experimental beers with a botanical twist

Recent Posts

New page: Why brew with herbs?

New page: Why brew with herbs?

At long last, a bit of back story on my journey with herbal brewing, so first-time visitors of the site will be able to quickly figure out just how little I really know.

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy, AKA alehoof or gill-over-the-ground, is an historically important brewing herb that I’d never fully appreciated until encountering it in its native land.

New page of herbal brewing tips

New page of herbal brewing tips

I’ve been putting off writing a page of tips on how to brew with herbs and spices. Then today, quite by accident, I rediscovered just such a list I’d pulled together for my original homepage some 15 years ago, and had long since forgotten about.

Sleepytime Lager

Sleepytime Lager

Lavender, chamomile and valerian root meet hops for a dark lager with an extra midnight-y nudge in the direction of bed.

Chai Lager

Chai Lager

Cardamom, ginger, vanilla, star anise, and grains of paradise—plus some actual black tea, because why not.

Brewing in Coal Country

Brewing in Coal Country

Lots of craft breweries pay tribute to the unique characteristics of their local area, but few do it as well or as thoroughly as Coal Country Brewing.

Mole Negro Stout

Mole Negro Stout

Such a delight to discover a widely used Mexican herb, hoja santa or Mexican pepperleaf, that has nearly the same taste as sassafras! It helps me bridge the cultural gap between Pennsylvania, where I brewed this, and Oaxaca, whose mole negro recipe inspired this twist on chocolate stout.

Mexican American Ale

Mexican American Ale

Hibiscus flowers, Mexican giant hyssop, and epazote or Mexican-tea together impart an amazing floral taste, a bit of citrus-like tartness, and a rich pink color to this lightly hopped beer.

Appalachian Gruit Stout

Appalachian Gruit Stout

A terroir-ific beer using herbs from the back forty (sweetfern and mugwort) and locally grown base malt from Appalachian Malting in Portage, PA.

Sloe Stout

Sloe Stout

Brewed on 6 July 2018 in London, with sloes picked and frozen the previous year. I added juniper berries too, because gin.

Belgian Gale Ale

Belgian Gale Ale

Sweet gale or bog myrtle is a classic northern European gruit ingredient.

Fraoch Porter

Fraoch Porter

Fraoch, or heather ale, is a legendary unhopped beer from Scotland, said to date back to Pictish times.