Columbus, OH—To toast 40 years of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), Fibonacci Brewing Company and OEFFA will tap the first keg of This is Spelta!, a special all-Ohio beer brewed for the occasion. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, October 12, at Fibonacci’s Mt. Healthy tap room and will feature remarks from some of OEFFA’s Cincinnati-area founding members and special tours of the brewery.
Located in Hamilton County, Fibonacci is a family-owned nanobrewery founded by Betty and Bob Bollas. The brewery produces a wide variety of craft beers, concentrating on non-traditional and hybrid beer styles. Proud supporters of local agriculture, the brewers source from a variety of Ohio farms, grow their own ingredients on Fib Farm, and host the Fibonacci Mt. Healthy Farmers’ Market on Sundays.
For the special anniversary beer, brewer Bob Bollas pursued a concept for an Ohio “common beer,” an indigenous brew fermented at high temperatures and aged for a very short period of time. Common beers are throwbacks to a time when brewers lacked refrigeration and had to get creative with ingredients they had available locally.
“I had been toying with the concept and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to create one,” Bob Bollas said. “We wanted to brew something uniquely Ohio.”
This is Spelta! is a “spelt-meal” stout featuring organic spelt from Stutzman Farms in Holmes County.
Ohio is a pivotal state in spelt’s history in the Americas. First brought to the state in the 19th century by Swiss and German immigrants, spelt fell out of fashion because of the hull around its grain. Huron County seedsman W.B. French and Ohio State University wheat breeder Hal Lafever revitalized the crop in the ’70s and ’80s.
“Today, Ohio is an important producer of organic spelt. In fact, according the USDA’s 2016 Certified Organic Survey, Ohio is No. 1 in organic spelt farms. Many of our organic grain farmers include it in their rotation, making it a unique part of our past and our present,” added OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland. “We are so excited to be doing this with Fibonacci. This collaboration really highlights what is possible when family farmers and family businesses work together.”
OEFFA, comprised of farmers, homesteaders, gardeners, activists, and food lovers, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019. The organization planned a year’s worth of special events to commemorate the milestone.
In addition to the Fibonacci keg tapping, other 40th anniversary events included farm-to-table dinners at Jorgensen Farms and Maplestar Farm in August, and an upcoming open house in November, all of which are featured in the 2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate 40 years of providing education and assistance to the good farmers who are growing good food on the good land for which they are the caretakers,” Goland said. “We were founded by visionaries committed to creating a more healthful food system. What might have been a dream in 1979 is a greater reality each and every year as society has come to share an understanding of the importance of agriculture in creating a sustainable future.”
From early meetings in living rooms, to a humble church basement office, to owning a picturesque Clintonville headquarters housing more than 30 staff members, OEFFA has continued to grow and evolve over the years.
Today, OEFFA boasts more than 4,000 members and hosts Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture conference. In addition to offering education and technical assistance, as a national leader in the sustainable agriculture community, OEFFA works with policymakers in the Statehouse and Washington D.C. on behalf of sustainable and organic farmers. In 1981, OEFFA founded one of the first organic certification programs in the nation and currently certifies more than 1,300 farms and processing facilities in Ohio and other states.
A suggested donation of $10 at the door for the October 12 Toast to Ohio’s Harvest Keg Tapping event at Fibonnaci Brewing Company will support OEFFA. OEFFA anniversary beer and other Fibonacci offerings will be available for purchase. No pre-registration is required.
More details about OEFFA’s 40th anniversary events are available at www.oeffa.org/news/40-years and information about other events in the 2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series is available atwww.oeffa.org/news/farm-tours-2019.