Everything But the Squeal

Among thrifty carnivore types, there's an axiom: "everything but the squeal." This applies to a pig and how much of the body to utilize. Apparently that axiom is one Ron Gansberg applies to beer, too, because he has re-harvested his apricots and included the meat from the pits in his latest beer.

When I was out there in December, he showed me the high-tech process they use once they have the discarded pits from their Apricot Ale. As I recall, it involves a hinged lever device and a lot of grunting. And then an explosion of pit shrapnel. In the end, what you have is an almond-tasting nut so small it takes 600-700 to make a pound. These have been used to flavor amaretto liquor and other almondy-tasting things, as well as tonics to ward off cancer. (Studies say it doesn't work.) In any case, the fruit of this laborious process is finally at hand. Over the weekend, Cascade will unveil a blended "white port/raspberry/apricot seed beer" for Zwickelmania.

Which reminds me-- Zwickelmania is this Saturday. It is an annual event wherein members of the Oregon Brewers guild throw open their brewery doors and give tours to the public. It was a smash hit last year--a little unexpectedly, according to the brewers I spoke to--and this year breweries are making an even bigger deal of it. Like, you know, releasing white port/raspberry/apricot seed beers.

For full details, including itineraries, maps, and addresses, go to the Oregon Brewers Guild website.