Gruff Brewing is planning to use some interesting ingredients in upcoming beers. The brewery has made unique beers before, such as its pineapple hefeweizen, spiced imperial Belgian brown, and chocolate coffee stout, but it’s about to take things to another level. No, it’s not going to use odd or gross ingredients. It’s looking to use ingredients with globally historical roots, but with a local focus.
Gruff’s small, 2-barrel brewhouse allows for experimenting and brewing a wide variety of beers. Co-owner and brewer Chris Bierman has lots of ideas in the works, but he sounds most excited about using a unique malt from Skagit Valley Malting called Obsidian (formerly “Purple Egyptian”). It’s a hull-less, landrace barley malt that originated at the headwaters of the Nile River in Egypt, and was revived by grain historian Dr. Richard Scheuerman of the Seattle Pacific University. The grain has a purple-black hue, and it tastes similar to Grape-Nuts cereal. It’s a very limited grain, but Bierman hopes to use it in at least a few of his upcoming beers.