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 thoughts on “Mulled beer”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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