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    The Time Has Come! (A Brief History of the Founding of Mother Earth Brewing, and the Release of a Very Special New Brew)



    I think the title says it all.  For those of you who have followed the brewery for the past 5 years, you probably know what I am talking about.  But if you’re unfamiliar, let me explain:

    When Trent and I decided in 2008 to start a brewery, we had one major beer that we wanted to produce. It’s taken us 5 long years of research, development, testing and so forth to make that dream a reality, but in just a few short weeks the beer on which Mother Earth Brewing was founded will finally be released.

    It all started in the summer of 2008. Well, for me it started earlier than that but 2008 is when the wheels in my mind started turning. For as long as I can remember, I have been gardening at my home in Kinston.  I grow all sorts of vegetables (squash, butter beans, string beans, okra, and beets just to name a few), but my favorite by far? Tomatoes! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is make my own tomato juice and can it, just like my mother did.  Back when I was younger, my uncle introduced me to this drink he called a Red Eye.  He would take the tomato juice that my mother made and mix it with beer.  Since he introduced me to this delicious concoction, I’ve been hooked! Not only do I look forward to enjoying my fresh, homegrown tomatoes each summer, I look forward to canning them and making my own version of the Red Eye, which I call “Homegrown.”

    During the summer our family spends a lot of time in Atlantic Beach, NC and we are always having friends over.  One night, Trent and I were drinking Homegrown and mixing them up for some of the friends we had over, folks ranging from early 20s all the way into their 70s. They would rave about it!  They couldn’t get enough.  It was amazing: a 50 year age range and they all loved Homegrown. So, I looked at Trent and said, “We should start a brewery and make this beer, and put it out there for the whole world to experience.”  And so it began: a little (tomato) seed that ultimately grew into the Mother Earth Brewing that you know today.

    Of course, a lot of things have grown out of our original concept for the brewery, but we are so happy to finally be able to release Homegrown, the beer that sparked our idea. We have been working on fine tuning every aspect of this beer for the past 5 years.  We’re very proud of the outstanding beers that we’ve been brewing since we opened in 2009, but we couldn’t be more proud of this release, painstakingly researched and developed so that we can be sure that Homegrown will taste just the way it’s intended to, as it was when the concept was born.

    Homegrown really is the key ingredient of our mission statement: to brew the best beer we can, as close to nature as possible, and we’re excited to finally see this concept come to life. Mother Nature is providing us with some luscious tomatoes that are coming off as I type this!  We can’t wait to finally share this dream with you in late August.

     Cheers to Homegrown…..Stephen

    4 WORDS....Great American Beer Festival!


    (Pictured from Left to Right, Trent Mooring, Josh Brewer, Charlie Papazian, Stephen Hill - Awards Ceremony GABF 2013)

    Wow, October is coming to and end!  I remember back at the end of September saying, “Man, October is going to be a busy month,” and now it is October 29th!  Where did the time go??  Well, looking back, I can tell you where the time went.  Beer Festivals, beer festivals, and some more beer festivals!

    One beer festival in particular was the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colorado.  Josh, Stephen, and I head out to Denver every fall for this festival and it is exactly what the name portrays: Great!  I would also mention that it is the mama jama of American beer festivals with more beer than anyone has probably ever seen.  I have listed below of few of the facts about the Great American Beer Festival:

    - The festival sold out in 20 minutes during the public ticket sale in 2013, compared to 45 minutes during the public ticket sale in 2012. In 2007, the festival sold out the week of the event.

    - 3,100+ beers in the festival hall—the biggest selection of American beers ever served.

     - More than 48,000 gallons of beer.

     - 49,000 attendees (includes ticketed attendees, brewers, judges, volunteers and journalists).

     - 624 U.S. breweries served in the festival hall (46 more breweries than 2012).

     - GABF had a $7 million economic impact on the city of Denver in 2012, according to Visit Denver, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau.


