Craft Brew

Most Flavorful Breads, Very Beautiful Implements

I was not surprised when famed culinary host Guy Fieri of the Food Network’s hit TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” selected Richland’s Ethos Bakery to feature for an upcoming episode. Ethos founders Angela Kora and Scott Newell manage one of our areas most popular eateries and one trip inside their attractive space offers proof through aroma and flavor of some of the finest breads, soups, and pastries available anywhere in the region. Small wonder Angela and Scott and their talented team were accorded such an accolade. We at Palouse Heritage were especially pleased because we have long been supplying Ethos with heritage grains like Crimson Turkey wheat and Purple Egyptian barley which they mill on site for the freshest baked products possible.

Ethos Bakery & Café Culinary Treasures; Richland, Washington

Ethos Bakery & Café Culinary Treasures; Richland, Washington

I first learned about Ethos after meeting Angela at one of the annual “Grain Gatherings” sponsored by Washington State University at their Mt. Vernon Research Center north of Seattle. These convocations draw participants from across the country while others hail from Europe and Australia. It used to be that use of agrarian folksayings, recounting tales of Old and New World seasonal farm labors, and harvest work songs were the obscure domain of cultural historians and ethnologists, but burgeoning interest in such topics is evident in sustainability and food sovereignty movements here and throughout the world. At a recent Grain Gathering session, groups toured test plots of heritage White and Red Lammas wheats, Scots Bere barley, and Lincoln oats, and learned about methods and marketability of artisan breads, craft brews, and other specialty food and beverage products. Even names of event sponsors suggest Old World associations—the Bread Baking Guild, King Arthur Flour, and Wood Stone, a custom builder of stone hearth ovens.

Conference presenters shared lines by the sixteenth century agrarian poet Thomas Tusser, and showcased a “Harvest Heritage” exhibit of art based on rural themes by plein air French Impressionists, American Realists, the Russian Itinerants. American folk art was represented in the once familiar Harvest Star quilt design and nineteenth century steel engravings of field workers wielding sickles. A notable modern depiction of this ancient tool is the sculpted stone bas-relief roundel carved by an unidentified New Deal era sculptor in 1941 for the Adams County Courthouse in Ritzville, Washington. Agricultural folklorist and artist Eric Sloan considered the crescent-shaped sickle in all its variations over time to be the most beautiful implement ever crafted.

Grain Sheaf Bas-relief (1941), Adams County Courthouse; Ritzville, Washington

Grain Sheaf Bas-relief (1941), Adams County Courthouse; Ritzville, Washington

Simple ancient depictions of sickle-bearing field workers gave way in a blended gradualism to medieval and early modern images of scythe-swinging harvesters. The social contract that had long governed and guided enduring social systems changed little until the nineteenth century. Inventions sparked by the Industrial Revolution led to the gradual replacement of sickles and scythes with mechanical reapers. This advancement in agricultural technology greatly relieved the arduous labor of harvest fields, but also compounded pressures of urban growth throughout the great grain growing nations of Europe and the America.

The horse-powered reaper developed by American Cyrus McCormick in the 1830s featured a moveable bar of small sickle sections that effectively cut grain stalks which fell onto a platform for binding and threshing. Just like anyone can enjoy today at Ethos Bakery & Café, exceptionally flavored heritage grains like Crimson Turkey were routinely held back by families to mill at home for delicious breads and other baked goods. Community elder Donald Reich of Colfax, Washington, recently told me that he remembered his immigrant father driving all the way to the Pataha Mill near Pomeroy to get their wheat ground into flour. How convenient we can go to places like Ethos and experience what they knew to be a treasure. 

A “Farm to Table” Milestone—The Grain Shed Opens!


After seven years of patient labor begun with extremely limited quantities of rare landrace grain seed, we were thrilled to attend a soft opening of The Grain Shed in Spokane’s South Perry district (1026 E. Newark) on June 9. The event marked the culmination of our vision to complete a heritage grain-based “Farm to Table” market devoted to principles of “flavorful authenticity.” Imagine the rich, warm aroma of artisan breads made from whole grain Crimson Turkey wheat, the progenitor of most all modern bread wheats, accompanied by a glass of Scots Bere ale (“The grain that gave beer its name!”).

Red Letter Day: The Grain Shed Opens

Red Letter Day: The Grain Shed Opens

Hat’s off to the remarkable cadre of committed souls whose dream for a place dedicated to serving healthy landrace grain products in an atmosphere of good fellowship was matched by months of careful planning and hard work. Palouse Colony Farm co-founder Don Scheuerman teamed up with Grain Shed co-founders, Joel Williamson, malster-brewer of LINC Foods,  brewer Teddy Benson, and renown Spokane artisan baker Shaun Thompson Duffy of Culture Breads. The result of these innovative endeavors is this first of its kind co-op producer/worker/service model in the region. 

