The Mother of Invention: Agave-Brewed Beer
By Elyse Glickman
Two great tastes that taste great together… tequila and beer.
You could say the emergent San Diego brewery Mother Earth may be doing for craft beer what the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup did for the candy world. But there is far more to the story than that.
This fall, Mother Earth Brew Company is launching a duo of craft beers with agave, already a success story quickly building momentum. This is thanks to the meeting of two like-minded souls–Daniel Love (a prize-winning home craft brewers who launched his business on May 1), and Phillip Soto Mares (CEO/Founder of El Duende Tequila and Maestro Tequilero).
“(What we have created are) two true agave beers forged through real teamwork, hand- crafted from the harvesting to the roasting and musto on my end, to the brewing skills of Daniel Love and his team,” says Soto Mares, who describes himself as a fellow craft beer enthusiast. “We are not just merging two dis- tinctive kinds of beverages, but also making two styles of beer with the agave that have their own personality and character. Tequila enthusi- asts and craft beer enthusiasts are drawn to the most original spirits they can find, and now we can bring other people together in a way similar to how we came together.”
In a matter of months, Daniel Love transformed his hobby into an innovative family- owned tap room and brewer’s supply shop that has caught on quickly with fellow craft- brewers, thanks in part to its very orderly showcasing of grains from all over the world that enables a brewer to buy exactly what he needs to create a unique style of craft beer.
This caught the attention of Soto Mares, who made his way to Mother Earth’s tap room to experience Love’s passion and expertise for creating unique recipes for himself. A dialogue was soon underway and Love was inspired to learn all he could about agave to bring Soto Mares’ idea to fruition. With partner/fellow craft brewers Kamron Khannakhjavani and Stuart Long, they brewed their first experimental batch. However, Love and Soto Mares knew right away they had to do a little extra homework to elevate this new and delicious concept—a craft beer brewed with agave–to the next level.
“When one brews a beer with a foreign substance such as agave, it can put a haze into the beer,” explains Love. “Although some beer drinkers do not mind a cloudy beer, we all agreed we wanted to present the unique ales with clarity. We decided to brew two styles that could showcase the influence of Phillip’s agave —a light “Saison” style with Belgian and French malts, and a Brown Ale made with traditional American malts.”
Two types of agave musto (liquid in the early stage of tequila distillation) provided by Soto Mares to Love’s brewing team were customized to suit the different beer styles. The musto used for the Brown Ale came from agave roasted for a longer period of time to achieve an earthier flavor profile. The agave for the Saison was less roasted for a lighter overall character, for a result that works well with light carbonation and essences of cardamom and orange peel. Love and Soto are also proud of the fact that each of these beers, like a Cabernet and Chardonnay wine (respectively), can pair with different foods.
Like peanut butter and chocolate in the candy world a generation ago, agave and beer have come together in a “sweet” way that Soto Mares and Love predict will take craft beer fans nationwide by surprise and by storm