The night before my senior thesis/recital in college, I remember stopping by my friend Mara's apartment with some friends of mine, we were chatting and processing the intense recital season that was coming to a close. As I sat on her couch, she offered me some Ginger Libation, and as a relatively new drinker, I had never heard of it before. It has since maintained its status as one of my very favorites. I was eager to learn more about this product and agreed that it was the perfect first focus for our "Behind the Bar" series for this blog.
Founded in 2013 by the owners of Katalyst Kombucha LLC and Green River Ambrosia LLC; Artisan Beverage Cooperative, or ARTBEV, is located close by in Greenfield Massachusetts. They have a number of creations under their belt, including three drinks we carry here at Gateway City Arts, their Katalyst Kombucha, Green River Ambrosia, and Ginger Libation. Ginger Libation is an age old beverage that disappeared during prohibition and returned recently along with other ginger beer varieties. Ginger Libation is gluten-free with no sulfates added and is created with organic, fair-trade, or local ingredients. Visit their website to learn more about their process!
Their guiding principals (taken from their website) are:
-Trade directly with local farmers when possible and purchase internationally from democratically-organized small farmer cooperatives
-Pay producers a price that provides them with a stable income enabling them to invest in their communities.
-Provide high-quality products
-Support sustainable farming practices
-Build a democratically-run cooperative workplace
-Develop more environmentally sound business practices
Hi there, Liz! We are thrilled to have the chance to ask you some questions about your company Artisan Beverage Cooperative, and your product Ginger Libation! Can you tell us a little about your company’s mission and what you do?
Artisan Beverage Cooperative is a worker owned coop that is based in Greenfield MA...Art Bev is dedicated to working with local farmers whenever possible and exclusively with fair trade distributors when not. We are passionate about supporting sustainable agriculture.
Tell us more about what it means to be a worker-owned cooperative and how that influences the style of the company you run.
It definitively makes us feel proud about what we do. It may raise our price a little, but we feel that it is worth it.
How does Ginger Libation compare to other ginger drinks that are out there, such as other ginger beers?
It definitely holds up.
We love all three of your Ginger Libation varieties (Ginger Libation, Local Libation, and Blueberry Libation), can we expect any new varieties in the coming year?
Yes! We just released a coconut flavor and a spicy version will be out in March.
You are relatively local, can you tell us where else in the country ginger lovers can find your beverage?
We are in MA, Maine, CT, VT, RI, and in select areas of Florida,Texas, and California
We also carry your Katalyst Kombucha and Green River Ambrosis Mead. Can you tell us a bit about them?
Mead is the oldest fermented drink known to exist. We brew ours with local honey, mainly from Warm Colors Apiary in South Deefield. Kombucha is a traditionally fermented tea rich in probiotics. Katalyus Kombucha uses organic and fair trade ingredients and tea and sugar that comes from Equal Exchange.
What are some of the other great products that you have created?
We also brew a cold brew, nitro coffee in collaboration with Equal Exchange.
What’s next for Artisan Beverage Cooperative’s creations?
Just growing. We have a wonderful new refrigeration system and a lovely tap room in the CDC Building where we are located and brew.
(above photo displays members of the ARTBEV team and is curtesy of artbev.coop)
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BISTRO PAIRING SUGGESTION FROM OUR CHEFS AT GCA: Ginger Libation goes GREAT with anything curry! We suggest you try one of our specials: Yellow Curry Chicken served with Rice, which just so happens to be one of our options today!
Interested in learning more?
Come on down to Gateway City Arts and have a drink at our beautiful bar! Ginger Libation is just one of the amazing local creations we are proud to carry on tap!
In addition to what we have on site here, ARTBEV has a tasting room, you should stop by!
Hours: Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday 2-6 pm
Location: 324 Wells Street, Greenfield, MA at the Franklin County Community Development Center (Franklin County CDC).