the World" status as both an achievement and a responsibility. It's a testament to what we've achieved so far and a challenge for us to continue innovating, improving, and demonstrating that a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility can coexist with commercial success. We are honoured to be recognized as leaders in this space and are excited to continue to set an example for others to follow.

How does Persephone Brewing Company prioritize collaboration with local farmers and artisans to foster a sense of community and promote local economic growth? Are there any specific initiatives or partnerships that highlight this aspect of your business?

At Persephone Brewing Company, fostering a sense of community and promoting local economic growth are intrinsic parts of our ethos.

Hosting the Gibsons Farmers' Market is one of the key ways we uphold these values. It's a platform that brings together local farmers, artisans, and consumers, facilitating a direct connection between the people who grow or make products and those who enjoy them. This not only encourages our community to support local producers, but also deepens their understanding and appreciation of the time, effort, and expertise that go into these products.

We're proud to have partnerships with local food organizations like Grounded Acres, One Straw Society, Young Agrarians and Farm Folk City Folk. Through these collaborations, we're able to source additional fresh, locally-grown ingredients for our brewing and food service operations. This further reduces our carbon footprint and supports local farmers by providing a consistent and reliable market for their produce.

Furthermore, we've embarked on initiatives with our partners to educate and inspire the next generation of sustainable farmers and food producers. For instance, we work with Young Agrarians to provide mentorship programs and on-farm training for aspiring young farmers, and with Farm Folk City Folk to host workshops and events that promote local, sustainable agriculture.

Our partnerships with these organizations go beyond just business transactions. They are true collaborations that aim to elevate the local food and beverage scene, promote sustainable farming practices, and encourage our community to actively participate in and support the local economy. We believe that these cooperative efforts make us more than just a brewery; they make us an integral part of the fabric of our community.

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