Featured Brewery: Mother Earth Brewery, Kinston, North Carolina

Continuing from the introduction of Mother Earth Brewery last week, we look at the environmental efforts of Mother Earth, their beer, and the promising future of NC beer. Photo: Mother Earth Beers

KINSTON, NC, July 25, 2012 – Mother Earth Brewery based in Kinston, North Carolina was founded by Trent Mooring and Stephen Hill in 2008.  From the start, the brewery has shown that a large-scale operation is capable of rising out of a small town.

While Mother Earth has succeeded in becoming a situated and valued member of the North Carolina beer community, it isn’t just the craft itself that has gained attention, but also the conscientious process that begins in the brewery and ends in the hands of consumer.

Mother Earth Protecting Mother Earth

As part of a growing awareness being shared by many craft breweries, Mother Earth has become a prime example of a brewery strictly abiding by environmentally-conscious production practices.

The name of the brewery itself should serve as a clue into what kind of role the surroundings play for the brewery.

 “We have passionately championed sustainability initiatives from date of inception in a forthright, transparent manner”, explains Mooring. There is plenty of proof to back up his claims.

Among the many examples of Mother Earth’s efforts to reduce their footprint:

- Their taproom is 100% solar-powered, thanks to the six kilowatt solar array that presents itself proudly on the roof of the building

- The walls of Mother Earth are insulated completely with Blue Jean insulation, which is a 100% recycled product

- Beer is stored in a glycol-chilled and 100% freon-free cooler

- A rain-water collecting barrel and cistern allows water to be distributed as efficiently as possible throughout the brewery.

There are many other examples of the environmental efforts as explained on their website

Mooring also explained that Mother Earth Brewing is currently in the process of obtaining their Gold L.E.E.D (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. If it goes through, Mother Earth will be the first brewery in the country to get the Gold level certification.

Incorporating Local Fruits and Hops

One of the most intriguing projects that Mother Earth is currently in the middle of now is called the Window Panes Series.

Mooring explains, “Window Panes is a collection of four North Carolina inspired beers; one beer will be released every quarter of 2012. Each beer is fermented with a North Carolina fruit (blackberries, raspberries, figs and peaches) and then barrel aged for up to three months in pinot noir, chardonnay, or brandy barrels.”

Blackberries was just released, and peaches will be released at the end of August. The Window Panes Series is in very small quantities, but will be available in the taproom at the brewery, as well as some stores in the state.

The brewery has also been getting involved with using their very own hops that come from Hill’s farm for special small batch beers (1 barrel) to be served at the taproom. It’s not easy to grow enough hops at the rate Mother Earth needs for their regular production, but Mooring is keeping his hopes up.

With the number of breweries in North Carolina, it is possible that hop farmers will look into growing in the state, as long as the warm weather does not present too much of a challenge. With big guys in the craft beer industry like Sierra Nevada (California) and New Belgium (Colorado) opening up their East coast breweries in the state, it seems that localized hops can be a true reality in the near future.

Mooring explains, “…we may start seeing more hop farmers pop up! Once the hop farmers get some time under their belt, who knows. It would be awesome to do some large scale batches with NC Hops.”

The Future of NC Beer

From the sounds of it, Mother Earth is continuing their quest on the road to becoming one of North Carolina’s influential breweries. They are certainly in the right state for it too. With gaining interest from bigger breweries (as mentioned above) and the community, North Carolina is quickly becoming the craft beer hub of the East Coast.

Come to any of the cities in North Carolina, and you will be quick to notice the high-level effort that goes into craft beer awareness, especially local breweries like Mother Earth. When I moved to Raleigh five months ago, I was overwhelmed by just how much was going on in the city, as well as the Triangle area in general (composed of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill).

Growing hops

Growing hops

Johnny Belflower, co-owner with Sean Pratt of Tasty Beverage Co. in downtown Raleigh explained to me that there’s a reason why he set up shop in his city and state.

“The Triangle is home to a large amount of craft beer enthusiasts, as well as people that whole-heartedly support local businesses”, says Belflower. “We were certainly confident that the city could support a store such as ours, and we are appreciative of the enthusiasm our customers have shown for beer.”

Tasty Beverage Co. is part of a big effort to bring many local beers such as Mother Earth in the hands of locals and visitors of the city. Mirroring the thoughts of Mooring, Belflower knows that things are growing fast, which should certainly bring more economic opportunity and cultural development for both breweries and consumer.

“We love North Carolina, and the craft beer community is growing exponentially. We’re very honored to be a part of it and excited to see what the future has in store for NC beer.

With so much going on, there seems to be little little cause for concern about the well-being of breweries like Mother Earth and the stores that emphasize local beer. I’ve only scraped the top of the many efforts being put in place, and while the hard work of local individuals has already gone quite distant, they would all agree that there is much more to be done.

Regardless, I know that I have moved here at the right time. 


Hailing from Syracuse, NY, Mike Lamardo is a blogger who makes contributions to sites on various subjects that range from tech and science news, entertainment, and most importantly, the awareness of craft beer. You can see his writing on sites like Green Upgrader, DX3, and others. Get in touch with Mike on Twitter @MikeLamardo for further discussions.




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Michael Lamardo

Mike Lamardo is a beer writer based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. During the day, Mike works as a writer and Internet marketer for Direct SAT TV. He is also the sole writer for Craft Beer Chat.

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