Move over kombucha, cider, mead. Hello gruit and braggots.
Inside Portland’s 200 Anderson St. Eli Cayer is going with the grain. The owner of Urban Farm Fermentory is taking over the space formerly occupied by Bomb Diggity Bakery to open an experimental brewing lab. “This has always part of the plan, it’s taken some tome to get there,” said Cayer. “UFF has always been a winery, but you can’t ferment grains in a winery.”
In a 700 square-foot space under the same roof, UFF’s is opening a new grain fermentation facility called Gruit. “This allows us to do a few things that are new in the beer world.” Gruit, an ancient herbal beer, will be made here and served on tap in UFF’s tasting room. As will braggots (a barley malt mead).
The second tier to the new business focuses on home brewers. “We’ve got friends who home brew and want to serve their stuff,” said Cayer, who is collaborating with Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth on this new model.
Local brewers such as Rising Tide and Bunker Brewing are poised to riff on these ancient styles, by sharing brewing elements like worts for new styles and tastes.
“Beer is huge, because it’s so big, we want to explore styles that no one is doing like gruits and bragotts. Plus it’s a way to connect with friend. We will see how it evolves,” said Cayer.
.Look for the new/old styles to flow freely in Yeast Bayside in January.