Lugene Sas quietly works his corner of creation as an organic dairy farmer. So he was as surprised as anyone when Odell’s Brewery named a beer after him. “Why me? I didn’t want to offend anybody,” he said. “The only thing that matters is God be praised.
Lugene’s Chocolate Milk Stout was released on January 6.
Sas’s rusty blue Chevy pick-up is a familiar sight at the brewery. For 15 years, Sas, a member of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, Fort Collins, Colo., has picked up spent hops from the brewery to feed the 18 Guernsey, Holstein, and Brown Swiss cows that he calls his “girls.” Sas owns Taft Hill, a raw milk dairy that sells only to people who buy shares of a particular cow and its milk.
Taft Hill Dairy and Odell’s Brewery both benefit from the relationship. The brewery is happy to have its spent grain taken away; Sas is delighted at a source of high-protein grain to mix into the feed for his cows. It’s a win-win situation.
Recently an employee at Odell’s followed Sas for a day to document the process the hops follow from beer to cow feed to milk. “Lugene has been an extended part of our brewery family for over a decade. His smiling face and kind spirit permeates our walls. We have a great appreciation for his work and role in the cycle of our business,” said Amanda Johnson-King, marketing and branding manager at Odell’s.
Odell Brewery describes Lugene’s Chocolate Milk Stout as “a full-bodied stout . . . reminiscent of a glass of chocolate milk.”
Sas is not a big beer drinker himself, but he has come to appreciate the business. “It’s a craft for them,” he said.
On the release date, members from Immanuel CRC went to the brewery to get some of the first of the beer and T-shirts. Many others offered their congratulations. “It has only been positive,” said Sas.
“I think it is such a good example of our Reformed theology, of ‘every square inch’ belonging to Christ. Lugene sees his work very much as a calling,” said John Terpstra, pastor of Immanuel CRC.