Skip to main content

Mushroom Beers Are a Thing. Here are 4 Worth Drinking

In much of the country, seasonal darkness and precipitation has fully set in. For humans, that tends to spell hibernation (and bingeing Netflix). For mushrooms and other members of the fungi kingdom (I’m looking your way, truffles), it’s the time to shine and a call to action.

The culinary world has long adored the earthy, forest-kissed flavors of chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, morels, and more. Every good restaurant seems to have a story, at least from its formative years, involving the owner or chef making some kind of back-alley deal with the resident mycologist and forager for the freshest ‘shrooms out there.

Related Videos

It took a while to get to craft beer — and to be fair, it’s still a small slice of the brewing pie — but there are some options. Brewers are honing in on the many qualities the wide spectrum of mushrooms bring to the table, from soft and subtle to rich and powerful. As such, the styles of beer they tend to share a recipe with are just as wide-reaching, from lighter ales to heftier porters and strong beers.

Like a kelpie (you don’t taste the kelp so much as maybe get a hit of salt) or oyster stout (same), a good mushroom beer isn’t all that mushroom-y. There’s usually en extra earthy or savory kick of some kind, for sure, but it tends to play passenger to the malt and hop bills.

Fortunately, a good mushroom beer promotes hibernation. It’s a partnership worth exploring this winter as you broaden your beer-drinking palate and look for a little assist as you wind down an evening and throw on your favorite pajamas.

Want to be a fun guy? Here are four mushroom beers to try.

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

Longstanding Oregon brewery Rogue brews up a different batch of its holiday seasonal each year. The 2019 is the best yet, a strong ale made with flavorful candy cap mushrooms. It’s deep, maple-y, but not overly rich or strong. It’s a great way to showcase a type of fungi that are often used in dessert dishes like custards and brûlées. Try it with a cookie or two.

Jester King Snorkel

Jester King Snorkel

Austin brewery Jester King has made a habit of making great beer with foraged adjuncts and other wild ingredients. This one is made with oyster mushrooms and smoked sea salt. It’s almost a bashful brew, coming in at less than 5% ABV, but the round savory notes come through with real tasty force. The umami character many associate with oyster mushrooms comes through nicely.

Scratch Brewing Company Chanterelle Bièr de Garde

Scratch Brewing Company Chanterelle Bièr de Garde

Scratch is a farmhouse operation out of Illinois that likes to dabble in mushroom concoctions. The brewery is known to thrown fungi-themed beer gatherings at its headquarters. This one is the first in the lineup that it ever bottled, wearing a handsome label and showing flavors of dried fruit and fresh bread.

Breakside The Oligarch Candy Cap

Breakside The Oligarch Candy Cap

It should be no surprise that another Oregon brewery made the cut. The damp Pacific Northwest is a mushroom mecca. Breakside’s riff is a head-ringer, a Russian Imperial Stout also made with candy caps. It’s decadent, with brown sugar notes and a subtle sherry-like quality. It’s also part of the larger and quite creative Oligarch barrel-aged series.

Editors' Recommendations

The best kegerators for keeping your favorite beers cold and fresh
Fresh beer is better beer. Now, you can have cold draft beer at home or on the go with your own personal beer keg setup.
best kegerator on amazon

There's a wide selection of iconic craft beers and tasty cheap beers available to drink in cans and bottles. But nothing beats a good, heady draft pint served right from a tap or kegerator. As the name implies, a kegerator is a refrigerator that keeps a keg of beer cold and fresh while allowing you to dispense the contents from a built-in pressurized tap system on top.

However, it is a costly appliance, so it’s recommended to do your homework and invest your hard-earned money in a top-notch quality unit that will surely keep your beer fresh. To help you save time on researching the best ones, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best kegerators of 2023, with our selections ranging from on-the-go options to the most innovative dual-tap kegerators.

Read more
Is erythritol harmful? What a dietitian says new data means for your Keto diet
Erythritol is common in many keto foods - what does that mean for your health?
erythritol in keto diet advice

While sugar substitutes have been around for more than a century, they didn't really become mainstream here in the United States until around the mid-70s. According to Carolyn De La Pena, professor of American Studies at UC Davis and author of Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, between 1975 and 1984, Americans increased their consumption of artificial sweeteners by 150 percent. This timeline makes sense when you take into account that the late seventies coincided with the start of our crazed diet culture and the revolving door of fad diets.
One such diet that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, however, is the Keto diet. Still hugely popular among Americans trying to shed a few pounds, Keto focuses heavily on limited or no carbohydrates. Because sugar contains carbohydrates, followers of Keto have turned to artificial sweeteners to satisfy those late-night cravings - sweeteners that, more often than not, contain erythritol. Erythritol in particular has become hugely popular because it's much better for baking than other sugar substitutes, has less of an artificial flavor, and will keep the eater in Ketosis, which is key for losing weight on the Keto diet.
A new study has made waves recently because its findings indicate there's a link between erythritol and higher rates of heart attack and stroke (though the study did note that only an association was found — not causation. So should you be worried?
We asked Dan LeMoine, RD, the award-winning author of Fear No Food and the Clinical Director at Phoenix-based Re:vitalize Nutrition, what he had to say about erythritol, including its benefits and potential health risks. "Artificial sweeteners are still sweeteners. While many are non-nutritive or zero-calorie, we tend to view them similarly as we do regular sweeteners or sugars — moderation is key. While many have amazing implications on weight loss – being low to no-calorie options and having little impact on blood sugar, some have their downside," he says.

While some of that sugar substitution has been good for waistlines and health issues that come from obesity, it seems to be causing more and more concern when it comes to other potential health issues. "For example," says LeMoine, "some research indicates the popular sweeteners stevia may have negative effects on the gut microbiome. And the recent study showing correlation between the sugar alcohol, erythritol, and heart attack and stroke."

Read more
Feeling adventurous? 5 of the weirdest cocktails from around the globe
Would you order a cocktail with a pickled human toe? You can in Canada, apparently
unusual and unique cocktails sourtoe cocktail

We all love a good cocktail, but it's easy to tire of the classics. There's nothing wrong with a perfectly frosty, salted-rimmed margarita, or a warm-to-your-bones, cherry-topped old-fashioned, but sometimes, you just want something new. Something that makes you think. Something that, perhaps, gives you a chuckle. These are those cocktails.
Pig's Blood Piña Colada (USA)

Back in 2014, bartender Jason Brown of Chicago's Kinmont restaurant and bar, concocted this cocktail after listening to a Werewolves of London lyric about a werewolf drinking a pina colada. His creativity sparked, and the "Werewolves of London" cocktail was born.

Read more