A Tasting Trek for Our Brewer: Joining ‘Beers Made By Walking’
In the Pacific Northwest we’re fortunate to have a fresh selection of innovative beer ingredients, such as herbs and flowers from our backyards, fields and forests, to brew our favorite ales and lagers. This month, our brewer, Larry Chase, joined local herbalist, Jon Carlson, to identify native Southern Oregon plants that can be used in beer to complement our beloved hops and malt. Their hike was part of a program called Beers Made By Walking, and brewers all over Oregon are joining and brewing beers with plants that can be found on day hikes around the state.
Beers Made By Walking (BMBW) invites brewers to make a beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. It first began as a summer-long series in Colorado Springs in 2011, and the buzz has inspired versions in Oregon and Washington. This summer’s program culminates with a special BMBW tapping on October 20th at Portland’s Belmont Station. The five breweries participating across Oregon will send a keg of their specialty-brewed beer for a night of celebrating Oregon’s beer bounty!
The other Oregon craft breweries participating in Beers Made By Walking include:
Deschutes Brewery (Bend) – HIke 6/15, Deschutes Land Trust’s Whychus Canyon Preserve
Flat Tail Brewing (Corvallis) – TBA
Upright Brewing (Portland) – Hike Date TBA, Gordon Creek Timber and Larch Mountain Trail System
Coalition Brewing (Portland) – Hike 7/21, Forest Park in Portland
Standing Stone’s hike took place July 17th at local landmark, Grizzly Peak Trail, and our brewer spent the day learning about the edible plants our neck of the woods has to offer. Jon helped Larry identify the following list of herbs and plants (Larry’s notes included), and they did plenty of tasting!
- Douglas Fir–new growth is citrusy
- Wild Ginger–has a pleasant bitterness
- Sweet Root–both the flowers and root have an anise/licorice flavor
- Yarrow–flowers are bitter and has an abundance of aromatics
- Dandelion Root
- St John’s Wort
- Pineapple Weed–comes across as chamomile
Of course, we don’t recommend eating plants in the wild unless you know for certain what they are, or have an expert like Jon with you.
Stay tuned for more news on which ingredients Larry chooses for his batch of specialty BMBW beer, and check out the Beers Made By Walking blog post all about Larry and Jon’s hike, too. And if you’re in the Portland area on October 20th, be sure to stop by Belmont Station for a great selection of fresh and innovative Oregon-grown craft beer. infused with fresh, flavorful, local herbs and flowers.