Foraged flower farmhouse ale collab with Bookhouse Brewing
This extremely small (15 gallons) of beer represents a whole day of foraging in the hills and urban areas of Athens Ohio for early summer flowers. Vaughn Stewart of Bookhouse Brewing, his wife Gwen, their young son Finn, and I (Sean) went up to Radar Hill to forage on the morning of June 16th, where we gathered pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea) and honeysuckle.
We then went back to the brewery for lunch and to meet up with my young boys, Harvey and Everett. We found some elderflower and red clover right by Little Fish’s green space. Into the foraging bucket it went.
Then the real work began, as we drove to the West side of Athens and picked a 60 foot long chain-link fence, crawling with honeysuckle vine almost clean of flowers. That took the most work, but the kids loved it.
Originally, we had planned to brew a whole 10 barrel batch of foraged beer together. But looking at all these flowers, we knew we had to set our sites on a lower volume in order to have enough flowers to make a flavor impact. So instead of a whole batch, we made a beer infusion with Mythic Manuscript, a hoppy Belgian table beer that Vaughn and I first collabed on in 2022, and since then we have brewed 2 more batches.
One 15 gallon keg of Mythic Manuscript conditioned on the following flowers for over a week: 139 gr. pineappleweed, 18 gr. red clover, 65 gr. elderflower, and 294 gr. honeysuckle. We like the result! Try it here in Athens, the only place we’ll be serving it, during Ohio Brew Week 2023.
Flavor Profile: Soft phenolics, light pilsner malt sweetness, noble hops, and flower aroma that include chamomile and melon notes. Flavor is light, soft in body, with a pleasant herbal bitterness that presents mostly with a chamomile tea flavor.
4.7% ABV, not gluten-reduced