Stoneman Brewery, Real Pickles honored with Good Food Awards

Katie Korby and Kristin Howard, of Real Pickles in Greenfield, at the Good Food Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on April 29.

Katie Korby and Kristin Howard, of Real Pickles in Greenfield, at the Good Food Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on April 29. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Justin Korby, founder and sole brewer of Stoneman Brewery in Colrain, at the Good Foods Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on April 29.

Justin Korby, founder and sole brewer of Stoneman Brewery in Colrain, at the Good Foods Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on April 29. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 05-09-2024 2:37 PM

Two area businesses were recognized at the recent Good Food Awards, held on April 29 in Portland, Oregon.

Real Pickles, a worker co-operative based in Greenfield, won a Good Food Award for its organic sauerkraut and Stoneman Brewery of Colrain won for its Vert Frisson Saison.

Now in its 14th year, the Good Food Awards recognized 215 exceptional food and drink crafters in 18 categories from 38 states. Chosen through a blind tasting and sustainability vetting process from nearly 2,000 entries, the winners rose to the top on the basis of taste, while also demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustainable environmental and social practices.

According to an announcement from Stoneman Brewery, the Vert Frisson Saison was developed in collaboration with the Forest Kitchen project, which partners with chefs and local food producers to make use of some of the biodiverse plants it identifies. The beer features early spring evergreen tips from hemlock, fir, spruce, white pine and yellow pine, plus a hint of dried spring nettles, giving it a “unique herbal and floral profile with distinct pine notes from the fresh forest ingredients.”

The beer was originally crafted as a single batch, but the award recognition has led to a second batch, to be produced later this year.

“It’s a true honor to receive a Good Food Award for the second time, standing alongside respected names like Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Maine Beer Co.,” Justin Korby, founder and sole brewer at Stoneman Brewery, said in a statement. The business’ Tractor Ryed IPA was honored in 2019. “This accolade reaffirms our dedication to crafting beers that are not only flavorful but also made in collaboration with other artists and craftspeople in the community, and highlight the best local ingredients. We are thrilled to continue offering our innovative and sustainable beers to the customers that enjoy them.”

In its announcement, Real Pickles explained its organic sauerkraut passed a vetting process to ensure it met the Good Food Awards’ standards of ingredient sourcing and environmentally sound agricultural practices. The cooperative buys more than 450,000 pounds of certified organic produce each year, exclusively from Northeast family farms. The organic green cabbage used in the winning recipe was grown by area farms, including Atlas Farm in South Deerfield and Harlow Farm in Westminster, Vermont.

Real Pickles, which has been in operation since 2001, produces fermented vegetables, including sauerkraut, kimchi, dill pickles and other traditional pickled foods. The company’s products are sold in more than 700 retail outlets in the Northeast. In addition to purchasing from Northeast organic farms and distributing its products only within the Northeast region, Real Pickles’ commitment to sustainability includes operating out of an energy-efficient and solar-powered facility.

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“We’re so proud to receive this award,” Kristin Howard, general manager of Real Pickles, said in a statement. “Producing food that is both delicious and grown in our region is at the core of Real Pickles’ mission, and we’re honored to be recognized by the Good Food Foundation, alongside producers nationwide who have similar values.”

For the full list of Good Food Award winners, visit goodfoodfdn.org/awards/winners/2024.