Notch’s second limited release, our new BSA Harvest Ale, was previewed at the Gulu Gulu in Salem during North Shore Beer Week last Thursday, and we’ll do the same tonight, October 7th at Clover in Harvard Square at 8PM. So it’s time for a bit of background on our first beer with an acronym in the name. This was a beer born purely from a desire to support the return of barley farming and malting to Massachusetts. Andrea and Christian Stanley started Valley Malt two years ago in Hadley, MA with the mission to malt barley and other grains from small local farms in Western Massachusetts. A seemingly reasonable business venture to those with no knowledge of the farming or brewing industry. But Valley Malt is the only malt house east of Wisconsin, and at a scale that is minuscule compared to their competition. Kind of reminds you of the craft beer industry 25 years ago, doesn’t it? So what Valley Malt has undertaken is no small challenge, however, brewers in New England have been lining up to support them, including Notch.