After recognizing almost a decade ago, the difficulties faced in obtaining and storing farm fresh beef, it became the mission of Blackwater Beef, a family-run business, to develop a local cattle program. This program was designed to produce quality rich Black Angus beef for our community. During the development process, the team, headed by Stacy DeLuke, Owner and Brett Miller, General Manager, designed a subscription pricing program that allows average families to purchase and take delivery of the beef over time so that there is no issue with storage. The online subscription program offered through the website eliminates digging to the bottom of the freezer and/or forgetting what was purchased in the first place. Blackwater Beef also participates in the Middleburg Farmer’s Market, where a vast selection of beef products are offered, including jerky and dog treats.
Located on Foxcroft Road, just outside the Town of Middleburg, the company utilizes its physical resources in land and facility, creating a landscape perfect for a meticulous registered Black Angus herd. Keeping humane practices in mind, the cattle live on nutrient-dense green pastures, are hormone and antibiotic-free, and are supplemented with hay in colder months. The cattle are also grained everyday. The team at Blackwater Beef understands the importance of an ecological balance and continues to develop sustainable farming practices. “One of these practices is the cattle feed we use. The cattle enjoy eating the leftovers or “spent grain” from the beer-making process. Working with our brewery partner, Solace Brewing Company, our cattle consume an average of 10 tons of spent grain each week.” states Miller. Spent grain is the by-product from the production of beer and what is left over after the mash is cooked and the liquid is extracted. The fermentation process has not taken place yet, so the cattle consume no alcohol. The protein concentration averages 20%, and it also has high fiber. The use of spent grains is a local and sustainable feeding practice. Some say it even enhances the flavor of the beef.
After the opening of the retail division in early February 2018, Miller, who grew up in Cody, Wyoming, Rodeo Capital of the World, began thinking of alternative ways to grow the operation. Left to his own devices, he showed up with a food truck that spring, and life on the farm got very exciting. Never even having been a line cook, Miller embraced his new role of chef developing his menu and his brand of “Cowboy Cookin’.” The food was popular and earned an invitation to the Virginia State Fair, where it won “Best New Food” and the coveted “Judges Award” in 2018. The entire team is very proud of this effort. The food truck can also be found at local events, including Christmas in Middleburg. Looking forward and to further serve the community, the team is diligently working towards opening up a farm market with restaurant zoning. This way, customers who would like to order a meal from the food truck are welcome to stay and enjoy it on the farm. The farm market, named The Middleburg Local, will showcase local products from the area, including produce, jams and honey, sauces, and, of course, Blackwater Beef.
Owner, Stacy DeLuke, states, “We at Blackwater Beef understand that amid the Covid-19 crisis, things are uncertain. We want to assure our local Middleburg community that we understand and want to help. If you would like to have our delicious beef in your freezer but do not want to come out, order online or call us, and we will deliver directly to your doorstep. We thank you, our friends and community, for your continued support and patronage. It is our passion to bring our 100% purebred Black Angus beef…fresh from our farm to your family!”