Legendary Spokane Artisan Baker Shawn Thompson Duffy

Legendary Spokane Artisan Baker Shawn Thompson Duffy

Grain Shed-Palouse Pint Master Brewers Teddy Benson and Joel Williamson

Grain Shed-Palouse Pint Master Brewers Teddy Benson and Joel Williamson

Shaun designed the bakery’s enormous wood-fired oven where he applies the skills of a culinary artist to transform fresh-milled flour from The Grain Shed’s stone mill into succlulent Old World-style pastries and breads. Among his specialties are whole grain rye Volkornbrot and pain de mie, a soft French sandwich bread. As an indication of The Grain Shed team’s caliber of service, the informal opening was such a hit with locals that they sold out of both specialty loaves and house Scots Bere and Purple Egyptian ales. May the fates smile and allow you to enjoy the unforgettable experience of “flavorful authenticity” on your visit to The Grain Shed. Congratulations Don, Joel, Shaun, and Teddy!

The Purple Egyptian Barley Project

Beer and bread. Two staples of history's menu. It is said that agriculture was founded just for the making of these two nutritious vittles. Every corner of the planet had their own ways of doing things, their own flavor profiles. From technique to weather to soil composition, everything that distinguished a given region or artisan from another imparted specific flavor profiles. That is the art and science and terroir. Think of it as "territorial flavors."

Here at Palouse Heritage, we specialize in raising landrace grains (landrace grains being original natural varieties that have been planted and cultivated in such a way that they have naturally and fully adapted to local geography). Enter Purple Egyptian Barley. This is an ancient grain used extensively in the greater Egyptian area thousands of years ago. It was brought to the Inland Northwest and it has since fully adapted to life here, expressing Northwest terroir as a true landrace grain. Palouse Pint, Spokane's only malting facility, has malted a portion of this incredible grain.

From left to right:  the baker (Shaun of Culture Breads), the malter (Joel of Palouse Pint), and the farmer (our own Don Scheuerman)

From left to right:  the baker (Shaun of Culture Breads), the malter (Joel of Palouse Pint), and the farmer (our own Don Scheuerman)

As a joint effort between Palouse Heritage, maltster Joel of Palouse Pint, Shaun of Culture Breads, and Tom of Bellwether Brewery, together we bring you Spokane's introduction to this NW landrace Purple Egyptian Barley.

The brewer (Tom of Bellwether Brewery)

The brewer (Tom of Bellwether Brewery)

Every Thursday beginning February 23 through the first week of April, we will bring you a new small batch of a Purple Egyptian variety Bellwether beer and Culture Breads bread. If you come every week there are prizes in store, including a commemorative pint glass and the chance to vote for your favorite beer of the series. The winning beer will be brewed at full capacity and released during Craft Beer Week in May.

Break bread and raise a glass with us each Thursday for the next 7 weeks. Location is Bellwether Brewery at 2019 N Monroe St, Spokane, WA.

Meet the farmer (our own Don Scheuerman), the maltster, the brewer, and the baker. Learn why landrace grains are so important to local economy and how it brings the best terroir to your plate and pint. Hope you can make it. 


Sharing What Palouse Heritage Does

Recently, Palouse Heritage was generously invited to present about our work at the local Rotary chapter in Colfax, WA. We were extremely grateful for the opportunity to share. Our farm manager, Andrew Wolfe, delivered an excellent talk on who Palouse Heritage is, what we do, and why we do it. Here is the an excerpt from his presentation.

Who We Are

We are Palouse Heritage, a venture aiming toward the reintroduction of landrace grain flours and malts, grown here in the Palouse Country, for health, hearth and heritage. Some here may know the story of the Volga Germans, as some of you are surely kin, and it is difficult for me to say who we are without recalling from where we first came.

In the 18th century Catherine the Great, Tsarina of the Russian Empire, extended an invitation to foreigners to possess, inhabit and cultivate the fertile lands of Southern Russia that would later claim the title of the breadbasket of Europe. Our story follows a number of pioneering families who, considering the opportunity, ventured from their homes near and around Frankfurt Germany to make their new lives in Russia. Here they would fashion their lives much as they did in Germany, doing what they knew best, tending the earth and raising crops. As political instability and religious persecution loomed heavy by the 19th century, these humble farmers looked yet again toward new horizons that, by the 1880's, would lead them to the great northwest.

