Meet Legendary Roots Brewing Supply: the feature family business that is the focus of this installation of Proudly Not Made By Robots, our series on the people, suppliers and customers that make Scratchtown who we are.
Legendary Roots is the brain child of the Wagner Family Farm, located in Mira Valley about 7 miles south of Ord. The Wagners (Larry Wagner, Marty Wagner, Chuck Wagner, Therese (Wagner) Hulme, Kevin Wagner and Michael Wagner) determined three years ago that diversifying into a variety of agricultural products that support brewing was a path to create additional on-farm income, along with providing premium ingredients for another love of theirs: beer.
So let’s get to know Legendary Roots Brewing Supply.
Where did you grow up?
All members of our ownership group grew up here in Valley County on a farm 5 miles southwest of Ord. We all graduated from Ord High (s/o to the classes of 72, 73, 75, 78, 82, & 87) and although we are geographically dispersed now, we still consider Ord as being “back home”.
What is your favorite SBC beer? Favorite non-SBC beer?
We have lots of opinions on this one…Wonder Twins is a fave, Lord of Ord, Silver-tongued Devil and of course, and Wagner Pils (hopped exclusively with our Chinook hops). Since starting our hop yard we enjoyed expanding our beer horizons a little bit to learn about different beer styles and how hops can influence those styles. We love doing lots of “market research” at breweries and tap rooms across the state. Among non-SBC beers Boulevard’s Tank 7 and Kros Strain Fairy Nectar are really tasty.
Think back to your most memorable brewery experience: where and why?
We are regulars in the SBC tap room and we simply enjoy getting together to check out the latest brews. Every time we head to SBC, we often say that we’ll only stay for “One Ping Only”…a reference to a Sean Connery movie line. Well, we rarely stay for just one “ping” so, now it’s become a standing joke anytime we contemplate a trip to a brewery.
What do you do at your hopyard? Any particular items of interest we should know about?
Well of course we grow hops, right? …we also harvest, dry and bale our hops on site. We also have several bee hives we are attempting to coax into producing some honey for us each year. We’ve also planted some fruit trees that we hope someday may provide us with some peaches, apples and even black currants.
Why did you get into growing hops?
Like many ag producers, we are always on the lookout for ways to diversify our farm operation beyond just our current rotation of corn and soybeans. Growing hops looked like a great way to diversify and so we’re evaluating how well they work for our operation. And the bonus is that the farm smells awesome when it gets close to hop harvest.
What are you most proud of at Legendary Roots?
We love being part of Nebraska’s Craft beer industry and seeing and tasting how brewers turn our hops into “beer art” is a lot of fun. We are most proud of how Valley County’s terroir (the flavor that our soil imparts on hops) grows some fabulous tasting hops. Finally, our hops have done really well in state wide brewing competitions including winning first and third place medals in the Top Hop last fall; we love seeing brewers win hardware with Legendary Roots hops in their winning beers!