By Jason Beale, Manager, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center
Historically, mills connected communities together as a gathering place. That tradition has continued to the present day through Delaware Nature Society’s partnership at the mill with Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. This fall, the connection was taken to a new level as Abbott’s Mill collaborated with Dogfish Head Craft-brewed Ales, Fifer Orchards, and University of Delaware to produce DNA (Delaware Native Ale). Dogfish Head owner and founder Sam Calagione wanted to highlight the benefits of local partnerships.
Abbott’s Mill became involved in the DNA project in late summer, which required some experimentation with the mill equipment to find the perfect grind.
Millers Elliott Workman, Stephen Childers, and Paul Layton worked with Dogfish Head Brewing Supervisor, Jesse Prall, producing the first consumable product in almost 50 years on the 19th century roller mills.
The ground barley was produced exclusively by renewable hydro power provided by the Abbott’s Mill Pond, which dates back to 1795.
Aside from this “green source of blue energy”, Delaware Nature Society’s and Dogfish Head’s sustainability initiatives dovetailed on a recent rain barrel program. Dogfish’s Events Czar and Sustainability Guru, Mark Carter, supplied Abbott’s Mill with empty ingredient barrels used in the creation of specialty brews, Midas touch and Fort. On Thursday, October 27th, a dozen adults convened at the mill to turn these brewery cast-offs into rain barrels.
Many thanks to Dogfish Head Craft-brewed Ales and the DNA collaborators for including Abbott’s Mill in this unique “Delaware-centric” endeavor.
Please check out the video highlighting the production of Delaware Native Ale . Enjoy!