Earth Eagle Brewings is bucking the hop-heavy trend in favor of an almost forgotten style of pre-revolutionary beer.
Perched just on the edge of downtown Portsmouth, this brewery isn’t slinging your typical tap lineup. Butch Heilshorn, the master brewer at Earth Eagle Brewings, makes a medieval style of beer that was almost forgotten: Gruit. This brewing method, however, is missing an ingredient that in these IPA-centric times seems to be crucial. Rather than using the popular hops, these brews take their flavor from locally foraged roots, leaves, fruits, and flowers. For instance, the Vinnie Gallows Amber Gruit is made from molasses, locally grown squash and herbs as well as wild grown grapes, which are added after fermentation. To create that beer, the team at Earth Eagle had to partner with a professor from Salem State University to find the pre-revolutionary recipe. They share their unorthodox botanical brews at their 165 High Street location and through their recently published book, Against all Hops, which is meant to be a guide for anyone interested in brewing their own botanical beers.