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Black Trumpet Ale: Elk Brewery Tree Beer

Tree Beer is a month-long celebration that features Grand Rapids love for beers and trees. The Brewers Grove was born as a way for the Beer City Brewers Guild to get creative and collaborate with Friends of GR Parks to use beer as a way to give back to our parks and public spaces. To celebrate this unique collaboration, each February 15th – March 15th, the Grand Rapids Brewers Guild celebrates by crafting tree themed beers and sharing them with the city. Funds are raised through tree beer sales and used towards planting trees in a Brewers Grove to increase the city’s tree canopy.

Elk Brewery truly embraced the essence of tree beer by getting creative and collaborating with other local beer and outdoor enthusiasts. Through reaching out to the Michigan Mushroom Hunters facebook Elk Brewing found Suede Mobley, a mushroom enthusiast, and Justin Leys from Big Mitten Hops to collaborate on a unique brew for 2019 Tree Beer. The beer that they created uses the black trumpet mushroom, which grows on hardwood Michigan trees and gives the beer an earthy flavor and unique color. By pairing the trumpet mushroom with a blonde ale, Elk got to allow the mushroom to shine through and watch a light and crisp ale transform.

Beau Debruyne is a brewer at Elk that explained some of the challenges of dreaming up a Tree Beer. Crafting a beer that uses ingredients from a tree is typically challenging because the flavors are either too bold or non-existent. However, Beau, as well as the other members of the Beer City Brewers Guild, love a challenge, especially when it involves a good cause like the brewer’s grove tree beer event.

The finished product is ‘The Black Trumpet Ale’ a 5% abv beer that incorporates the mushrooms strong, sweet and woodsy aroma with an earthy, rich and nutty taste. The beer uses copper hops that are Michigan grown and has a unique flavor that is both floral and tropical.

Elk Brewery has created a great addition to this year’s Tree Beer!

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