Instead of using mass produced barley, wheat and rye malt, brewers around the country are beginning to look to heritage grains to add character and complexity to their beers—varieties packed with flavor and history.
For Jester King’s “creative czar” Josh Cockrell, it started with the peach, the base of the beer. When he learned that peaches originated in China, he dug into the country’s folklore and discovered the tale of “The Shared Peach.” A man shares a peach with his same-sex lover, wanting him to share in its beauty.
Scattered across the country, a few enterprising brewers have begun working with an unusual ingredient: kombucha, a mildly alcoholic fermented tea. Wild fermenting organisms in the tea help lend uniquely funky and tart flavors to their beers, driving curiosity among consumers.