Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coming Soon: KC Gruite Ale Blog

Update on a previous post concerning an issue of utmost concern to beer snobs: A must read story featured in the Austin Chronic by one of our favorite beer bloggers, Lee Nichols. Here's the money quote from Brock Wagner, founder of Saint Arnold Brewing Co:

"Cascade hops [...] can't be bought at any price."

(On a side note: Lee, is Austin Nichols, the actor who played the surfer-dude named "John" on HBO's "John from Cincinnati" any relation?)

Other signs of the impending apocalypse found on the web:
  • Alternative Brewing, a home brewer supply site, has posted a plea to home brewers due to concerns about panic buying.
  • Midwest Homebrewing is no longer taking advance orders for hops rhizomes
  • One Vermont brew pub owner tells Fox Business he may start brewing a unhopped drink called gruit ale.

Cambridge Brewing Co describes gruit ale (pronounced "grew-it") thusly:

Gruit is primarily a combination of three herbs: sweet gale (Myrica gale), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and wild rosemary (Ledum palustre). Additionally, individual brewers would add other herbs and spices as they liked to produce unique flavors and aromas in their beer. These herbs were known for their mildly stimulating properties, and when added to fermented beer were known to have said inebriating qualities amplified. I will make a bold statement now: Gruit Ale may be highly intoxicating and aphrodisiacal when consumed in significant quantity. Historically, it has been said to stimulate the mind, create euphoria, and enhance sexual drive.
It has an interesting and pleasant aroma and flavor of green- (think good Japanese Sencha) with overtones of herbal- tea (think Echinacea/mint/chamomile/licorice). Of course, this is balanced by the faithful familiarity of Scottish and British pale and dark caramel malted barley, along with wheat malt and oats. It is medium in body, and deep amber in color. Full, rich, and malty on the palate and smooth in the finish.

Gruit ale will clearly never be confused with an IPA, but hey, it might be a dandy aphrodisiac to help get your date in the mood.


Lee said...

"(On a side note: Lee, is Austin Nichols, the actor who played the surfer-dude named "John" on HBO's "John from Cincinnati" any relation?)"

No, not to my knowledge, but he was raised here in Austin! And actually, I think my second cousin named his kid Austin, but it's not the same one.

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