In our backyard there is a huge amount of nature to behold – which is why spring is such a wonderful season. This year a pair of robins (Shawna has named them Robin and Robyn) have built a little nest in our back yard. As the days get warmer we love spending time back there watching them. It’s not just them though – we have also been keeping an eye on a troupe of baby woodpeckers learning their way around the world.

All this to say: I think spring has really inspired Beaus to make something interesting. Their Tikkatee Gruit is not their first foray into the mostly untested waters of gruits but I’m pretty sure it’s the first one to use mushrooms at the bittering agent. This beer uses both bog myrtle, a very fragrant herb and chaga mushrooms, a unique mix that I am excited to try. When looking up these ingredients I did notice that the mushroom is parasitic to trees, so foraging them and making them into beer is quite good for those trees involved.

A gruit is a style of beer that is made without hops. If you look closely at the bottle you’ll notice that hops is listed in the ingredients. This isn’t an issue of mislabeling or them not doing the style correctly: it’s the law. In Ontario for a product to be called a “beer” you need to have hops in it. To get around this Beaus literally throws a single hop into the brew, making the product a beer. Trust me, you wont taste that hop. Instead the above mentioned herb and mushroom will add bitterness to the flavour.

You can purchase a bottle at select LCBO’s for $5.95 which gets you 600ml. The beer sits at 6% ABV.

Important note: this beer was sent to us by Beaus, the issue is that the package was damaged during shipping. When it arrived the bottle was still sealed but appeared to be only half full. This may have affected carbonation and the below tasting notes should keep that in mind.

Appearance: Cloudy and orange with no head at all. Unfiltered.

Aroma: Tangerine and mango, tropical fruits.

Taste: Honey and pepper with hints of tangerine. Some kind of umami to it, maybe from the mushroom. Kind of woodsy.

Aftertaste: a bit of citrus and very dry.

Overall: A unique beer for those looking for something a bit different. Pair it with something salty and snacky like crackers with unique toppings of their own.

Kole McRae

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