experimental beers with a botanical twist

ginger

Zingiber officinale. One of the few root beer plants still used in soft drinks, though the mildly alcoholic drink called ginger beer, made with a ginger beer “plant” (sour yeast culture), is so out of fashion it might be due for a revival. And ginger is a perennial favorite of mazers, which is what you call mead-makers if you’re pretentious. Plus it’s readily available in any supermarket. So for all these reasons, I’ve brewed with it a lot over the years.

Ginger-Angelica Gruit Porter

Ginger-Angelica Gruit Porter

Fennel, licorice, lemon balm, coriander… YUM. A delicious backdrop to a delicious beer.

Juniper-Ginger Beer

Juniper-Ginger Beer

Juniper forms the dominant note, resiny and vaguely citrusy, supported by the camphor quality of yarrow and the spiciness of ginger. The bitterness is mild, equivalent roughly to a standard wheat beer.

Indian Sarsaparilla Gruit Ale

Indian Sarsaparilla Gruit Ale

A partial mash-extract beer featuring a great many delicious spices.

Yarrow Gruit Braggot Ale

Yarrow Gruit Braggot Ale

Braggot is half beer, half mead. I brewed this way back on July 24, 2002, when honey was cheap and when my technique involved a LOT of herbs, usually including roasted dandelion root.