20 February 2013

Cheatgrass Beer?

In the Western US, after the previous year's wildfires, cheatgrass (bromus tectorum) is spreading wildly. The problem with that is that cheatgrass actually makes wildfires more likely since it stops growing and dries up a few weeks before native species. Some folks have, as they have with other invasive species, proposed using them for food, including beer, since cheatgrass has a similar biological   composition to barley.

The USDA has made beer out of cheatgrass using a decoction mash, and apparently came up with something drinkable along the lines of an amber ale. They estimate profits of $200,000 per hectare. There is even a brewing with cheatgrass forum on HomeBrewTalk.com.

I wonder if a brewer making cheatgrass beer would be considered an adjunct brewer, and therefore not a craft brewer?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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