By John Verive
8:00 AM PDT, April 26, 2013
The craft beer movement is fueled by inventive brewers who will turn to just about anything to flavor their beer, and beers with creative ingredients are becoming more common as craft beer grows in popularity.
Additions like coffee and chocolate have become positively pedestrian in craft beer, and it often seems as though brewers are racing to one-up each other with their concoctions. We recently told you about Angel City Brewing's -- surprisingly drinkable -- seaweed- and rosemary-laced beer, the French Sip. Here are five more craft brews from Southern California that are more than just gimmicks.
Rose Petals - Manifesto by Eagle Rock Brewing: Belgian witbiers are traditionally spiced with coriander seed and the peels of Curacao oranges, and this refreshing example from Eagle Rock adds subtle floral notes to the classic style.
Chamomile - Oblate by Monkish: Many of the brews that Monkish's founder Henry Nguyen cooks up are spiced with atypical brewing ingredients such as pink peppercorns and the chamomile flowers that lend a subtle herbaceousness to this Belgian-style blond ale.
Thai Basil - Trade Winds by the Bruery: A spring seasonal release from the Orange County brewery, this Belgian-style golden ale uses rice to lighten the body and up the alcohol content, and the addition of fragrant Thai basil makes for a complex and intriguing beer that goes great with food.
Sage - Triple White Sage by Craftsman Brewing: Legend has it that Mark Jilg, one of L.A.'s veteran craft brewers, uses wild white sage picked from the hills above his Pasadena brewery for this intense tripel that should be hitting taps as the weather warms up.
Dates - Palermo by Hangar 24: The Redlands brewery makes a series of brews, known as the Local Fields Series, that incorporate locally grown produce. The spring entry is a Belgian dubbel that uses dates grown in the Coachella Valley to highlight the sweet, dark flavors of the brew.
These examples are just a taste of the many available craft brews made with ingredients more often found at the farmers market than in the brewhouse, and the trend is only getting more popular.
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