Season Three of Beerland saw Meg Gill taking her quest to find the pinnacle of home brewing from the beer mecca of San Diego to a number of places that you might not expect to be on the beer map. As with the first two seasons, Meg once again unearthed stories that were as interesting as the beer that was being brewed.
Meg, host and Golden Road Brewing co-founder, brought the winners of each episode to Golden Road in Anaheim where Meg along with Liam Mclachlan, a Golden Road brewer, Nate Soroko a beertender, and Farideh Sadeghin, culinary director of Munchies all weighed in on which beer would be declared the winner of season three. While the judges went with the pale ale from New Orleans, Meg decided the honey from San Diego was simply too good to not go with, as she announced the Honey Milk Porter Braggot as the winner.
Mark Oberle, John Botica and Andrew Segina brewed the Honey Milk Porter Braggot using honey from their own beehives and that winning beer is call “Brother’s Brood” and is now being canned by Golden Road Brewing.
“Mark was like ‘I signed us up to do this thing and we need a beer in three weeks.’ Since we do the mead we decided to do the braggot. I had this recipe I have done a couple of times before, it is really good and it expresses our character,” John said.
“It was really about honoring the flavors of the honey and starting with milk and honey as our inspiration and we all like dark beers so we decided to go with that and it wound up working out nicely. When Meg tried it, that was the first time we had brewed that bragoot, but John had been working on various iterations of that base beer beforehand,” Mark said. “By using honey instead of grain there are environmental implications, grain is very intensive on the ground that it is grown on so the fact that we can put beehives on a property and not only not make an impact, but actually improve what’s happening there. There is an ecological benefit for the honey.”
Meg visited: Canada, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, West Texas and San Diego and each area had their own unique story. Canada found Meg ice fishing and trying to warm up with some very unique beers. The Canadian government limits the beer that is brought into the country quite a bit and that actually has opened the floodgates for home brewing as they are trying to create the flavors and the beers that they can’t buy due to those limitations.
“What these home brewers do really well is that they are super expressive in their beers and they do it better than a lot of commercial brewers because they are doing it on such a small scale they aren’t limited to anything. That is why in Beerland you see a lot of the special ingredient type folks winning because there is some sort of distinct flavor that comes out that they have perfected,” Meg said.
While the ingredients range from cold pressed espresso to cherries and chocolate to the home brewers were as wide-ranging as the beer. Meg was able to experience the interesting and unique setting of New Orleans as well as a look at diversity in Pittsburgh, beginning with trying to bring craft beer into the African-American community with comedy.
“Bringing comedy into beer more than anything was what shed light that these guys in Pittsburgh are basically saying there are not enough African-Americans in craft beer so let’s change it. They are doing it in a way that comedy is the ice-breaker that is healthy and fun and interactive,” Meg said.
“We are trying to show how beer can affect culture in a positive way. What outside of beer is really fun that beer affects and what can we do that is entertaining and challenging in ways that people haven’t thought about. Part of the diversity, bringing new people into beer is something I’ve always been interested in since I got into the beer business,” Meg said.
While Season Three of Beerland produced the wonderfully flavorful and honey forward “Brother’s Brood”, once again this show is so much more than beer. Beerland brings the love of beer into your living room with more than ingredients, it shows why anyone who truly loves beer has a relationship of many layers not only with beer, but with all who they either brew their beer with or simply those who they enjoy a fresh pour with.
For more information, visit: Beerland