Tales from the Workfloor: Let's Work our Magic on Stale Beer!

13 January 2022

The corona crisis has a big impact on businesses all around the world. Especially the hospitality industry in many countries has been hit hard. At Loki Distillery we have been fortunate enough to see our business actually grow during the pandemic. Using an iStill means we are adaptable to circumstances. We have seen this with iStill colleagues from all over the world; they easily switched to distilling hand sanitizer when there was a shortage or turning to different products when sales dropped or changed, for example.

At Loki Distillery we were able to help some pubs and brewers who were suddenly faced with a surplus of beer. With all the bars closed, the stock was piling up and, unlike spirits, you can't keep beer forever. So could we do something with the alcohol in the beer? And of course we can. There's actually a whole range of products that can be made out of beers.

The kind of beer more or less determines the final distilled product. So if you are interested in reusing beer here is a little guideline:

Blonde beers, weizen, etc.: turn them into a lighter spirit that can be used as a base for gin, liqueur or genever.

Dark lager, brown ale, Bock, double, etc.: turn them into a Bierbrand or eau-de-vie de bière. They need a couple of months of wood aging in new oak and get an almost whisky like flavor.

Stout, porter, triple, etc.: turn them into a barley wine. Let it rest for a couple of years in a used bourbon barrel or port pipe, to create a great almost sweet drink that reminds you of whisky and port at the same time.

Lager: there's not enough flavour to create something really interesting in most lagers. So turn it into a vodka or GNS.

IPA: The different hops for IPA have lovely fruity flavours, but they are horrible when distilled. They turn into flavors that are almost sulphuric or garlicky. So, with an IPA distill it into a vodka. To get rid of the residual smells do another vodka run, this time using the natriumhydroxide protocol that Odin wrote about in a previous blog post.

From stale beer to great spirits. Because we don't like to waste a drop of alcohol!



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