Sometime this summer, two cute, kind of granola-ish guys (do people even use that term anymore?) showed up at the brewery with a bag of mushrooms. ¬†They said (and I *could* be slightly paraphrasing here ūüôā ), “dudes, look at these beautiful mushrooms we just gathered from the woods of NH. Do you want to brew with them?” ¬†Without a moments¬†hesitation¬†we said “heck yea”!¬† So this summer, I homebrewed a batch of chaga porter, and it came out pretty darn tasty. ¬†It was tasty enough that we decided to brew the beer as our sixth and final brew in our Unafraid of the Dark II stout and porter series. ¬†The beer is called ‘No More Mr. Fungi’ (of course), and it is an easy-to-drink, earthy porter with a great bitterness & depth of flavor due to the mushrooms.

Before describing the beer in more detail, first a bit about chaga. Chaga is a mushroom that grows on birch trees. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in several regions of the world like Eastern Europe. In fact, dating back to the 16th century, chaga has been used in folk medicine as a remedy for cancer, ulcers, and TB.  Even today in Japan, chaga is used to promote healthy looking skin.  Feel free to use this as an excuse as to why you need to pick up a few growlers of this beer!

Jeremy, our chaga forester, brought us the chaga in big chunks, as shown in the picture above.  We then smashed it up into smaller pieces and added it in to the boil.

Throwback Brewery NH Chaga - Ground Up

Ground Chaga Ready to Boil

Here are a few additional details about the beer:
– First, I think it is worth pointing out that if I didn’t tell you there were mushrooms in this beer, you probably couldn’t figure it out. ¬†In that way, this beer is¬†analogous to the Brookford Farm Hidatsa Squash Porter we made last year (for those of you that tried it.)
– The beer came in at 5.9% A.B.V and 33 IBU. ¬†Don’t let the IBUs fool you though, the beer tastes like the IBUs are much higher given the pleasant bitterness that comes from the mushrooms. ¬†In fact, the mushrooms contribute this great earthy, lingering bitterness that make it taste like a robust porter.
– We used 10 lbs of chaga in the boil.
– The beer has a nice tan head and an earthy smell that becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

Before and After -A Whole Piece of Chaga Next to the Finished Product

All in all, we are very pleased with the way this beer turned out, and we hope you will be, too!