Mention the word foraging and images spring to my mind of Scandinavian chefs scouring shorelines for seaweed or emo Americans roaming mountains for fennel. Unless your name is Rene Redzepi, the concept is only moderately convincing…except when foraging fuels beer.
At grain- and fermentation-focused Emmer & Rye on Austin’s raucous Rainey Street, I asked if they plan to brew their own beer, since that seems like a natural evolution. My server, Alex, said they recently fermented soda in-house, which resulted in an exploding keg during the middle of service. Maybe not. ABC might also limit their fermentation efforts. Thankfully, chef-owner Kevin Fink stocks six cans of craft beer, along with seven taps, including my favorite beer of the trip: Revolver Brewing Land Grab, a 6.4% ABV foraged amber ale.
Revolver Brewing operates out of Granbury, Texas, which is located about three hours north of Austin. In this case, the brewery foraged a rugged type of sagebrush called artemisia, kicked in roasted chicory to add an earthy base tone, and lavender for a floral finish. The copper hued beer contains four different types of malt, so even with the addition of rarely seen Saphir hops, the brew was still somewhat sweet, but highly drinkable.