Echoview Farm, Riverbend Malt House, Fonta Flora create 1st ASAP-Certified Craft Beer

Echoview Fiber Mill announces:

Estate Ale, a 100% Echoview Farm-grown beer brewed by Fonta Flora in collaboration with Riverbend Malt House is the first Appalachian-grown craft beer certified by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, to be released on November 8th.


The local beer movement in Asheville, “Beer City USA,” North Carolina just got more localized. Using 100% ingredients sourced from Echoview Farm, Fonta Flora Brewery in collaboration with Riverbend Malt House is releasing the first-ever Appalachain Sustainable Project (ASAP) certified beer on November 8th, just in time for Fonta Flora’s first year anniversary celebration.

100% Sourced from Echoview Farm

“It’s a dream come true to make a beer that’s 100% sourced with ingredients from Echoview Farm,” said Julie Jensen, the owner of Echoview Farm, a working farm just outside of Asheville with a focus on sustainable agriculture.

“We started on the path of growing hops years ago, and this is only our second time growing barley, but it’s been a really rewarding experience and we’re thrilled to work with Riverbend Malt House, Fonta Flora Brewery, and ASAP in collaboration for the Estate Ale. With its focus on local, sustainable agriculture, it’s practically our mission in a bottle,” Jensen said.

For the past five years, Echoview Farm has been growing and processing hops, and they hosted the inaugural Annual Hops Festival in 2010. Jensen began growing hops as an alternative crop to tobacco, to provide a local harvest for the increasing number of brewers in and around Asheville.

The Echoview Farm Estate Ale beer, a Belgian Tripel with blackberry honey and lemon balm, will be the first bottle release for Morganton-based Fonta Flora Brewery. According to the brewer, Warren Wilson alum Todd Steven Boera, the Estate Ale will boast a golden straw hue and, at 8.5% abv, will be the highest alcohol craft beer ever brewed at Fonta Flora Brewery.

Local Agricultural Roots

Brewing beer requires agriculture. Since 2008, Echoview Farm has practiced a mission of sustainable agriculture, growing hops, barley, and other crops, as well as producing honey—a match made in heaven for Fonta Flora Brewery and Riverbend Malt House. Just like Echoview Farm, Fonta Flora Brewery and Riverbend Malt House are on a mission to take brewing back to its agricultural roots.

“Fonta Flora Brewery strives to create a totally unique North Carolina/Appalachian style of beer using grains provided by Riverbend Malt House, and foraging the countryside—or, in this case, Echoview Farm—for wild flora,” said Todd Steven Boera, brewer and owner of Fonta Flora Brewery.

Riverbend Malt House initiated the beer collaboration for the Estate Ale release and harvested Echoview Farm’s barley in early June (the growing season is October to June).

“The idea behind the Estate Ale is to join forces with other establishments who are really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with local agriculture,” said Brent Manning of Riverbend Malt House.

Using a tractor and an antique combine—a machine that looks like a big paddle wheel—the Riverbend Malt House crew scooped up the grain at Echoview Farm, placing it in a thresher machine that gathers the seed head and stalks. Next, they used a floor malting process, raking the grain by hand during the germination process before placing it in a kiln.

“Working with Echoview Farm and Riverbend Malt House allows us to stay true to our agricultural roots and simultaneously offer a product that literally can’t be found or brewed anywhere else,” said Boera.

Limited Release, Ready for the Holidays

The Echoview Farm Estate Ale beer will be released in conjunction with Fonta Flora Brewery’s one-year anniversary festivities on Saturday, November 8th. The craft beer will be available on draft at Fonta Flora Brewery and a few other very special craft beer bars from Asheville to Charlotte. As for taste, the craft drinker can expect notes of fresh bailed hay, fruity yeast esters and subtle notes of honey. Approximately 700 bottles of the Estate Ale will be available for purchase, packaged in 750 ml champagne bottles, making the release a limited edition that’s perfect for the impending holiday season.

About Echoview Farm

Echoview Farm is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Weaverville, North Carolina, with a mission to demonstrate that sustainable agriculture can work in Western North Carolina and beyond. In addition to growing hops, the farm raises fiber animals, and hosts a popular summer camp for girls. Half a mile down the road is Echoview Fiber Mill, the sister company of the farm, where raw animals fibers are processed into yarn and textiles. Echoview Fiber Mill is committed to leaving a light footprint on the environment and won the first Gold LEED Certification for a manufacturing mill in the US. For more information on the educational opportunities and farm tours open to the public at Echoview Farm, visit To learn more about Echoview Fiber Mill, visit and

About Riverbend Malt House

Riverbend Malt House was founded in 2010 as triple bottom line company dedicated to providing locally-sourced, artisan malts to the breweries of the southeast. Riverbend purchases all of their raw materials within a 500 mile radius of the malt house and utilizes a unique floor-malting process to create a line of flavorful malts. Learn more at

About Fonta Flora Brewery

Located in beautiful Morganton, North Carolina, Fonta Flora Brewery integrates the soul of agriculture with the artisanship of zymurgy to create a menagerie of rustic and savory libations. With an emphasis on seasonal flora, Fonta Flora brings English tradition and Belgian inspiration to the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Fonta Flora utilizes local agriculture with the goal of creating a truly North Carolina/Appalachian style of craft beer. This uniquely artisan approach to beer yields a sustainable product filled with culture from our very own community.

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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