Beer Meets Wood is a magical event in downtown Portland Maine that pairs tree stuff with beer stuff in fun and interesting ways. So yeah, you can bet your fanny pack and beer holsters Amanda rolled up in there with a hot mic and timeless questions like, “If wood could talk, and beer could talk, what would they say to each other?” Prepare for an episode seeped in the gnarls and whorls of dead trees and philosophical pontification about the one true New England dictionary. Welcome to Great Beer Adventure; Entry 109.
Beer Meets Wood
This event featured over 200 beers in a delicate tango with a variety of woods. From the sounds of it, most of the beers were rocking pretty high gravities. A few brewers in the episode talk about why wood matters. You can take one beer, age them in three different wood barrels, and end up with three unique flavor profiles. However, they don’t recommend just pouring your beer into a tree to see what happens. But don’t worry, I did it anyway.
Interview with a Tree
I took a beer out into the wilds of the West Ashley Greenway in Charleston, SC to ask a few trees their opinions on beers. Most of the trees stayed quiet, a real shocker, I know. But one hearty pine by a marsh bridge was kind enough to entertain me.
Me: Welcome to Great Beer Adventure, Mr. Pine Tree. I’m here to introduce you to beer.
Mr. Pine Tree: You don’t have to introduce me to beer. I’m a talking tree after all. I know a thing or two…I probably know more than you do, to be honest.
Me: A sassy pine, I like it. Well Mr. Pine – mind telling us what beer you prefer to drink, eh, absorb through your root system?
Mr. Pine Tree: Unfortunately my palate is relegated to the crushed beer cans dirty fisherman leave around here when fishing off the bridge. Most of it is cheap gas station beer. I’ve been lucky to get some of mycorrhiza on some Westbrook Mexican Cake and Frothy Beard Jetty.
Me: That’s awesome! You know, I could be your drinking buddy. You must get lonely out here.
Mr. Pine Tree: Not really. I’m telepathically linked to every tree, plant, and fungus on the planet. All of the dead trees, living trees, and seeds yet to be born.
Me: That’s really intense. I kind of feel stupid now.
Mr. Pine Tree: Well most humans should feel stupid. But hey, if you happen to pour some beer on my trunk during your bike rides I’ll drop some pinecones for you to play with.
What Would Treebeard Drink?
For the uninitiated, Treebeard is a giant talking tree from Lord of the Rings. He talks slow, throws boulders, and floods Isengard in one of the most epic cinematic scenes in history. While there are a handful of Lord of the Rings beers out there, I think the winner goes to one that doesn’t actually exist. Entmoot Maple Mead by Fangorn Draught – a label concept made by Cory Freeman. Check it out.