Rosemary Ale

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RStolz

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Good Morning Community,

about four years ago I visited a northern Virginia farm brewery that had opened, The Farm Brewery at Broad Run. They had a rosemary beer that my fiancé loved. Sadly their Head brewer left and they no longer do it.
Has anyone here brewers a rosemary ale? I remember it being a lighter beer like a Pilsner or Kolsch and had a nice rosemary aftertaste. Kinda a cool, refreshing christmas beer.
Any thoughts??
 

Leezer

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+1 to starting small. It is strong stuff. In my early brewing days I made a pale ale from an extract kit and decided to add fresh rosemary from my garden. It really took over and instead of drinking it my husband ended up using it in cooking stews and short ribs. But a very small amount could add a nice subtle background flavor.
 

day_trippr

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Could easily be wrong - I could be trapped in some regional paradigm thing - but I would immediately suspect the OP's base beer was a saison, if only because every herbed beer I've come across was a saison. I've yet to enjoy one. Like, at all.

Like most "out there" ideas I would recommend dosing a glass of some commercial beer of a desired style to see whether a particular herb is an improvement or not..

Cheers!
 

Ogilthorpe2

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Could easily be wrong - I could be trapped in some regional paradigm thing - but I would immediately suspect the OP's base beer was a saison, if only because every herbed beer I've come across was a saison. I've yet to enjoy one. Like, at all.

Like most "out there" ideas I would recommend dosing a glass of some commercial beer of a desired style to see whether a particular herb is an improvement or not..

Cheers!
In my mind that likely would have more to do with the Saison base than the herb being added…but that’s just me.
 

Yooper

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I judged a competition years ago where a "rosemary stout" was in the Spice/Herb/Veg category.
It smelled and tasted just like lamb roast.
I love stout. And rosemary. And lamb roast. As a combo it was a completely gross beer.
Not to say rosemary can't ever be used- but be judicious. Less is more. More than enough.
 

day_trippr

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In my mind that likely would have more to do with the Saison base than the herb being added…but that’s just me.

Thought about this for a moment and could not come up with an "herbed" beer that wasn't a saison.

Latest experience: a local restaurant with what I will term an "adjunct brewery" jammed into the street-entrance foyer that had a cucumber basil saison on tap. Honestly, one of the most wretched beers I've ever experienced - it literally had less than zero going for it - and for a moment had me looking for a spittoon.

The Spousal Unit grows all kinds of garden herbs. Zero of them end up in my brews...
 
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Not to say rosemary can't ever be used- but be judicious. Less is more. More than enough.
One particular thing I like about Asian cuisine like chinese or vietnamese, is this balance they try to achieve with the five tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami). No flavor bombs!

You basically need to put just enough so that you can taste it, but not too much that you can't taste the others.
 

mashpaddled

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Have you tried contacting the brewery and asking if they would share any tips? They might be willing to tell you the style and how much rosemary they added.

Saison is the go-to dumping ground for unusual ingredients but there was that one year (2015?) herb beers tried to take off and while saisons acted as the base for a lot of those beers there were plenty of blond ales doing work in that field. Before saisons took off in the late 2000s/early 2010s if you found herbed beers you might find them in blond ales or even APAs when you could expect a C hop pale ale or even some of the less aggressive, older American hops like sterling or Mt. Hood.
 

Spacelover02

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I brewed a successful rosemary and coriander IPA. For a 3.5 gallon brew, I put in an ounce of fresh rosemary at flameout, and then maybe two teaspoons of dried rosemary needles for the fermentation. It was really good, with the rosemary definitely present but not overpowering. If anything, the coriander (which was my attempt at lemon flavoring) was lost. Still great though.
 

mashinary

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I've brewed a rosemary stout and it was pretty damn good. In a 10 gallon batch used about 2oz of wet rosemary right from the garden. Tossed it in a hop bag, let it boil for around 3 min and removed it, then turned on the chiller.
 
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