    We always really look forward to going out to Denver every year for the GABF, not for just the festival but for all the other events going on around Denver during the festival.  We always go visit our favorite spots and see some friends we have made along the way.  We always kick off the GABF festivities with a dinner at Osterio Marco, one of our favorite restaurants located downtown on Larimar Square. Their pizza is amazing!! We then usually head to Star Bar, hands down one of our favorite places to go and Justin is always happy to see us and make some amazing beer cocktails.  He is a certified mixologist and creates some of the best beer cocktails anyone has ever partaken in.  Euclid Hall is also one of our favorite spots to hit around the city as well and we usually visit them multiple times during our stay.

     This year we were fortunate to spend some time at Leopold Brothers Distillery and gain some knowledge from Todd Leopold, co-owner and Head Distiller.  Leopold Brothers has always been one of our favorite distilleries and to get sit down and spend one on one time with Todd was an experience we will always be grateful for.  Being in the early stages of Mother Earth Spirits it was awesome to sit down with Todd and hear his stories of the trials and tribulations of the craft spirits industry. Sitting with Todd and hearing his stories reminded us of the early stages of the brewery and how much fun we are going to have with the development of Mother Earth Spirits, and that feeling is bittersweet!

    (Pictured Todd Leopold - Leopold Brothers Distillery - Denver, Co.)

     The entire experience of the GABF and all the events is a whirlwind of a week but for most brewers their eyes are set on the competition and awards ceremony that takes place on Saturday morning.  Just like every awards ceremony morning, it starts off with Stephen and I going to breakfast and Josh going to breakfast with his friend Eric.  Josh has a long time friend named Eric that lives in Fort Collins and is a professional triathlon trainer and he always comes in for the awards ceremony and to hang out.  He has come the past 2 years and we have won medals the past two years, a bronze for Dark Cloud last year and a bronze for our Bohemian Pilsner this year. Guess what, Eric better be coming back next year, we all think he is our good luck charm!

     To win a medal at the Great American Beer festival is one of the highest honors you can receive in the beer industry.  Our brewers work so hard every day to make sure our beer is stylistically correct and consistent, which are two of the things we are most proud of at the brewery.  We are so humbled to be honored at the top event in the County and it just makes us want to work even harder to continue making great beer and revitalizing our hometown, keep pushing the envelope, and continue living the dream.

     Cheers to living the dream……Trent

    Happy Fall Ya'll!


    (Pictured from Left to Right, Stephen Hill, Josh Brewer & Trent Mooring - Blind Tiger NYC)

    Wow, it seems just like yesterday we were writing about the end of summer and beginning of fall, and now fall seems to be here in full force!  That’s a good thing though, I don’t think Old Neighborhood has ever been drinking as delicious as it is right now!

     This time of year is always a fun time for us with a lot of things to look forward to.  We have been rocking a lot of festivals lately and traveling all around for beer dinners across the state.  We just returned from the Brewgrass Festival in Asheville, we are heading to Charlotte this coming weekend for Charlotte Oktoberfest, head to Durham on Oct. 4th for World Beer Festival, and leave for Denver on October 9th for The Great American Beer Festival!  So Yowza!!! Holy beer fest! Right?

     In addition to all festivals and dinners, we are getting ready to launch Mother Earth in the Northern Virginia area.  We have partnered with Guiffre Distributing Company and we will start selling early in the middle of October.  The new Virginia areas will include Arlington and Fairfax County including the cities of Falls Church, City of Alexandria, City of Fairfax, and all military installations around this territory.  Release parties and other promotional events will begin the week of October 21st and take place at various locations in and around the northern Virginia area. Initially, Endless River Kolsch, Weeping Willow Wit, Sisters of the Moon IPA, Dark Cloud Dunkel, and Fall Seasonal, Old Neighborhood will be offered for sale in six-pack bottles and on draft.

