Rishi Brews a Pub Favorite

Rishi Tea has developed a unique cold brewing in collaboration with craft beer maker Milwaukee Brewing Co.

"Tea is a tricky ingredient for a brewer because if you put it directly into the brew kettle, strong tannins can develop, making the beer overly astringent," brewer Robert Morton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"Rishi came up with a way to make giant tea bags and drop them into the fermenters for cold steeping, which gently extracts the flavor," Morton explained.

Morton and Kurt Mayes began collaborating on creative brews when Mayes, then a sous chef and home brewer, brought in samples of his Imperial wheat beer brewed with green tea and chamomile. He described the company’s latest release, O-Gii, as floral and aromatic, and extremely smooth and easy drinking.

It is also made with an infusion from Rishi.

He describes the name as a nod to "original gravity," the brewing calculation that yields fermentable sugars and estimates strength. The ale weighs in at 9.2% alcohol by volume, yet tastes like honey with a hint of Asian ginger and floral chamomile aromatics.

Weekend at Louie's is yet another Rishi collaboration. Reporter Lucy Saunders described the session beer contains just 4% alcohol by volume. “This is brewed with Rishi's Blueberry Rooibos, a botanical tea with wild blueberries, hibiscus and natural flavors of strawberry. In the ale, the result is a huge nose of fresh berries, followed by a tart and refreshing flavor, not sugary in the least,” according to Saunders.

It's a pleasing ale for summer afternoon sipping, and pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken and maple-glazed salmon. Look for O-Gii on draft and Weekend at Louie's in bottles later this summer, she wrote.

Milwaukee Brewing Co. opened 15 years ago as a brewpub and has expanded to build a packaging brewery to expanding its reach, with new branding and broader distribution just as the craft brewing industry hits a crescendo, writes Saunders.

Source: http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/craft-beer-gets-herbal-infusion-p758pfg-151415965.html  

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