UNH News Service: Area residents soon will enjoy a sour fall beer made of kiwiberries that was brewed at the University of New Hampshire thanks to a new partnership between researchers with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and the university’s new brewing science program.
Artuga Sour uses kiwiberry varieties grown as part of a breeding research project and was brewed at the UNH Brewing Science Laboratory by students participating in the brewing science program. It will be available soon locally, on tap.
Cheryl Parker, manager of the lab, said she has never heard of kiwiberries being used to make beer, but they are a good selection because they offer a flavor that is delicate and blends well with the sour style brew UNH is making, a Berliner-Weisse made from barley and wheat. In addition to the kiwiberries, a shot of sweet strawberry syrup made from strawberries grown at the experiment station’s Woodman Farm can be added.
With their general adaptation to the region, their attractive appearance, intense and complex flavor profiles, high levels of bioactive compounds, and easy consumability, kiwiberries have long been recognized for their potential as a high-value crop in New England. A tender, smooth-skinned relative of the fuzzy supermarket kiwi, grape-sized kiwiberries are tropical-tasting fruits that have grown in the backyards and private gardens of the region for 140 years. Despite this long history in the region, however, virtually no commercial production exists.
“Kiwiberry producers, like any commercial fruit producer, must find outlets for any fruits that do not meet grade A standards,” said Will Hastings, manager of the UNH kiwiberry vineyard. “These outlets may come in the form of secondary processing into jams, baby food, juice, extracts, and may other products, including use in beers. I’m excited to see how much of the intense flavor that kiwiberries are known for can be brought forward. Given the trend towards sourcing local fruits for use in sour beers, it could be a real hit.”
Parker sees the brew lab’s new partnership with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station enhancing the academic program. Not only will students in the program have access to different local products that are still in development, they also will be able to collaborate and learn about important research at UNH.
The brewing science laboratory is working with the experiment station on a potential winter beer that uses pumpkins from Kingman Research Farm. For more than 50 years, the experiment station has funded the longest, continuous cucurbit research breeding program in North America. The lab recently brewed a kelp beer (Stormy Seas Stout) in partnership with NH Sea Grant, which was available locally on tap at Hop + Grind.
This material is based upon work supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 233561, and the state of New Hampshire.