     In additions to all the fests and the Virginia release we are excited to be pouring in Wilmington for the Lighthouse Beer Festival on October 19th.  This year the fellows over at Lighthouse Beer & Wine have put together a few events to precede their great festival for Wilmington Craft Beer Week.  We are super excited to be teaming up with James Doss over at RX restaurant to do a beer dinner on October 16th! We couldn’t be more pumped up about this event!  I have been friends with James for a long time and we can’t wait to see what he cooks up, it is sure to be spectacular.  Additionally, we’ll be pouring beer at the first ever Voracious Beer Tasting the night before the festival!  This intimate event will feature 20 breweries pouring some really awesome rare brews, and we’re excited to be a part of the event!

    So, do you think we cant fit anything else in October? Well, we can!  October 18th is gong to be a day to remember and definatly a night not to miss in Kinston.  We are teaming up with the good folks across the street at Ginger 108 for an asian infused beer dinner.  We will have a lot of surprises coming for this dinner as well as a special ginger beer that Brew Master, Josh Brewer brewed on our 3 BBL pilot system for the occasion.  If that was not enough, the next day, October 19th is the release of the much anticipated Windowpane Fig and Raisin in the Mother Earth Tap Room.  So dont hesitate to turn Kinston into a weekend destination for that incredible weekend in October.

     As you can see we have a lot going on in October, so come on out and see us at Mother. Always rememeber, the fall season is a great time of year to sit back, hang out with frineds, enjoy some delicious brews, and watch the leaves on the trees transform into the natural art of the North Carolina landscape.  That last sentence was deep, yea??


    Run Club, Brew Bus, Old Neighborhood & More!

    Get ready for the Fall!  You know what comes in the Fall??? Yes, we do start getting good waves with offshore winds and it is the start of football, but, what is just as good and fun as that?? ALL the things we have getting cranked up here at Mother Earth Brewing.

    In addition to opening the Tap Room on Tuesdays, We are excited to be starting the Mother Earth Run Club.  The run club will be meeting every Tuesday at 5:30 starting on September 3rd.  We will have runs for all skill levels and will include a 1 mile, 3 mile, and 5 mile run.  After everyone has finished their run, we will congregate in the Tap Room for some fellowship and discounted beers!  We also just got some super cool Mother Earth branded running socks from Swiftwick that will be a great addition to your running wardrobe.  So come see us Tuesday after your Labor Day weekend!

    Also, In the recent days you may have seen a big white bio diesel bus driving around Eastern Carolina with Mother Earth logos on it.  So what is up with that?? Well, we are here to tell you that we will be running bus service from Greenville TO Kinston starting very soon.  We are doing some practice runs right now to nail down the exact running times and working as I type this to finalize the bus schedule and get the Brew Bus running. We will be running the Brew Bus on Friday nights and all day Saturday and will have the schedule available very soon.  We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring people to Kinston and show them all the awesome things we have to offer.  Stay tuned for me info on the bus…

    We are also bottling Old Neighborhood today and it is sure to make your Labor Day weekend enjoyable.  For those of you who don’t know the story of Old Neighborhood, I will give you a quick rundown.  As most people know, we at Mother Earth are really into sustainability and downtown revitalization.  So, we have a neighborhood just behind the brewery that showcases homes with some of the most elegant craftsmanship in Lenoir County.  But like a lot of Old Neighborhoods, it has become run down.  So we took on the project of revitalizing the neighborhood and bringing back that original character of the neighborhood while turning it in to an Arts District where artist can live, work, and show off their wares.  We have revitalized a total of 8 houses with the hopes of revitalizing more that 60 total. The Old Neighborhood label was inspired by what we want the final project to look like and Old Neighborhood happens to be and insanely tight Widespread Panic Song. :) And, like all Mother Earth labels, the painting was done by our good friend Dinah Sylivant just down the road in Snow Hill.


    Now you know what we have coming down the pipeline in the Fall and were just getting warmed up.  We are really excited to have all these new things going on at the brewery and we hope everyone has a good start to the new season!! If you are traveling through Kinston this Labor Day or this Fall come on over for a visit, or we could just “kick it around the Old Neighborhood.”

