Fall 2014

Jacob Pressey

From Dirt to Draft, Brewing a Sustainable Success

ON MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS, Jacob Pressey (‘10, Environmental Science) tends his crops in Alton and McKinleyville, Calif. On the other five days, he transforms his labor into liquid refreshment, and serves it to a growing clientele.

“I like to call it beer farming,” says Pressey, who started Regeneration Brewery & Farm.

Pressey is applying his education—which included an emphasis on soils and agriculture—in a process that takes his beer from seed to sip. He grows his own hops and barley and malts them at his brew house before transforming the mixture into a variety of Belgium-style ales.

The team right now is Pressey, and his dog, Dolce, a Bernese mountain dog that has recently begun helping out by pulling carts. As a one-man, one-dog operation, Pressey scrambles between farm and brewery, where he’s also a host and server.

Common brews include “Blasphemy Ale,” which blends beer in a process usually shunned by microbreweries, and “Belgium Biscuit Brew,” a lighter, wheat-based ale. Patrons can also sample “Alton Tea,” “Whiskey Chip Brown,” and “I Can’t Put My Finger On It.”

Modeled after community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, Pressey has established what he calls a CSB—substituting the “agriculture” for “beer.” Customers purchase a share, which takes the form of a half-gallon growler filled with the beer of the week.

On his three-acre farm in Alton and a recently leased plot in McKinleyville, Pressey uses old-school methods to manage his crops. He uses an early 1900s era scythe to reap the grain, and then separates it from the stalk with a pedal-powered thresher.

Eventually, he’d like to expand his business.

“The end goal would be establishing a larger brewery and farm in one location,” Pressey says. “We could give tours and sell other local products, and have a real beer garden.

“What I have now is pretty small scale, but I’ve been thinking about how it could grow. As the demand grows, it would be great to expand, but at the same time keep the process sustainable,” he says