New ale paired with photo exhibit to celebrate harvest season

  • Ashfield photographer Erik Hoffner captures a handful of fiddleheads during fiddlehead season, typically considered late April, May and early June in the Northeast. A selection of Hoffner’s photos focused on wild food foraging are on display at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls. Contributed Photo/Erik Hoffner

  • A photo of freshly picked mushrooms by Ashfield photographer Erik Hoffner is just one of the images on display at Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls celebrating the fall harvest season.

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2021 2:06:01 PM

In celebration of the fall harvest season, Floodwater Brewing Co. in Shelburne Falls is pairing its new harvest ale with a photo exhibit focused on wild food foraging.

Ashfield photographer Erik Hoffner selected prints from his “Hunter/Gatherer” photo series to be hung in the Floodwater Brewing taproom in Shelburne Falls through Oct. 15. The brewery at 40 State St. is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.

“Come by for delicious brews and views,” Hoffner suggests.

Zack Livingston, owner of Floodwater Brewing Co. who is also son of the Greenfield Recorder’s editor-in-chief, recently released a new harvest ale, called Fine Line, which is now on tap. Livingston said typical wheat beers use around 50 percent wheat, but Fine Line is a bit lighter at around 40 percent. The use of an English ale yeast — which has a crisper finish than the notes of clove or banana flavor expected in hefeweizen or wheat beers — blends with a Munich malt that carries a residual sweetness.

“I knew Erik had done a lot of photography, so it was pretty neat to have him ask to put them up here,” Livingston said of installing the photo exhibit. “I had told him in the past that I’d seen photos of his on frozen ice fishing holes that looked very interstellar, and how it would be cool to have them here. He suggested the foraging photos and we threw them up.”

Livingston said the flavors of the Fine Line harvest ale are complemented nicely by the Ashfield-based photographer’s images. The photo series celebrates the harvest, “both wild and cultivated,” Hoffner explained. The images document “just a few of the myriad ways people pursue wild food, from pheasant and deer to wild herbs, fruits and mushrooms.”

“Foraging for wild food is how many people around here connect most directly with our landscape,” Hoffner said. “I’m really interested in this, plus wildcrafting and hunting are extremely photogenic activities, so I started following friends and acquaintances as they pursued these wild foods in the forests and fields of Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire counties. Images hanging in Floodwater’s taproom represent all these places, and feature everything from hunting wild asparagus to fiddleheads, mushrooms and turkeys.”

To view more of Hoffner’s images, visit erikhoffner.com/gallery. More information on Floodwater Brewing can be found at floodwaterbrewing.com or facebook.com/floodwaterbrewingco.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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