Around 2008 my son and I converted an icebox to a “Kegerator” so we could have herbal and other types of beers, mead, and, occasionally
Vicksberg Lynchburg lemonade, on tap. Over the years herbal beers such as sage and nettle (both of which are absolutely wonderful on a hot summer day), and a number of different types of meads have been brewed. My oldest son and my wife are the brewers and they have put out some spectacular brews over the past eight years. They make a dry type of mead which is completely different from the mead usually sold in grocery stores…the store variety is more of a desert wine, while ours is a table mead to have with meals or friends. As we are a home brewer the mead cannot be sold but over the years has been well received by our friends and acquaintances.
Oh, the Nettle beer…it’s made from stinging nettles. When I gather the tender tops of nettles for the beer, I “suit up” with heavy long pant, a jacket with long sleeves, fasten my collar and don heavy rubber gloves. The last thing you want to happen is brush up against the needles for a soon as you do, you are in immediate pain. Right about this point you’re wondering how stinging nettles can be made into a beer and why would you drink it. I usually gather about five pounds of nettle tops and when I get home, they are immersed in boiling water which neutralizes the “sting” and once boiled and mixed with the other ingredients provide a very tasty brew for a hot summer day after three or four days brewing. It’s not a high alcoholic beer (about 5%) but it goes down easy in the late afternoon.
It’s been a while since we’ve made Nettle beer and this spring I’ll be gathering tender nettle tops.
Our Kegerator can hold four 5-gallon kegs and over time, the original pull taps have been replaced by Nordic figures, Thor, Freya, Idunn, and Odin. Two of the figures came from the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, WA (Odin and Thor) and Freya and Idunn from Solarfilma in Iceland as the museum no longer carried these figures.
Today’s Daily Photo: The Kegerator (iPhone 6, ProCamera 8 app)
(Left to right) Freya, Idunn, Thor, Odin