experimental beers with a botanical twist

Recent Posts

Mugwort Chamomile Oatmeal Stout

Mugwort Chamomile Oatmeal Stout

My tasting notes say only “very tasty and strong,” but the fact that I still remember how good it was five years later ought to tell you something.

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.

Homebrewing made difficult in 72 steps

Homebrewing made difficult in 72 steps

Apparently possession of homebrewing supplies combined with seditious views can now get you charged with terrorism in the USA.

Calaguala Ale

Calaguala Ale

Calaguala, A.K.A. samambaia, is a tropical fern with many healing properties. Combined with cinchona bark — herbal quinine — this ought to be “good for what ales you.”

The promise of translucence

The promise of translucence

Bottling beer is complex enough without having to worry about cleaning all the bottles yet. If they’re already clean, all they need is a soak in sanitizer solution.

Brewing without a recipe

Brewing without a recipe

This was the first time in many years that I didn’t carefully weigh and measure everything and write it all down for future reference. But I have to say, it felt liberating not to.

Beer Tasting 101: Yarrow Sarsaparilla Ale

Beer Tasting 101: Yarrow Sarsaparilla Ale

It’s, uh, crisp and floral, medium-bodied, dry! (Can it be all those things at the same time? You sure hope so.)

Sassafras beer: a short history

Sassafras beer: a short history

The small tree known as sassafras (Sassafras albidum) was once one of the most prized plants of North America.

Digging for beer

Digging for beer

Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis), a close relative of sweet cicely (O. claytonia), would represent a new brewing ingredient for me, and I can’t find any mention of its use as a brewing herb online or in print.

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.