Drinking Indiana Agriculture (ISDA’s Holiday Gift Guide)

Need a last minute gift idea?  Indiana agriculture comes in many forms and it may be the present you’re looking for to finish

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

English: A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

your Christmas shopping. To celebrate the season, I compiled gift ideas from some of the staff here at ISDA.

On Wednesday, I shared some ideas for edible gifts of Indiana agriculture.  Today, I’m excited to share information about various beverages you can find that are produced and/or processed in our great state

Wine

Did you know that Indiana was the site of the first commercial winery in the United States? The wine industry took root in our state in the early 1800s in Vevay, Ind.  Following the Prohibition, Indiana wine production significantly diminished.  However, the Small Winery Act of 1971 re-ignited the industry and today we have more than 75 wineries dotted throughout our state.  Check out this map and pick up a bottle of wine for someone on your Christmas list.

Indiana’s signature grape is the Traminette and it pairs well with pork, turkey, seafood and Asian cuisine.

Beer

Beer also has a long history in our state.  From what historians can gather, the first commercial brewery was established in 1816 near Richmond Indiana.  Like Indiana’s wine industry, our beer industry shrank during the Prohibition and began to recently re-emerge.  Visit Indiana Beer for a list of current microbreweries, and make plans to stop by one and pick-up a six-pack.

Dairy

Milk and cookies are a natural pairing for the holiday season.  Did you know that when you buy milk from the grocery store, you’re supporting Indiana’s dairy farmers?  I think a milk and cookies basket would be the perfect gift for neighbors.

Coffee roasting/Tea blending

Although Indiana doesn’t produce tea or coffee, our state is home to a variety of processors who roast coffee and blend tea.  As an avid connoisseur of hot beverages, I’m somewhat familiar with the coffee and tea scene in Indiana.  Julian Roasters and Tea Pots ‘n’ Treasures are just two examples of Indiana’s offerings in this segment of agriculture.

Not only are these beverages wonderful gift ideas, they can also become the means of establishing traditions with family and friends.  For example, why not try a new variety of coffee from an Indiana roaster to serve Christmas morning when opening gifts with family? Or, open a bottle of Traminette to usher in the New Year?

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