Over the past year we've seen a wide array of beers that contain some of the more unique ingredients available to brewers, that are looking to push the brewing envelope.
From Dandelion to Jalapeno to Peppercorns people are looking to brewers and their beers to challenge their taste buds and get them away from the same-ol'-same ol'.
Enter Squatters owner, Peter Cole. Peter is very found of New Zealand and one of his favorite places there is the Mussel Inn. There they make a unique beer made from a plant that is unique to that region of the world. With assistance from the Mussel Inn's owners, Andrew & Jane Dixon. Peter was able to obtain an herb rarely seen or tasted in North America.
Manuka was first added to beer by Captain James Cook. Cook was searching for a way to alleviate the affects of scurvy, the Captain found it in the bitter plant. Cook knew it would be more palatable to the crew if put into a beer, rather than just chewing it or making it into tea. Besides finding a cure for his crew's scurvy, he also came up with a very agreeable beer.
We don't have much of a scurvy problem here in Utah but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the medicine.
The Squatters brew crew got their hands on the the Manuka (courtesy of the Dixons)and immediately got it into the kettle. They came up with a very unique lagered beer that's here just in time for the Holidays.
It pours a very clear ruby/amber color with a moderate sudsy head. The nose is of malt, herbs and coriander. The taste starts with a Tea like bitterness with hints of Lemongrass and ginger. Next comes a malty coriander punch that balances the spices well. The finish has a pronounced herbal/floral bitterness. The ABV is 6.25%.
This a great spice beer. It's not overpowering and it's punch isn't too overwhelming.
The Squatters label pay homage to the original Mussel Inn beer.
Captain Cooker Manuka Beer will be available starting Wednesday (11/24/10). $5 out of Squatters beer store and $9.99 at table. It will also be available at the UBC Beer Store.