Old River Farms / Flying Machine Brewing Co. collaboration! Read below to find out how Wilmington’s hottest new brewery is supporting local farms and helping us raise the best beef we’ve ever produced!
Back in August of this year Matt from Flying Machine Brewing contacted us and asked if we would like to use their spent beer grain as cow feed. All we had to do was come pick it up. Not the type to turn down free feed, or a perhaps a free beer, we said, “well sure, why not!” and made the trip into the big city to see what this craft beer operation was all about. We were AMAZED! We had been to a couple breweries before but nothing on this scale. These fellas are SERIOUS about their beer and the quality is immediately evident. They source only the finest, highest quality barley, oats and wheat to create their unique tasty brews. When they are done with the grain, why waste it, it makes for excellent animal feed! Again this grain is much higher quality than what you’d find in conventional bag feed and Flying Machine is using whole a lot of it!
Are your cows no longer grass fed? Raising 100% grass fed beef has its advantages and its drawbacks. We’ve always been proud of how we raise our animals. We do not use added growth hormones, antibiotics, or feed lots. Just big, beautiful, healthy cows, with plenty of space, eating natural grass like they’re supposed to. Simple as that. It’s as healthy as beef gets. But there is a downside (for some folks that is). Grass fed beef is very lean. Very little fat. Lean meat, means tough meat. It has to be marinated and tenderized. There’s also the flavor. While lots of people do enjoy the strong, slightly gamey taste of natural grass fed meat (similar to wild game), those that are new to its flavor may not enjoy it as much. It’s an acquired taste as they say. We’ve always known this but we also did not want to set up feed lots for our cows, nor could we afford to feed them that much safe natural grain. That’s where Flying Machine Brewing has really helped us out. They have been giving us 1000lbs or more of their spent grain every week and our cows absolutely LOVE it! So technically, no, our cows are no longer 100% grass fed, but they are also not subjected to feed lot conditions. They are still pasture grazing on bermuda, rye, fescue, wheat and oat grass their entire lives. The beer grain is a treat for them and is only a very small portion of their diet. This amount does not disrupt their gastrointestinal/digestive system and they are still able to digest vitamin rich grass as normal.
How does this affect the meat? While our beef is still much leaner (and of course healthier) than what you’d find in conventional grocery stores, we now have a bit more marbling in our steaks. This makes for a more tender piece of meat than what we have produced before. The biggest change we have noticed is the flavor. It is wonderful! We have been able to retain that bold beef flavor we love without the gamey undertones associated with grass fed meat. We really are thrilled with the outcome! *I will note: Our steaks are absolutely ideal cooked medium rare. Medium if you must. If you like well-done, they will become tough.
How can you purchase? We only process one grass fed/beer grain fed cow at this time, so supplies do not last long. Rather than selling as entire 100lb quarters as we normally do, we’ve broken it down into 3 different smaller, affordable boxes:
**LIMITED AVAILABILITY. PLEASE CALL US DIRECTLY TO RESERVE YOUR MEAT ORDER 910-616-5884**
Grillin’ Box: ~20lbs, ~$180 All your favorite cuts for the grill, cast iron or smoker!  Bone-in Ribeyes  T-Bones  Sirloin  NY Strip  Brisket (3-4lb)
Crock Pot Box: ~20lbs, ~$160 Perfect cuts for low and slow cookin’, crock pot or pressure cooker.  Sirloin Tip Roast  Chuck Roast  Short Ribs  Leg Shank (cross cut steaks)  Stew Beef (cubed, 1lb packages) Burger Box 10lbs, $70 The best darn ground beef we’ve had! (90/10 lean/fat) Put em’ on the grill. Cast iron pan fry. Use in chili, tacos, spaghetti sauce. Options are endless!