Can a microbrewery really succeed and grow using 100% local ingredients?

I’ve heard of a few microbreweries making a commitment to use 100% local ingredients, which seems respectable, and eco-friendly. One such microbrewery is the Erie Canal Brewing Company in Conastota, NY. Erie Canal Brewing Company is a new micro… err, nano-brewery creating libations in a one-barrel brewhouse. (source)

Using ingredients that are exclusively local will put the operation high on the good-will-o-meter, but what if local producers cannot produce enough to supply the operation? What if there’s an unusual fungus that limits the local hops yield? Will a limited local supply prevent the brewery from growing? To minimize these risks, I think breweries should be researching and experimenting with ingredients from local and regional suppliers.

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