Nature Brews is a monthly cask night at The Old Bakery Beer Company in partnership with The Nature Institute. Each month we feature a new cask beer made with locally foraged ingredients. Come out on the first Friday of every month to taste & rate the new cask offering. At the end of 12 months (October 2017), we will brew & package a full scale batch of the most well-reviewed cask for everyone to enjoy!
Here is a bit more information about this month’s ingredient:
Hazelnut, fruit from the hazel tree, is native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. With a history of cultivation dating back over 5,000 years ago, the hazelnut is one of the most consumed nuts in the world. In 2014, Oregon’s hazelnut production accounted for 99% of the nation’s population. Although the state can dish out some serious nuts, Turkey holds the record for largest producer in the world.
Hazelnuts are known for their sweet taste and are the main ingredient in the traditional praline. They are also used in many other baked goods and when combined with chocolate, they make the ever-popular Nutella spread. The spread is so widely used that the makers of Nutella consume roughly 25% of the total global supply of hazelnuts.
Due to the hazelnuts long history, there are many beneficial qualities that have been found in the product. Traditionally, the hazel plants were used to weave baskets and other useful gathering tools. The Celts, an Indo-European people in the Iron Age and Medieval Europe, believed hazelnuts gave wisdom and inspiration to those that consumed it. Hazelnuts are high in protein and vitamins E and B. They are also thought to contain the necessary phytochemicals that have been known to support brain health, improve circulation, and reduce outdoor allergy symptoms.