    Yea Boy………Trent

    2013 US Open Beer Championships!!!!


    (Pictured from Left to Right, Brew Master, Josh Brewer & Head Brewer, Matthew Hart)

    2013 has been a great year for all of us here at Mother Earth Brewing, and things got even better on July 4th when we heard the results of the 2013 US Open Beer Championship.  The highly respected U.S. Open Beer Championship in Atlanta, Ga. is an annual competition that judges more than 2,500 beers, representing 68 different categories.

    With the ginormous explosion of excellent craft beers these days, it's not easy picking the country's best beers or breweries. We at Mother Earth would be excited beyond belief to earn just one medal, let alone win 4 medals and an overall eighth place finish in the 2013 competition!

    A gold medal was awarded for our Window Pane Series Fig and Raisin, a Silver medal for Silent Night, a Silver medal for Dark Cloud, and a bronze medal for Sunny Haze!

    Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for each category.  The top 10 breweries are determined by combining the points earned by a company’s beers in each category that it finished in the top three.  We’re proud to say that we were ranked number eight on the Top 10 breweries list for 2013!

    Top 10 winners ranked:

    1.    Capital Brewery - Middleton, Wisconsin
    2.    Sweetwater Brewing - Atlanta, Georgia
    3.    Stevens Point Brewing - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    4.    Neustadt Springs Brewing - Neustadt, Ontario
    5.    Big Island Brewhaus - Waimea, Hawaii
    6.    Reuben's Brews - Seattle, Washington
    7.    Nebraska Brewing - Papillion, Nebraska
    8.    Mother Earth Brewing - Kinston, North Carolina
    9.    Fullsteam Brewing - Durham, North Carolina
    10.  Oskar Blues Brewery - Longmont, Colorado

    For more information on the US open, please visit their website at:

    Summer is such a great time of year and with all the outdoor enthusiasts we have here at the brewery, we are all proud to say summer is our favorite time of year.  That brings us to conclusion in saying The US Open was yet another reason to celebrate summer on July 4th!!!


    Peace, Love & Beer......Trent ;)

    Christening the new Still!

    I want to start this month’s blog off with a quote from one of my all time favorite songs: “Today was a good day.” So what am I quoting the famous Ice Cube for?? Well, today was the day that we kicked off the new era for Mother Earth Brewing: Mother Earth Spirits!

    We have been working diligently on getting the new distillery up and running and have been constructing the distillery space for almost a year now, so it was really exciting to get going on our first batch of spirits today.  We started off today making Mother Earth Whiskey.  Josh and Dan have been working hard on coming up with the right recipe and blends. We will be starting off the process with four different recipes, and then doing taste test to decide which whiskey we will release into the market. We can’t tell you all the specifics of the recipe, but the new line of Mother Earth Sprits will be made in small batches, with care, and will surely blow everyone’s minds!

    Along with making some North Carolina whiskey we are working on formulating other products that we will be releasing under the name Mother Earth Sprits.  We are making a gin with all sorts of aromatic botanicals and a Grappa that we will make with North Carolina grapes.  Grappa is made with the husks of grapes after they are juiced so of course, in keeping with our name and philosophy, we are looking to team up with some North Carolina vineyards to recycle some of their grape husks after they have juiced them to make their wine.

    In addition to the distillery we have added an organic garden at the brewery where we are growing local produce for Kinston's new Asian grill, Ginger 108.  It is really awesome to be able to walk outside the brewery and pick local vegetables to eat for lunch and dinner.

    Everyone here at the brewery (and now also the distillery) is very excited about all the new ventures!  It is great to walk through the brewery and see everyone talking about summer, the distillery, the brewery, good vegetables, sharing recipes, and an all and all healthy lifestyle!

    So yes Mr. Ice Cube, I gotta say, Today was a good day…….Trent

    Whirlwind Month of May, But we still find time to Savor the Goodness of Mother Earth!


