These Foraging Brewers Aim to Make Truly Local Beers
, 2022-11-24 14:08:04,
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Jimmy Mauric, head brewmaster of Shiner Beer, has loved dewberries since he was a kid. “They were very abundant and grew wild on fence lines, creek bottoms and railroad track ditches,” says Mauric, who used to forage for the berries, which are related to blackberries, in his hometown of Shiner, Texas. “These berries were a treat to snack on, and most important was the dewberry cobblers and ice cream Momma made out of them.”
When he and his team at Shiner Beer were trying to think of new flavors and styles with a strong sense of place, he kept coming back to those foraged dewberries.
“Nothing gets more local than dewberries,” says Mauric. “They’re literally in our backyards. So, when we were developing the Weisse N Easy in our pilot brewery, we just went out in the country and picked enough dewberries for the brew.”
Easier said than done. Several issues including seasonal variability came to light during the production process. Shiner had to find a larger source to keep the product consistent and profitable. “We can spend so much time picking dewberries. With the volumes we need, we have to outsource larger quantities. We approached Brazos River Provisions, and they were able to supply our needs just a little over 50 miles away from our brewery.”
Shiner is one of several breweries across the U.S. that are using local and seasonal ingredients like dandelions, dewberries, and elderberries to make their beers. But there…
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