Led by a vanguard traveling by wagon and rail to Northwest destinations in the 1880s, members of the Ochs, Scheuerman, Kleweno, Litzenberger, Pfaffenroth, Schmick, Helm, Weitz, and other families would find their solace at "The Colony." The Colony, as they fondly referred to it, soon developed into a thriving settlement that provisioned families coming from the Old Country to their new home on the Palouse. Scores of new arrivals stayed while adjusting to life in the new land, and today many thousands of residents in the Northwest and beyond can trace their origins in the country to this time of sanctuary along the placid Palouse. Parents described it as a “Land of Milk and Honey” for children who tended the colony’s dairy herd and raided bee hives along the river. The newcomers used farming methods of medieval origin—long, narrow Langstreifen fields (akin to English furlongs) in three-crop rotations (Dreifelderwirtschaft), a shared “commons” (Almenden) for grazing and gardens, and harvests with sickle and scythe. In 2015, descendants of the Ochs and Scheuerman families reestablished The Colony as Palouse Colony Farm and tend now to the land our ancestors once did.


What We Do

We aspire to capture the sentiment of the "commons" once again in a modern and complex era. Though, before anything can be done, we must first grow grains. At Palouse Colony farm we grow landrace grains or, as I am fond of saying, "we grow the grains God made." These landrace grains are ancient pre-hybridized varieties ("races") of wheat, barley, oats, rye, and other grains which nature has caused to flourish in areas ("lands") throughout the world where they adapted to local environmental conditions. Genetic diversity and natural selection have conditioned these landrace varieties to be remarkably resilient and quick to adapt to new locations. Through often painstaking efforts we have found, reintroduced and caused to flourish many of the landraces which the very progenitors of our blood had grown in the soil of which we are now stewards. Varieties like Palouse Heritage White Lammas, known to history as "Hudson's Bay Wheat," originated as a landrace in the Celitc Aisles and is the original cereal grain of the Pacific Northwest. Palouse Heritage Red Walla Walla is a soft red landrace wheat hailing from Great Britain that was sown and thrived from Walla Walla to the Palouse after 1890. Palouse Heritage Bere Barley is a landrace from the Orkney Islands and the "grain that gave beer it's name." Palouse Heritage Purple Egyptian barley is a hulless, glassy purple barley with its heritage in Egypt and raised by our Russian ancestors in southern Russia. The list goes on. At Palouse Colony Farm we aim to reintroduce the flavorful spectrum of these lovely forgotten varieties along with their tremendous health benefits back onto the northwest dinner table. Through cooperation and partnerships with area malters, millers, bakers, brewers and distillers, we aim to offer our kaleidoscope of grains in the form of healthy flours and delightful beverages, bringing something truly unique to the market place, while tending the land responsibly and sustainably. 


Why We Do It

The pioneers and explorers of our area embraced a sentiment of community, their lives and livelihoods were often predicated by it. The experience of the entrepreneur strays very little from this idea; leaning on friends, neighbors and partners to the end of reciprocal benefit. Borrowing from contemporary agrarian visionary Wendell Berry, having a neighbor is preferable to having his land. In this sense we like to place ourselves in the boots of our pioneer forebears; inviting others of like mind to co-opt in the prospect of mutual success, in the pursuit of “the commons” while sharing common cause in health, community, relationships and sustainability. We revere the memory of things worth remembering and the preservation of things worth preserving. We do it to create sustainable grain economies that seek to respectfully feed body, mind, and spirit.

We do what we do for success, not just for ourselves, but for those around us. We do what we do to make real for others what we have known and what is continually revealed to us; that we live in a remarkable earth with spectacular diversity and creativity—the hallmark of our Creator—and what’s more is that it was meant for us. For health. For hearth. And for heritage. 

Steins, Vines & Grinds: Washington's Story of Craft Beer, Wine, and Coffee

The Washington State History Museum's long-awaited exhibit on the region's remarkable beverage heritage opened on January 20, 2017 as "Steins, Vines & Grinds: Washington's Story of Craft Beer, Wine, and Coffee." Over one hundred guests attended the opening festivities that featured opening remarks by Washington State Historical Society Executive Director Jennifer Kilmer and Ryan Pennington of Chateau Ste. Michelle, one of the exhibit's principal sponsors. 

I (Richard) serve as vice-president of the state historical society and museums so was also on hand to enjoy the fellowship and samples. Author Robert Foxcurran also attended from Seattle and presented me with a copy of his new book, "Songs Upon the Rivers," which is an extensive history of the mixed blood French and Indian Metis who were among the founders of Hudson's Bay Company posts at Ft. Vancouver, Ft. Colville, and Ft. Walla Walla. 

