Every Friday afternoon I meet up with a small group (sometimes just myself) of scientists to discuss beer, science, and life in a new town at Earth Eagle Brewings (EEB) in Portsmouth, NH. This new tradition (currently the 6th Friday) started my 3rd day in town when a friend invited me to check out the brewery, which surprisingly very few locals around town are aware of. Small, local, 6 taps on, goldfish crackers all accompanied by the occasional harassment from the surly yet lovable bartenders, EEB specializes in “unique hopped ales popularly known as beer, as well as mysterious un-hopped ales called gruit (groot)… we sometimes add herbs to our beer and occasionally we add hops to our gruits… sometimes brew with fruit and have also employed meat in our creations… using fresh, local, in-season ingredients when available.” This past Friday I decided to gift some jar samples to the lovely bar staff one sample being my pear cider mustard. To say the least, they ate it up… and in no time other bar patrons were asking for a taste of the mustard. Lightbulb- Why not make whole grain mustard using the locally beer brewed by EEB?!?
This mustard recipe employes EEB’s smoked roots Kumbaya gruit ale. For those of you who like myself were/are unfamiliar with gruit, it is an old-fashioned mixture of herbs used for bitterring and flavoring beer. Gruit was used by medieval brewers to flavor their beers before hops became a universal beer flavoring agent starting around the 15th century. I chose the Kumbaya gruit for this mustard because of its distinct smoky, yet flowery flavor. Also compared to the previous mustards that I’ve put up, I decided to keep this rendition a bit more grainy.
So you’re probably wondering where the heck am I going to find a gruit ale to make this mustard… It may not be the easiest thing to find, but here is a list of gruit ales that I believe are acquirable in the USA. If not, just swap out the gruit for a different beer of your choosing! Enjoy.