The boys from the Bruery were a great addition to the scheme, suggesting using yams and fenugreek in the beer. Apparently they use fenugreek in their Autumn Maple beer, which when roasted does in fact contribute a maple aroma, or at least it certainly did in the Stone kitchens at the bistro. They also had lemon verbena available from the [Stone] farm, and so we used that, too–about a bushel of it, it looked like. That was Mitch’s idea, and its intense and resinous lemoniness seemed like it would pair very well with the New Zealand Motueka hops we decided to use in the finish because, well, we felt like it. In addition, there was rye malt (both regular and dark), brown and honey malts, and some C-15 dextrine malt. We also put birch bark in the whirlpool–why not? It’s woodsy and sort of autumnal, after all.
I don’t know how much beer they brewed, but they used 1800! pounds of pumpkins and 450 pounds of yams, which is rather mind-boggling. The finished beer is going to be named Le Citrueille Celest de Citricado, and it will appear at Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Festival on October 8th and 9th.
Incidentally, it strikes me that Dick Cantwell is probably the authority on brewing pumpkin beers these days; most brewers, if they produce a pumpkin beer at all, only brew one or maybe two each season—but Elysian brews at least 10 or 11 each year, not counting their collaborations (mostly for their festival, but even so), ranging in styles from “classic” pumpkin ales to stout to sour.