Recent posts

New “ancient ale” from Dogfish Head revives hybrid Scandinavian grog

New “ancient ale” from Dogfish Head revives hybrid Scandinavian grog

Fascinating to see yarrow already in use as a brewing herb 3500 years ago. Here, it’s in combination with several bog plants: sweet gale, meadowsweet, cranberries and lingonberries.

All-grain homebrewing for lazy cheapskates

All-grain homebrewing for lazy cheapskates

Our very ability to experiment with things like gruit blends without worrying too much about the yeast and the malts is a direct result of the precision and predictability achieved by industrial brewers over the past 200 years.

Mugwort Spicebush Stout

Mugwort Spicebush Stout

Mugwort and Indian sarsaparilla are an excellent combination; that’s why I brew with them so often.

A beer thinker’s guide to life

A beer thinker’s guide to life

The best brewer sometimes makes bad beer.

Sweet flag

Sweet flag

The aroma was unmistakable, musky and strong, with hints of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon—the quintessence of spice.

Meadow in a bottle

Meadow in a bottle

Up until that moment, I’d been intending to make some kind of very standard beer style—an IPA or a porter—and simply substitute yarrow for the usual hops.

Summer Meadow Ale

Summer Meadow Ale

My idea was to flavor a summer ale with a mix of common meadow plants, all gathered at the time of brewing, and thereby to try and capture the essence of a midsummer meadow. Much to my own surprise, I seem to have succeeded on the first attempt!

Ground Ivy Gruit Ale

Ground Ivy Gruit Ale

I’ve never found ground ivy to be anywhere near as bitter as the books say, but it could be the wild stuff I use tastes different from British or cultivated varieties.

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.”