Mechanicsburg, PA - Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding shadowed a PA Preferred brewer to celebrate Pennsylvania’s booming craft beer industry during “Brewer for a Day” at Appalachian Brewing Company. Redding and artisan brewer Artie Tafoya crafted a PA Preferred Pale Ale with ingredients grown on Pennsylvania farms.
“It was a privilege to learn tricks of the trade from a skilled artisan who has helped make Pennsylvania the top craft beer producer in the nation,” said Redding. “Pennsylvania’s craft brewers are some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial people in the food and beverage industry. Brewers like Artie Tafoya have recognized and seized an opportunity to give consumers what they want – a local product from a face they know.”
Earlier this month, Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin tried his hand at Brewer for a Day at East End Brewing Company in Pittsburgh, celebrating the industry’s growth and impact on the economy and tourism.
Pennsylvania is number one in the U.S. in craft beer production with more than 3.7 million barrels a year. Craft brewing has grown from 88 craft breweries in 2011 to 354 this year. It generates $5.78 billion for our state economy and is responsible for 10,000 jobs across the state.
PA Preferred is the statewide promotional program helping consumers to recognize locally grown products and offering marketing opportunities to growers. The PA Preferred symbol assures consumers that what they are buying is produced in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvanians.
Appalachian Brewing Company is one of more than 2,000 PA Preferred members. The brewery has produced several seasonal and year-round PA Preferred Brews, including Farm Show Pale Ale – a seasonal brew launched to celebrate the 2019 PA Farm Show. PA Preferred Brews are made with ingredients like hops and grain produced in Pennsylvania, and locally grown fruit and other ingredients.
“I’d like to thank Secretary Redding for taking the time to visit and brew with us at Appalachian Brewing Company,” said ABC Co-Owner and Brewmaster Artie Tafoya. “As Harrisburg's first brewery since the end of the prohibition era, we are proud to carry on the legacy of Pennsylvania brewing. It was great to reflect on the importance of breweries as gathering places for the local community and visitors outside PA with our state’s Secretary of Agriculture!”
The PA Preferred program expands under the PA Farm Bill, a package of legislation Governor Tom Wolf signed in July, building opportunities and continuing investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture and food industry. Modeled after the governor’s six-point plan to cultivate future generations of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, the bill provides for business development and succession planning, accommodations for a growing animal agriculture sector, removing regulatory burdens, strengthening the ag workforce, protecting infrastructure, and making Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state.
The bill creates state-level Specialty Crop Block Grants that will open later this fall, supporting marketing and research for crops like hops that are increasingly in demand given the growth in the craft brewing industry.
Find more info online at papreferred.com. For more information about the PA Farm Bill, and investments to support Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628
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