Is there really such a thing as a gruit IPA? you may be wondering. Well, there is now!
Comptonia peregrina, a New World native, is in the same family, Myricaceae, as bayberry and the famous gruit ingredient sweet gale or bog myrtle. I’ve found it to be a reliable anti-microbial bittering agent with a resinous, camphor-like flavor. Gather the leaves at any time before autumn, but they’re the strongest and freshest in midsummer.
My first new experiment worth writing up since last year’s Pennsylvania Native Plant Gruit Beer, where I first tried brewing with sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) in a big way. This time I combined it with some other reliable brewing herbs for a trans-Atlantic gruit.