Craft beer is everywhere these days. Walk into any good bar and you will find offerings from Brewdog, 8 Degrees and Founders to go along with Guinness’s HopHouse 13 or West Indies Porter. But how far will craft beer lovers go to drink something tasty? Will they drink a beer that is made from rotten fruit? That is the question that Sam Calagione, owner of the famous “Dogfish Head” brewery, and Mario Batali the former Iron Chef judge and owner of “Del Posto” are asking.
Sam Calagione is one of the original craft beer pioneers, having brewed beers like pumpkin ales, wood aged smoked beers, Belgian Browns, dark IPA’s, and chicory coffee stouts from as far back as 1995. Sam’s constant desire to try something new, has had the brewery make beers recently like their “120 Minute” IPA which clocks in at 15-20% ABV, and their “World Wide” imperial stout at 18%. His collaboration with Mario Batali resulted in them creating a “pruno”, otherwise known as a prison wine for the uninitiated. As you would expect, pruno’s are made of whatever is available in a prison, for example stale bread, Demerara sugar, candy, grapefruit, apples and ketchup.
Their pruno beer, known as “WasteNot”, uses “B” and “B-minus” grade tomatoes that would not be served to customers but instead pureed and used as stock. Herbs that are getting old and bruised citrus fruits are used too. This beer hasn’t gone to the same extreme as the “wastED” pop up restaurant by Dan Barber as it is using ingredients that are still edible and not technically waste. However it is highlighting the strict rules that restaurants have for perfect quality ingredients, where even the slightest perception of a fault will lead to ingredients being thrown out.
People seemed to be 50-50 on trying the beer. The recipe was based on a wheat beer, with it coming in at 7.1%, and being described as light, crisp and effervescent. Sounds tasty! Just remember waste not, want not next time you are looking at a slightly bruised banana!
The episode on the creation of this beer is below, enjoy!