    I am going to start this blog off today with six words: Cheers to the start of summer!!!

    We have had a whirlwind month of May with a ton of events, tasting, and festivals.  We kicked of May with the BBQ On The Neuse Festival, right here in Kinston.  We always look forward to this event!  It is the biggest event we participate in and the festival draws in nearly 25,000 people, so we are always eager to show all the visitors around the brewery.  In addition to BBQ On The Neuse, we have poured beer at many festivals around NC, DC, and GA, spent a week in Greensboro for Triad Craft Beer Week, and as I type this, Travis is pouring beer in the western part of NC for Asheville Beer Week and getting ready for the finale, The Beer City Festival, this weekend in downtown Asheville!

    So, needless to say, we have been pretty busy, but still have not forgotten one of our main philosophies and that is to Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle.  I know you remember a few months ago, I wrote a blog about how Mother Earth had teamed up with the North Carolina Forestry Service to re-use our old malt bags for the seeds for trees.  Well, that has happened again!

    This time we have teamed up with our good friends Charley and Kate Lewis of Stand Up Outfitters, right down the road in New Bern.  Charley, Kate, and I do a ton of Stand Up Paddle surfing together and are always striking up conversations on cool ways businesses can collaborate. After all, that's what it’s all about, right!? So about a month ago we were out one weekend enjoying some super fun waist high paddle waves and Charlie starting talking about how much wasted “bubble wrap” they have around the shop because all the boards they order are very fragile, therefore shipped in a ton of bubble wrap. Well, what do we have in common: beer is fragile, and pint glasses and other merchandise are fragile, so we decided to drive the Mother Earth van to New Bern, pick up a van load of bubble wrap, and use it to wrap and ship all our fragile things that we send to people around the United States.  With that being said, they have so much excess bubble wrap at Stand Up Outfitters we basically have an unlimited supply of bubble wrap that would have otherwise been sitting in a land fill somewhere.

    The moral of the story is simple.  Others people's waste can be other people’s treasures.  By us working together, sharing ways to live simply, and being innovative and collaborative, we were able to help each other, and yet again, reduce our carbon footprint.

    So in conclusion, work close with your peers, collaborate, live simply, and always find a way to drink craft beer and go stand up paddling!

    Wishing everyone a happy start of summer………..Trent

    Mother Earth Day is here!


    Well the day has arrived, Earth Day 2013.  It is amazing to see how much Earth Day has grown in just the recent years.  When I woke up this morning and starting looking at all the social media outlets that we use here at Mother Earth I was amazed to see how many posts and tweets there were about Earth Day!

    Two of the most common posts I saw were, “What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?” and “What is Earth Day?"  Well, after seeing all these posts I decided to write a quick blog about a day that has so much to do with the way we conduct business here at Mother Earth Brewing.

    Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 and has been an important day ever since.  It's a day to reflect on our planet, our environment, and what we can do to help keep them healthy. Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is now coordinated globally and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year!

    For us at Mother Earth, April 22nd is always a great day that we look forward to, but we also live our lives and operate Mother Earth Brewing as if it were Earth Day every day.  We often get questions about our name and what we do for the environment.  For me to write everything we do to protect “Mother Earth” would really take a long time so I will give a few highlights.

    We pride ourselves in providing the highest quality beers consistently but also giving back to the local community, and giving back to the earth by sourcing from North Carolina vendors for our packaging, ingredients, and design work whenever possible. We actively seek mutually-beneficial partnerships aimed at strengthening the local economy whenever we can.

    Rather than construct a new building, we envisioned renewing an old uncared-for brick structure with the spirit of Mother Earth herself. We dove into a thorough study of environmentally friendly construction material. Less than a year later, we reached our goal. Various building materials color the brewery green from top to bottom. By choosing an old building with a lot of “character” we were able to use all found and reclaimed products when we could.  That not only gives back to Mother Earth, it gives the building the warmth and character that make coming to work every day fun!

