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Mention a CSA, which stands for community-supported agriculture, and most people think of a box of seasonal fruits and vegetables from a local farm. They might also think of spring, summer, and fall, when CSAs typically operate. Enter a wintertime take on the premise: Call to Arms Brewing Company’s CSA, in which the acronym stands for community-supported artisans.
Call to Arms has been running their CSA program since 2016, when the Berkeley brewer joined forces with three other Denver producers—Raleigh Street Bakery, Il Porcellino Salumeria, and Rebel Farm—to offer beer, bread, meat, and fresh vegetables in a weekly package. But this season, there are new additions to the culinary lineup: Raleigh Street Bakery, which sells bread at the brewery every Monday, is on board, as well as Lakewood’s Colorado Craft Butchers and the Noshery, a Regis neighborhood mainstay known for desserts and savory goods.
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For $60 a week ($480 upfront) beginning on January 28, participants can swing by Call to Arms on Mondays and pick up their box. Its contents will vary weekly, but it will always include your choice of two 32-ounce crowlers (or one 64-ounce growler) of Call to Arms beer, a loaf of Raleigh Street’s naturally leavened bread, one or two different cuts of Colorado Craft Butchers’ meat—either antibiotic- and hormone-free wagyu beef or ethically-sourced pork. The surprise element will come from the Noshery, which might include Bloody Mary mix, homemade pickles, take-and-bake cinnamon rolls, or a decadent chocolate cake, depending on the week. Each box includes enough food-and-drink for two people to enjoy a couple of meals and a few snacks.
“In the past, we’ve had boxes with contents that don’t really go together, so the customer has had to get more creative,” says David Kaminer, owner of Raleigh Street Bakery. “But this year we’re going to make them cohesive and plan little meals for people.” First on the calendar is a brunch themed box, and there’s talk of “bahn mi,” “Valentine’s Day,” and “St.Paddy’s Day” variations down the line. When the warmer weather returns, fresh produce will be added back into the mix, and there’s hope of partnering with a local cheese purveyor too.
“The value is great. People want to support local and don’t want to necessarily shop in big grocery stores, and we make it really convenient and fun. The energy on any given Monday is really positive,” says Bissy Guadiano, Call to Arms’ Taproom Manager and Events Coordinator. And while the new iteration of this CSA program will be initially capped at 30 participants, the suppliers are open to expansion down the road should more Denverites demand it.
Sign up for your CSA share at Call to Arms’ taproom (4526 Tennyson St.) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) from now until January 23.