Crop Circle Beer

Long Island man imports grain from England for beer of mystery

Aug 27, 2004 - A Long Island man has partnered with Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue, N.Y., to sell a beer that stems from his fascination with crop circles, the mysterious shapes, some circular, that began appearing in English grain fields in the 1970s. Dudley Cates' Corp Circle Beer is brewed with barley grown in one of those fields.


"There's something very interesting as yet unexplained going on in those fields," Cates said. "Crop circles carry an aura of mystery. I thought to myself, this phenomenon is real."

Cates has been trying to develop a commercial beer for four years, starting with a microbrewery in Northern California and later at a Hartford brew pub. A partnership dispute and his inability to find someone to bottle the California beer put a quick end to that venture. The Hartford beer, a pale ale brewed with leftover malt from the California attempt, garnered little interest.

Now, Blue Point Brewing Co. is brewing the an English-style golden amber ale using Crop Circle Optic pale malt from Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire, England.

Cates and Blue Point bought eight tons of Crop Circle Optic pale malt from Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire, England. The malt is made from barley grown in the fields of Wiltshire farmer Tim Carson.

"I know it's really good stuff to make beer," said Bluford brewer Mark Burford, noting that he extracts more fermentable sugars and flavors from the Crop Circle malt than from the malts he usually uses. Burford is interested only in the beer, not the myths. "I leave the magical end to him," Burford said.

Cates' beer is available only on draft at a handful of bars in the Hamptons, in Manhattan and at one Long Island beer retailer, Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, which sells it in gallon jugs to go.

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