From farm to stein: The Commons to collaborate with brewer ahead of gala

Written by

Aaron Rogers on July 9, 2024



From farm to stein: The Commons to collaborate with brewer ahead of gala
(Photo by Aaron Rogers for the Daily Press)
Matt Leef of Open Space Brewing explains the brewing process to a contingent from The Commons: Center for Food Security and Sustainability in the process of making a beer they will celebrate in collaboration at the upcoming The Art of Food Gala on July 20.
From farm to stein: The Commons to collaborate with brewer ahead of gala
(Photo by Aaron Rogers for the Daily Press)
Leef directs Iris Nolasco, director of The Commons, in how to mash in the grain, one of the first steps in making the beer.

By AARON ROGERS
Daily Press Correspondent
Last week, a contingent of representatives from The Commons: Center for Food Security and Sustainability visited Open Space Brewing Company in Santa Clara to check out the process that owner Matt Leef is using to brew a new beer that will be released in conjunction with the food security nonprofit.
In addition, The Commons will have Open Space Brewing as a beverage vendor at their upcoming Gala in the Garden, set for July 20 from 6 to 10 p.m.
“The theme we chose this year is ‘The Art of Food,’” said Iris Nolasco, director of The Commons. “We chose ‘The Art of Food’ to highlight these small craft vendors within our community.
“Open Space Brewery is small but getting going, and we want to be able to celebrate that and make sure that we are helping grow the economy as well,” she continued. “We are going to have vendors like TGI Frybread there. We are going to have some other home cooks who are using (our) commercial kitchen to cook, including the Mint Chip Creamery. We believe that food is what brings us together, and we see that every day — and so the gala is raising funds to support all the activities that we do.”
Part of the celebration is to collaborate with Open Space for a plum saison brew that will be released this month. The craft beer is brewed using Silver City produce, including from the garden at The Commons.
The gala is an important annual fundraiser supporting much of the activity that The Commons is responsible for throughout the year.
“At The Commons, we have our food distributions that feed Grant County,” Nolasco said. “We do five different distributions feeding over 700 families each month. A family can include one person or four people, so that comes out to a good percentage of the county.
“We also have our gardens and educational space for people to learn how to do food production, what that looks like, harvesting,” she continued.
In addition, The Commons works to help people who are looking to start or expand a business in the food industry.
“We have a commercial kitchen for folks to come in and use,” Nolasco said. “So people just getting started can utilize The Commons’ commercial kitchen and can salsa or do things like that as a value-added product if they are looking to start or expand their own small business.”
Other plans for The Commons include expanding their footprint in the county.
“We are already in the Mining District,” Nolasco said. “We just don’t have a location that is our own. We operate out of the Fort Bayard Theater with our monthly pantry distribution. We have been talking with the village of Santa Clara about purchasing a plot of land on that main Fort Bayard Street so that we can move our monthly distribution into a permanent location. We are basically looking at immediately trying to move the food distribution, but do it in a new way like we did in Silver City with our Choose Your Own Pantry so that folks can come in and have a little more autonomy over what goes into their food boxes.”
The Art of Food Gala is July 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. and is open to anyone. Tickets cost $35 and are available through the thecommonsgrantcounty.org or at their office, located at 501 E. 13th St. in Silver City.
“We have a lot of people on the ground collecting sponsorships and items for an auction,” Nolasco said.
Aaron Rogers may be reached at [email protected].