    Recycled blue jean insulation was used to insulate the walls, soy-based spray foam insulation protects the second story ceiling, and Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint covers the walls. The flooring wasn't ignored, either. Mother Earth Brewing's corporate offices have eco carpet partially made from renewable resources. Eco flush valves on toilets know just the right amount of water needed for "the job" and reduce water needed for flushing by 30%. Eco faucets in the bathrooms offer an unimaginable savings in water compared to conventional faucets. State-of the-art tankless water heaters heat water on demand, instead of using needless energy to keep hundreds of gallons of water heated at all times.

    We have always pursued sustainability initiatives throughout the creation of our brand. We have installed solar panels that now provide 100% of our taproom power, engineered a glycol-chilled, 100% freon-free cooler to store our beer, and constructed rain barrels and a cistern to collect and distribute rainwater efficiently throughout the brewery. We are Gold L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and are always looking for new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We are proud to say that we are the first production brewery in the country to attain this certification, and this achievement makes us so proud.

    This is just scratching the service on all we have going on at Mother Earth.  During our LEED® certification “performance period” we added a ton of policies and procedures that we follow to conduct business to further reduce our carbon footprint.  I guess we just felt it important on this monumental day to speak our mind and let everyone know how much we value the Earth and everything she provides for us.

    So, in conclusion, try to make it a point today and go outside. Whether you are out walking, riding a bike, or drinking a Weeping Willow Wit, think just how much you enjoy all the beautiful things Mother Earth has to offer, even if it does feel like February on this great day of April 22nd in Eastern North Carolina.  :)


    Spring is in the Air and so is North Carolina Beer Month!

    Spring is in the air and we are really starting to get rolling here at Mother Earth Brewing.  We have had a fun- filled and extremely busy March and we are just getting warmed up!  The weather is starting to get warm and April is the month that we are celebrating NC Beer month as well as Earth Day on April 22nd


    Needless to say, Mother Earth Brewing and the month of April seem like a perfect match!


    So what is North Carolina Beer Month??  North Carolina is becoming an outstanding beer state, and Craft breweries are really starting to flourish from Western NC to Eastern NC. North Carolina is standing strong with about 75 statewide — it’s actually hard to keep an up-to-date count with new breweries constantly on the horizon, but we do know that North Carolina has the highest total between Pennsylvania and Texas.


    Here at Mother Earth we travel all over the South to promote good, handmade craft beer, but in April of 2013, we are dedicating it all to the state where we live, work, and play! This April, we will celebrate North Carolina beer culture with festivals, beer weeks, collaborative brews, guest taps, and even some handmade Beer-BQ- sauce made by the brewers of Mother Earth.


    Mother Earth Brewing and NC Beer Month really go great together because it gives us the opportunity to invite people to our area of the state and show people what we have going on down here in our neck of the woods.  We have really been passionate about growing Mother Earth into a regional brewery and promoting sustainability, but Stephen Hill, Co-founder and CEO of Mother Earth has really taken it to the next level with promoting downtown Kinston.  In addition to the brewery, we have added a music venue called The Red Room that is open every Friday and Saturday night that showcases live NC Homegrown music. We are also in the process of re-vitalizing an “Old Neighborhood” J and turning it in to an arts community where local artist can live in the neighborhood and showcase their art from the comfort of their home.  This is just a snippet of what we are doing for Kinston and North Carolina Tourism and look forward to having everyone down to Kinston during NC Beer Month to show off our digs.


    So, here are a few things we are offering in our support of NC Beer Month:


    -          Starting this Wednesday (4/3/2013) we will be putting on a guest tap in the Mother Earth Tap room from another NC brewery.  We will have a new NC Beer on Tap each week during the month of April to showcase our friends in the NC beer community.  Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to see which new guest tap is going on each week!

    -          We’re excited to release our first ever collaboration beer in April, brewed with our great friends at NoDa Brewing in Charlotte! It’s called, “Word To Your MoDa”, a Red Saison brewed with cardamom and apricot.  Look for it at the Mother Earth and NoDa Tap Room as well as select bars and restaurants all over North Carolina!

