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January 08, 2008

Aromatic Beer on the way?

Beer and Ale brewers may be turning to herbs and aromatic plants to flavor beer in the face of increasing prices and possible scarcity of hops, the traditional beer ingredient since the 12th Century, according to an article in Guest On Tap, an online beer aficionados magazine published on the US West Coast.

With the increase in cost and scarcity of hops, brewers may turn to “gruit” beers. Before a German nun, Hildegard von Bingen, first promoted the use of hops in beer in the 12th century, brewers used gruit, blends of herbs and spices, to flavor their beers.
  Roots Organic Brewing Co. makes a gruit kolsch as its summer seasonal, flavored with mugwort, sweet gale, grains of paradise, chamomile and lavender. Roots Heather Ale uses the flowers of the heather plant to give that beer its dryness.
  Colorado’s New Belgium uses wormwood (the active ingredient in absinthe) to bitter its Springboard Ale, which also incorporates goji berries, schisandra and some Mount Hood hops for flavor.
  So enjoy those imperial IPAs as if they were your last, and look forward to some interesting beer flavors in the new year.

Posted by Rob on January 8, 2008 in Essential Oils/Plant Extractions, Notes and News | Permalink

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