I met Lori O’Rea while I was working at the Penn Quarter farmers market last week. She works for S & S Maple Camp, a Maryland maple syrup farm. After chatting for a bit, she asked me the question I was just about to ask her: “Have you ever used maple syrup to make beer?” I told her that I was definitely interested in making some maple beers, so she gave me a bottle of S & S grade B pure maple syrup to use. Grade B is dark syrup, the kind you use in cooking and definitely the kind you use to make beer. Maple syrup is almost completely fermentable, so you need to use a robust syrup that will leave a residual flavor.
After running some ideas through my head for the last week, I came up with the next beer in the Master Series, my bottled line of extra-special beers. This beer is called One Thousand Leaves. It is a maple strong ale, clocking in at 8% ABV with three pounds of maple syrup for a distinct flavor and smooth, dry finish. British pale ale malt gives it a toasty background, with a touch of chocolate malt for color and subtle flavor.
I’m also making a maple porter for Thanksgiving, which I plan on sharing with Lori as well as my friends at Endless Summer Harvest.
Read more about the Master Series and the first beer in the series, Realize Truth, here.