In celebration of the upcoming release of our next Side Trail Series brew, Sweet Myrtle, we asked one of the creators, Chris Stearly, to share a little more about the recipe’s origins and unexpected ingredients. “The sweet myrtle recipe originated as a homebrew recipe that was created over five years ago with my friend Zach Page, who now works for Trillium Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts.” Bog myrtle is a deciduous shrub native to northern and western Europe and parts of northern North America. It was often used in a mixture called gruit as a flavoring for beer from the Middle Ages to the 16th century, but it fell into disuse after hops became widely available.
Chris went on to describe the unique ingredients;”We used dates as a central fermentable as well as for flavor to compliment the bog myrtle and honey. The bog myrtle, adds a salve-like earthy aroma and flavor to the end result and the melding of sweet flavors from both the dates and the honey compliment each other nicely. In lieu of hops as a central feature we subtly dry hopped this beer with earthy, spicy, sterling hops. The current recipe would not have been what it is today without Matt Wisley’s help and is a perfect example of our sabco pilot system at work. This atypically fruited ale won the crowd favorite award at our 15th year anniversary carnival last year.”
“For this beer, we used 10 gallons of local honey from Hunter’s Honey Farm in Martinsville, Indiana. The honey is used to add a fermentable sugar for the yeast as well as some additional flavor notes since we added it towards the end of the boil.”
“This is the date puree. We got 160 lbs of date puree (70% tunisian dates/30% medjool dates) from California and broke the paste up by adding hot wort from the mash tun. each 40 pound brick was broken apart by hand with assistance from Adam Covey, Patrick Lynch, Charlie Newell, and Matt Wisley.”
“I am pouring the date puree into the boil. We added each bucket over a ten minute period so as not to overload the boil kettle. Upland has never used dates in a beer before so this was new territory. We were not sure if we were going to clog the kettle or possibly burn the dates during the boil but everything went quite smoothly!”
Try this brew on tap at Upland retail locations starting November 7. Cheers!