Mulled beer

London was an eery place yesterday. A thick fog descended, leaving visibility of only 10 metres in my neck of the woods. The streets were absolutely deserted – maybe people have left town, maybe those that are around were all hungover.

Anyway, I fled to my local for some signs of life. The beer wasn’t in great nick to I switched to mulled wine, which got me thinking. You have mulled wine, milled cider – why isn’t mulled beer popular?

I’ve had hot beer with spices in Poland, where it’s reasonably popular in the south in the winter. I seem to remember it being quite nice, especially a version with honey and ginger.  It obviously doesn’t taste much like beer, but it was very satisfying after a day trudging through snow.

A quick google search reveals this article on about various historic mulled beers, and they sound extremely appealing.  I particularly like the bit about spicing them up to make homebrew more palatable, as we’ve got a fair bit of only-just drinkable homebrew in at the moment.

Has anyone mulled beer successfully and if so, what would they recommend? Does heating enhance or kill bitterness?


8 replies on “Mulled beer”

Pokered Ale, I have read about the tradition that existed in the midlands for driving a hot poker from the fire into a jug of Highgate Old Ale, sounds fantastic to me.

Stonch Im surprised at your conservatisim.

I think we’ll try some mulled beer experiments in January and report back. May have to improvise a poker though….

Beer Nut, can you remember what your beer was flavoured with? I seem to remember one with raspberry syrup that was revolting, but honey and ginger worked. But that was a few years ago now.

It wasn’t flavoured with syrup, which may have been my fault. Lager-with-syrup is another one of those Polish delicacies which I wouldn’t be running back to Kraków for. This may have meant that I eschewed the syrup option with my mulled beer, ‘cos what I got looked like a steaming glass of flat lager, and tasted like a steaming glass of flat lager. There were presumably spices and the like in there, but no fruit flavours at all.

Dear B&B, I know this is a really late post to this message, but I’ve only just come across your blog, via Tandleman’s.

Anyway, I know there are other spiced beers, but this winter I brewed one specifically with the idea that it might also be served warm – it’s called Ice Breaker & is a 6% ruby ale, fortified with a bottle of port in every cask & mulled wine spices.

I brewed it initially as a bottled beer for my brother & wife to give to their customers, thanking them for supporting their business, selling coal, diesel & his hand-made rope ‘fenders’ from their historic narrowboats in the Midlands & Derbyshire – &

Un-mulled it’s pleasantly mildly spiced – mulling brings the hop & spice bitterness really to the fore (too much so – quite harsh) so we’ve been recommending adding a bit of honey to take the edge off.

It’s gone down well at local farmers’ markets & on cask (served cool) at Liverpool Beer Fest last month.

For your more Northerly readers who might want to try it, we’re only a tiny company, and with Spring on its way, we’ve stopped brewing it for now (we’ve got a few bottles that will probably go at the next couple of markets), but it will probably make a return visit next Winter.
Cheers for an interesting blog.
Betwixt Beer Co, Wirral.

I was actually just in Warsaw a few weeks ago and had mulled beer with nearly every meal. It was fantastic, and I would love to see it in London somewhere.
As far as spices go, there were whole cloves, Cinnamon sticks, orange slices for sure, and I thought I could detect some other spices, maybe allspice.

Hope that helps.

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