Among The Pines - A Pale Ale using Fir, Spruce, & Pine from discarded old Christmas Trees.
The project stemmed from a cold January morning and the first day back at the brewery in 2019. Our co-founder Brett Ellis was talking about all of the unwanted old Christmas trees he passed on his way into work that morning and what a waste it was. How about, he said, let's use them to make a beer?
Brewing with Spruce tips is nothing new, it dates back to the 18th century when sailors were given Spruce beer as a drink to cure scurvy because of the high Vitamin C content in the tips. We have also used Spruce before in a beer with our Rooting Around foraged series back in 2017.
For this project, however, we wanted to get our local community involved to recycle their trees and in exchange, we swapped it for a Wild Beer! Beats paying a tenner to get it taken away and buried in a landfill site.
The response was incredible and we received over 50 trees from locals dropping off theirs at our brewery!
Now it was time to make the beer. We wanted to create something that was accessible to all, yet highlighted the amazing flavours and aromatics from the trees. We took the base recipe of our beer 'Bibble' and instead of dry-hopping the beer at the end, we used the trees in the brew. The piney resinous character actually marries beautifully with the hops as hops actually can delivery similar tastes to this on their own.
We chose to Cask the beer, keeping to our Somerset roots, and leave it unfiltered to keep all the flavours from the trees in the finished beer. Sustainability is a huge issue facing us all at the moment and although brewing a beer may not change the world, it should hopefully make us think twice about our consumption and the ability to create something from nothing.