NEW HARTFORD — New Hartford’s Brewery Legitimus and Barden Farm’s joint Community Supported Agriculture, Beer and Cheese program have arrived in time for summer meals and celebrations.
The program is collaboration between local businesses to bring participants in the program locally grown produce and locally crafted beer and cheeses. Memberships begin July 11 and run through Sept. 12.
Weekly shares include one box of produce — some weeks may include other farm goods such as eggs and flowers — one cheese, and either one 64-ounce growler or two 32-ounce Crowlers (measures of beer) for a $2 surcharge per week. The boxes must be picked up on Thursdays between 5-8:30 p.m. at Brewery Legitimus, located at 283 Main St., New Hartford.
“We are a homespun business and always looking for ways to support the community around us,” said Brewery Legitimus co-founder Christina Sayer. “Partnering with local farms allows us to reach a broader audience and offers something unique to our growing customer following. Every time we sit down with other local businesses there is so much collaboration, idea generation and most of all pure excitement to be working together on these projects.”
The brewery’s partnership this year is with Barden Farm. “They provide all of the veggies, fruit and other farm goods such as flowers, bread baked at the farm kitchen, and eggs. They procure the weekly cheeses, some come from Sweet Pea Farm in North Granby but others come from all over the state. We provide the beer. We are doing five special limited release beers which CSABC members will have first dibs on when they are released.”
Sayer believes the program is popular because it is different, she said.
“There are so many CSAs out there now but this one incorporates other local products and the craft beer aspect is a huge selling point for some,” Sayer said. “I also think that we have created a unique vibe around Thursdays at Brewery Legitimus during the 10 weeks of the CSABC summer shares. It's a little hard to describe but you get it when you experience it. It's an experience that members of the farm share, our community and even first timers crave.
“You walk in and the first thing you see are tables full of vibrant, colorful veggies and fruit and energetic farmers sipping a beer and helping people shop,” Sayer continued. “The beer garden is filled with people celebrating warm summer nights with a yummy meal from one of the rotating food trucks, and a beer that is a perfect complement to the food. Inside we have tables full of people from all over coming, together over beers, playing games and meeting new friends.”
This is the second year the brewery has partnered with Barden Farm.
“We both sort of fell into it together”, said Cara Donovan, daughter of Barden Farm owners Anita and Ed Barden, when speaking of the collaboration between the farm and brewery. “It was really organic. What better idea is there than to combine beer and locally-grown food.”
Beyond getting the farm’s name known, Donovan said the program helps with start-up costs for growing produce and is a “community’s way to support us up front,” she said.
“It is a benefit to knowing how many people are participating, because it allows us to plan our growing seasons,” Donovan said. “Our customers can always give us comments about that they like and recommendations on produce. Many members of the CSABC support the farm after the shares stop.”
Beyond the beer and food, the CSABC is a social gathering, a group of like-minded people coming to pick up their food, listening to music, hanging out, and maybe having a pint of beer.
“These people are interested in their local economy and in sustainability,” Donovan said. “From a financial standpoint, the members are receiving produce and other goods closer to wholesale as opposed to retail prices, so it’s a great deal for the customer.”
“What is cool about is that this CSABC includes so much more for the members. There’s a lot of depth to it,” said Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne, whose firm represents Brewery Legitimus and the program Eat In Connecticut.
Since produce is picked fresh daily, individuals must pick up their weekly share on their designated pick-up day. The quantity and types of produce, beer and cheese varies from season to season and week to week. The risks and benefits of the harvest/production are shared by all the members, brewers and the farmers.
When they pick up their boxes, members of the program are welcome to stay and will receive $1 off each pint of beer on the designated pick-up day. As a bonus, CSABC members receive complimentary recipes in a weekly email, have first right to limited release beers from Brewery Legitimus, and also receive $1 off any pint at the brewery on pick-up days. Members must be 21 years or older with valid ID to participate.
Sayer said memberships are available for $485 cash, or $499 credit. “People can purchase memberships in-person at Brewery Legitimus or on our online store,” she said.
This year Brewery Legitimus and Barden Farm will conclude the CSABC season with a farm-to-table beer dinner on Sept. 19. Bridge Street Libations and Temptations restaurant in New Hartford are putting on the dinner. Details are still being worked out, but the idea is to bring all of the local ingredients together ,with Brewery Legitimus craft beer incorporated into the dishes and as an accompaniment to each course.
CSABC members will have the option to purchase a discounted ticket to the dinner prior to ticket sales opening to the public. Tickets are $105 per person and will be sold through Eventbrite.
Brewery Legitimus, a seven barrel craft brewery, is located in a 3,500-square-foot space in the former Waring Factory building. Brewery Legitimus can be found on Facebook @BreweryLegitimus and on Instagram @Brewery.Legitimus. Tasting room hours are Wednesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. The brewery is closed Monday and Tuesday.
To enroll in the CSABC program, visit brewerylegitmus.com/csabc.