V is for Vegetables

V is for Vegetables


Fruit has long been used for making fermented beverages, and for obvious reasons: It’s loaded with fermentable sugar, and makes for a great brew. Wine is the prime example of this.

Vegetables also have sugar in them, though not as much. Definitely not enough to be the primary source of fermentable sugars in a brew. However, they do manage to work their way into some traditional American brews.

I’m especially thinking of pumpkin ales that are all the rage in the autumn. Other fall veggies can also find their way into beers, like yams.

Some among us are not terribly fond of vegetables in beer. (You know who you are.) But others really enjoy the flavors added by the vegetable sugars.

As I understand it, the use of vegetables in beer goes back to the early colonization of North America by Europeans. They wanted to brew beer, but there wasn’t sufficient grain available, so they found their sugar where they could. Vegetables did the job. Vegetable ales kind of stuck.

So what do you think? Are veggies in beer gross? A gross travesty? Or delicious?

I’m participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. The goal is to write a post prompted by a letter of the alphabet on each day of April (except Sunday). My theme this year is brewing. Visit my other A to Z posts by clicking here.

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