Crafting a craft beer

By  | 

BARTON, N.D. - The crops North Dakota farmers grow end up in lots of food. But very few producers are able to trace their wheat to a specific loaf of bread or durum to a brand of pasta.

One can. In fact this grower's barley fields are even featured on the product's packaging.

Josh Stutrud knows exactly where the kernels going into his hopper are headed.

"It's really enjoyable because you're actually able to grab a Dakota Soul and be able to say, 'I know this is my barley in it,'" said Josh, Barton.

Josh is a sixth generation farmer. He grows barley for the Summit Brewing Company.

Josh Stutrud: "If you talk to a lot of brewers, barley is actually the soul of beer, where hops are more just the spice. Since the barley came from North Dakota, and barley is the soul, that is why they decided to name it Dakota Soul," said Josh.

This crop is headed straight to Minneapolis.

"We use 100-percent barley malt in our beer; we're very old fashioned that way," said Mark Stutrud, President and founder of Summit Brewing Company.

The Summit Brewing Company produces 12 different craft beers. It's sold in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota.

"Summit has always done well for us," said Shawn Sanford, Walrus Restaurant manager.

He says Dakota Soul has a full taste with lots of flavor.

"If you've never drank a craft beer, you could easily drink it, it's a very approachable beer, but with lots of taste," said Sanford.

Summit Brewing was founded in 1986 and produced 500 barrels the first year of operation. Last year the company sold 120,000 barrels.

"On every can, every bottle and every 12-pack or 6-pack, if you look right left of the Summit emblem there's Rugby and then there's Barton." said Josh.

Barley, the pride of of this Dakota farmer.

Farmers planted 440,000 acres of barley in the state this year. North Dakota is the third largest producer of barley in the United States.