Earl Gray Brown

The smart thinking for this comes entirely from my girlfriend. “I want you to make a beer with Earl Gray tea,” she says, and so I set about seeing how this would work. I thought about a few different styles, but given the orange qualities of the tea I decided a brown ale would probably work best with the flavors of the tea. The suggestion I got from an employee of Steinbarts was to steep the tea in cold water first and then add the water to the boil near the end, so I went with this idea.

As a brown ale it’s pretty solid, but there are a few interesting things about it. First, to really appreciate it I’ve discovered I have to take it out of the fridge for at least five minutes so it will warm up. If I do that, the beer actually gives me a nice head on it when it’s poured, and releases a orange blossom-ish nose. Without that time to warm up the beer just doesn’t produce the same flavors. 

As far as drinking this beer goes, I may’ve produced a very nice session ale. I’m not a big drinker of Earl Gray tea so I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for in a flavor profile, but there’s a bitterness at the end that reminds me of black teas so perhaps that’s one of the additions. The EGB is strong enough to cleanse my palate of tuna fish sandwich and buffalo bleu potato chips, but without feeling really filling. All in all, a pretty good drink and one I think I’ll make again. I think that in the warmer months it’ll be surprisingly refreshing.

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4 thoughts on “Earl Gray Brown”

  1. I’m considering making an Earl Gray Wheat and your blog is the second entry from Google. The first one is about a guy adding the tea to his porter and ruining it. I don’t know what to think, so maybe I’ll open a wheat, add a little tea to the glass and see if it’s any good.

    1. Hi there!

      I think you want to drink the tea at least to see what flavors it might bring to the style you’re making. I can see an Earl Gray Wheat coming out really well, actually.

      I’ve had difficulty getting the tea flavors to come out but this might be because I’m making a darker style. In a lighter one you might use less tea.

      Next time I make this beer though, I’m going to just make a gallon or so of tea-strong tea, in this case-and then add another couple gallons to it and start my boil. Make the beer from a base of tea, in essence. Maybe that process would work for you, too.

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