It was truly a wonderful event celebrating our love of beverages here in the northwest! Here are some photos from the night.

Ryan Pennington, Chateau Ste. Michelle Director of Communications; Richard Scheuerman, WSHS Vice-President; Jennifer Kilmer, WSHS Executive Director

Ryan Pennington, Chateau Ste. Michelle Director of Communications; Richard Scheuerman, WSHS Vice-President; Jennifer Kilmer, WSHS Executive Director

Robert Foxcurran, author of "Songs Upon the Rivers: The Buried History of the French-Speaking Canadiens and Metis"

Robert Foxcurran, author of "Songs Upon the Rivers: The Buried History of the French-Speaking Canadiens and Metis"

Feature Article in The Whitman County Gazette

Palouse Heritage was privileged to be featured in the latest issue of the Whitman County Gazette:

If the article is no longer available on their website, you can read the full excerpt here:

Return to Palouse Colony Farm

By Kara McMurray Gazette Reporter

Palouse Colony Farm circa 1910

Palouse Colony Farm circa 1910

Richard Scheuerman grew up about two miles from a farm known as the “Palouse Colony,” a farm between Endicott and St. John that was settled by German immigrants from Russia in the 1880s. “It was kind of a legendary place as a boy growing up,” said Scheuerman. Scheuerman said he was always interested in knowing more about the people there. “I enjoyed talking to older people. Even as a boy, I started visiting with elders of my grandfather’s generation who lived there,” he recalled. “It was all just very fascinating.” Scheuerman found himself learning about the “Old World agrarian methods” these farmers brought with them. It was a history he became hooked on. A recent business endeavor has brought Scheuerman to re-establish the Palouse Colony and its Old World farming methods as Palouse Heritage. “An opportunity came for us to acquire the property about two years ago,” said Scheuerman. “I have always kept interested in researching about the Palouse country. It was a special opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.”

Richard’s wife Lois and his brother Don Scheuerman are also part of restoring the Palouse Colony Farm, as is Rod Ochs. The Scheuermans and Ochs are all descendants of families who once lived at the farm. Richard said those involved in helping to restore grain varieties have been Alex McGregor, the McGregor Company and Andrew Wolfe, his nephew. Additionally, farmers Joe Delong of St. John, Tom Schierman of Lancaster and Chuck Jordan of Winona have helped. Richard called the effort so far “a learning experience.” “We’re always finding new things,” he commented. “It’s been a wonderful adventure just learning about this. It’s kind of all coming together.”

Richard told of how the German immigrants brought grains with them from Russia, including Turkey Red, a form of hard red winter wheat. Prior to the introduction of Turkey Red, soft white wheats were mostly used in bread production in the Pacific Northwest. “Until immigrants came from Russia, people made bread out of the soft winter wheats,” said Richard. “The Turkey Red revolutionized this. Virtually all breads today are made from hard red wheats.” Richard called the flavor of the grains now being grown again at the Palouse Colony “very distinct.” “The flavor is incredible,” he said. “We’re calling it ‘flavorful authenticity.’” Bringing back different grain varieties has been an experience right out of history, Richard said. “None of these have been grown for probably a century,” he said. “We’re seeing this unfold as living history, and friends are bringing out old recipes that were handed down.” Richard said they are not seeking to replace “modern hybrid” grains, but said there is a place for both. “Modern hybrids produce higher-yielding crops,” he said. “There’s a place for both worlds with markets internationally and with distinct flavor grains.”

Richard said that Don is also working on brews. “Don has been interested in the malting grains. He’s working with some craft malters and brewers,” said Richard. The brews are not quite ready, though. “The malt grain is being used in Spokane to create craft brews,” said Richard. “We’re trying to decide if we are ready to scale it up to production. It certainly tastes wonderful.” There are 40 acres on the property that are being farmed now. Richard said the property was also recently designated as a state historical site. The flours Palouse Heritage is developing will be available in December, and the availability of the brews will be announced at a later date. To learn more about what Palouse Heritage is doing and the history of the Palouse Colony, go to

Article courtesy of The Whitman County Gazette

2016 Spokane Food and Farm Expo

Palouse Heritage had the opportunity to present at the 2016 Food & Farm Expo in Spokane. Our co-founders, Richard and Don Scheuerman, participated in the event along with several of our friends and partners who have joined us in the effort to raise awareness about the benefits of landrace grains. 

Richard taught one of the classes at the event, titled:

Heritage and Landrace Grains:  Restoring the soil, our health and flavor with heritage and Landrace Grains

You can watch his lecture below. The accompanying PowerPoint slide deck is available by clicking here.