Here in the U.S. we can obtain hops from Argentina, barley malt from Canada, treat our water so that it tastes British and then pitch yeast cultured from Belgium, all so that we can enjoy a local beer. But what if we actually sourced all of our ingredients within a 100 miles of where it was brewed. Would we get a true sense of terroir in our pint glass? Water, hops and yeast certainly affect the flavors we find in our beer. However, malt has to be sprouted, dried and kilned, let alone blended before it heads to the brewery. For this reason, malt flavors can be generic and typically don’t offer a specific sense of place. While visiting Mecca Grade Estate, 7th generation farmer, Seth Klann had me taste the difference between barley that is most often used by breweries, and that which is grown on his farm. The difference in flavor was like that between craft beer and a macro brewed domestic lager. This begs the question, how much better can our beer get if we give as much attention to our ingredients as the beer we brew from it?