As maple season draws to a close, Aeronaut has teamed up with Groundwork Somerville to make a hyper-local beer using maple sap! We have been tapping trees for a few years now, and are very excited to have a beer to share with our community.
A few years ago, we started tapping trees in our front and backyards to make some homemade maple syrup. Of course, that was a small operation and we were so happy with the result that last year, we scaled up a bit. Since we had already purchased some very large kettles for brewing, we figured we’d expand their use for making maple syrup.
Maple sap boils down at a ratio of 40:1, so even with these 60-gallon vessels, we could make about 1.5 gallons at a time. Still, that’s quite a bit of syrup for us and our friends.
This year, we had a different idea. We teamed up with Groundwork Somerville to build a collaborative beer using maple sap collected from Tufts University. First, we used our kettles to help with Groundwork’s annual maple boil.
Afterward, we used the late-season sap directly in our hoppy maple brown ale! No water was used in this beer–only sap. It smelled really good in the brewery as it was boiling. We liked the idea of using sap rather than maple syrup, because we wanted to keep more of the woody, maple-y volatile compounds in our beer and not lose them during the prolonged and vigorous maple boil.
Now, it’s fermenting in our tanks and we are all eagerly awaiting its debut.