1000 x 90

West Jefferson Tap Room and Restaurant, Boondocks Brewing, Takes on the Dig into Local 90 Day Challenge

By Erika Giovanetti

July 8, 2013. The benefits of buying locally grown food affect not only our state’s economy, but also the impact we have on the environment. Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant of West Jefferson is among dozens of North Carolina restaurants participating in the Dig into Local 90 Day Challenge, which requires restaurants to customize dishes featuring products from North Carolina.Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant Sunset 1

The Dig into Local 90 Day Challenge promotes bounteous N.C. produce by encouraging chefs to craft dishes featuring new menu options grown locally. The challenge takes place from June 1 until August 31 to take full advantage of the crops’ yielding season, from about June to September.

Boondocks Brewing has been making the transition to locally grown ingredients since the beginning of the year. Hamburger, lettuce, pork chops, sausage and oysters are among the many things bought locally. The restaurant’s owner, Gary Brown, estimates that 60 percent of the food served at Boondocks is raised in Ashe County or North Carolina.

“The way we look at it, if we buy local, it’s keeping local money in the local economy, which allows the farmers to sustain their living,” said Brown. “It’s a good way to give back to the local community.”

Brown and his chefs visit the West Jefferson Farmers’ Market every Saturday to create special menu items for the weekend. The restaurant’s brewery recently crafted a Cinnamon Basil Blonde Ale made from some ingredients bought from the farmer’s market.

Restaurants participating in the challenge are required to display information about the local ingredients, including the farm in which it originated, on the menu for the respective dishes. The restaurants are also required to submit a summary at the end of the challenge period with information about the new menu items. At the end of the challenge, restaurants are judged on their new local dishes, and the winner will receive a customized marketing package.

“This 90-day challenge is a great opportunity for local chefs to connect with local farmers, and for consumers to sample the wide variety of foods grown, raised or processed in the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We want consumers to know that whether they are shopping in a supermarket or eating at a restaurant, they can always find fresh and delicious North Carolina products.”

Buying local is a great opportunity to bring the community together. For more information on the Dig into Local 90 Day Challenge, visit here. To learn more about the Boondocks Brewery, contact Gary Brown at [email protected] or call the restaurant at 336-246-5222.