Classical Beer Review: Nightshift Brewing Cassandre

We were recently traveling up to New England for a Classics conference, #AIASCS, and had an epic #beerroadtrip planned. We would go up to Vermont and New Hampshire to visit Hill Farmstead, Tree House Brewing, The Alchemist, and an awesome restaurant called Prohibition Pig. Little did we know that a toxic cocktail of United Airlines…

Classical Beer Review: Coldfire Brewing Cumulus Tropicalis

As promised, we had some awesome beer review’s lined up over #Christmasbreak. Next up is Coldfire Brewing’s Cumulus Tropicalis, a New England Style IPA that Kyle’s brother got a while ago in Eugene, Oregon. The crowler was about 3 months old when we had it, which is way past the optimal drinking time for a…

Classical Beer Review: Jackie O’s Oil of Aphrodite

While we are enjoying our Christmas break in #SoCal, Kyle and I try to keep up with tasting and reviewing our weekly dosage of Classically-themed beers. We already have a couple of good ones lined up for you, but just needed some time amidst all of the family events to sit down and write. First…

Classical Beer Review: Rocket Brewing Co. Morpheus

Last week I went to the famous Amsterdam beer store, De Bierkoning, to get some cool, new Dutch stouts to bring over to Kyle to the States (no photos yet, they are a surprise!). While there, I got superb advice about what to bring from the guy running the shop, Ton, and ended up in a great…

Classical Beer Review: Gregorius Trappistenbier

Gregorius is a relatively new addition to the Trappist beer scene. It is brewed since 2012 by the Engelszell Abbey in Austria. The beer is a Quad with added honey – also made by the monks. The honey is dominant in the nose, but upon drinking, you first get the taste of red fruits before…

Classical Beer Review: Pontus Nautilus

Ever since returning from the States in the beginning of October, I have found myself too busy to buy new Classically-themed beers (shame, shame, shame!). Thus, when I recently celebrated my 31st birthday I had to hit up my local beer store, Bierderij Waterland*, for a birthday beer haul (Thanks, Neal, for the birthday beer!). Nautilus,…

Heather Tasting

For the previous entries in our heather brewing trial, see: Heather in Ancient Sources Heather in Archaeology Heather SMASH(erb) Brew Day The heather ale began fermenting immediately and produced the strongest fermentation that I have witnessed from any of the beer experiments. The krausen nearly doubled the size of the original wort in less than…

Heather SMASH(erb) Beer

For the previous entries in our heather brewing trial, see: Heather in Ancient Sources Heather in Archaeology Heather is among the more common plants/herbs used in modern gruits and historic ales. Perhaps the most well-known of the commercial heather ales is made by Williams Brothers Brewing in Scotland. Their drink, Fraoch Heather Ale, includes bog…

Gizmo Brewing Trojan Horse

Recently, I galloped to Gizmo Brewing’s taproom and indulged in their Imperial Rye IPA: Trojan Horse. Trojan Horse has a medium mouthfeel and enough sweet malt to balance both the high ABV (9.7%) and hop presence. A bit of hidden rye spice comes through after the initial assault of bitterness fades to the background. The…

Heather in Archaeology

Heather in Ancient Literature. The archaeological evidence for ancient heather beers (or other fermented beverages) is minimal compared to that of meadowsweet. Heather has been widely used in gruits and ales in the past several centuries and, in folklore and myth, is often associated with Celtic drinking traditions. Buhner (1998: 25-35), for instance, devotes several pages…

HBW: Meadowsweet Beer Tasting

For the previous entries in our meadowsweet brewing trial, see: Meadowsweet in Ancient Sources Meadowsweet in Archaeology Meadowsweet SMASH(erb) Brew Day How did the meadowsweet beer turnout? FG: 1.011 ABV: ~3% Appearance: Pale straw-yellow, quite clear. Aroma: Caramel malt, floral, slight plastic. Mouthfeel: Dry. Taste:  The meadowsweet balances the sweetness of the malt quite well….

ERICA, Defined

Erica, ericae (f) – heather, broom (plant), ling, erica arborea erice, erices ἐϱ(ε)ίϰη, ἡ Erica is lends its name to the modern family plants, Ericacea. The plant(s) are not mentioned in ancient accounts of beers, but they are attested for this purpose in the archaeological record. Erica, however, is mentioned as a medical treatment and…