    -          The Brewers at Mother Earth came up with a fantastic concoction of Beer -BQ -Sauce called Love your Mother ® - Look for this sauce at the Mother Earth Tap Room and other NC brewery Tap rooms across NC, as well as the nearly world famous BBQ Festival on the Neuse in Downtown Kinston the first weekend in May.

    These are just a few highlights of the things we are doing for NC Beer Month. For a full list of what is going on please visit


    The North Carolina Division of Tourism, The North Carolina Brewers Guild, and all the participating breweries in North Carolina invite you to experience the State of Southern beer. April 2013 is the month and year, when everyone comes together for the inaugural NC Beer Month.


    Cheers to all, Happy NC Beer Month, and Happy Earth Day……Trent


    Living The Examined Life

    What a great and busy month we have had at Mother Earth.  In addition to releasing the third beer in our Windowpane Series, Fig and Raisin, we also received our LEED® Gold certification.  We are very proud to receive LEED® certification and we have made it into a lifestyle, both in our personal and in our business lives. For those of you who don’t know, LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based, market­-driven program sponsored by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides third-party verification of green buildings. We have always looked for ways to reduce our carbon footprint as Mother Earth has continued to grow, so you can imagine how many fun and touching stories we have.  One, in particular, we shared over a year ago but found it fitting to share this story again this month in celebration of our Gold LEED® certification and as we get ready for Earth Day in April.

    Over three and a half years ago, Mother Earth Brewing began making great beer brewed close to nature. Since that time, we have actively searched for opportunities that not only limit our footprint, but also give back to the land, creating a cycle of sorts that benefits us all in some small way. This is a story about one such opportunity.

    As you probably know, malt is a main ingredient of beer. What you might not know is that breweries use A LOT of malt. In fact, the average 40bbl batch of beer (the size of the batches we brew at Mother Earth) requires 2,400 lbs. of malt. Malt arrives at the brewery in 55 pound “malt bags”- picture the modern version of a burlap sack. Once the malt is added to the brew, the bag has fulfilled its purpose and is tossed aside. It is easy to see how those malt bags quickly accumulate. Walk into nearly any craft brewery, and in some random corner, you’re likely to come across a disheveled stack of discarded malt bags.

    One day, Mother Earth Brewmaster Josh Brewer glanced over at that ever-growing pile, and said to himself, "There must be some way to give those bags a purpose again.” In an effort to do so, he created a simple post on Craigslist: “Free malt bags.” What happened next truly amazed us. Just moments after making the post, Josh received a response: “I’ll take all the bags you have.” The reply came from James West at the North Carolina Forest Service. As the Nursery and Tree Improvement Program Head, James knew just how to re-purpose those bags: to help collect some 70,000 pounds of tree seeds. A few emails later, James was on his way from Goldsboro to claim an enormous stack of malt bags.

    You might be surprised to learn that the North Carolina Forest Service operates a massive “seedling” program (a seedling is a young plant, grown from a seed.) The program began in 1954, and starts about 3 million trees a year from the 70,000 pounds of seed collected across NC. Every County in NC collects seeds (a tedious process done by hand), places the seeds in malt bags, and sends the seeds to Goldsboro to be cleaned and otherwise prepared for planting. About 50 different species are collected. Once the seeds develop into one year old seedlings, they are used for forest, wetlands and wildlife restoration.  To successfully operate the program, the North Carolina Forest Service used to purchase roughly 2,500 malt bags a year. Not any longer.

    The partnership between Mother Earth Brewing and the North Carolina Forest Service not only makes that disheveled pile of malt bags disappear, it offers Mother Earth one more opportunity to give back to the land and yet another way to reduce our carbon footprint.

    So, as you go throughout your day and months ahead, think to yourself, “What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint and what can you do to savor the goodness of Mother Earth?"

    Wishing Everyone, Peace, Love, and Beer®,




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