Using Tea Blends a Way to Spice Up Various Brews

Going outside the realm of barley, hops, water and yeast has sort of been a mainstay in common craft beer. For Milwaukee Brewing Company (aka MKE), using teas in its beer has led to some very innovative brands for the Wisconsin brewery.

“Integrating teas and tea blends into the brewing process has given us a limitless pallet to create beers from,” said MKE Marketing Director Hannah Falk. “The technique varies with different tea products, but the end results are always unique and very tasty.”

Falk said the brewery’s extensive research and development with using various teas in beer recipe development has lead to some very popular brands for MKE.

The brewery’s ‘O-Gii’ Imperial Wit is brewed with Sencha Tea, Chamomile, and fresh ginger.

“[It] has been a huge hit in Wisconsin for years,” Falk said.

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Milwaukee perfumes its Double IPA, ‘Hop Freak,’ with Jasmine tea while the facilities summer offering, ‘Weekend @ Louies,’ is finished off with a Blueberry Rooibos Tea blend.

This past spring, Falk said they received great reviews on the newest seasonal, a Blood Orange & Hibiscus IPA.

Most of Milwaukee Brewing’s research and development was done in the pilot brewhouse.

“We would either find a beer style that we thought would compliment a tea blend, or a tea that would do great in a style that we already brewed,” Falk explained. “In most cases, we adjust the beer recipe so as not to overwhelm the unique tea character. The ultimate goal is to make the tea presence a natural part of the beer recipe. Not over the top, but complementary.”

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