Mushrooms are a superfood, and companies worldwide are creating new shroomy recipes that are healthier than their fungus-free alternatives. MUD\WTR makes a low-caffeine drink that gives you more energy than coffee, while Four Sigmatic adds mushrooms to their coffee! Mushrooms are even being turned into eco-friendly packaging by Ikea. Finally, the beer industry is jumping on the mushroom wagon. And the first-ever Mushroom Beer Brewery is opening in our very own Rhode Island!
About Rhode Island Breweries
Rhode Island may be the smallest state with what used to be the longest name, although Providence Plantations was recently voted off the name… so now we need a new legacy. The smallest state with the first mushroom beer brewery sounds good to me!
Despite being small in size, Rhode Island is lucky to have a fantastic Brewers Guild! They started in 2013 when there were only seven breweries. Today, thanks to the Guild advocation, legislation has passed to make it easier for local breweries to be successful. Now there are 30+ breweries in the Ocean State, with Portabeera Brew joining their ranks!
If you haven’t already, make sure to download the RI Brewery Passport, an app created by the Guild. It lets you keep track of the breweries you’ve visited, and you get awarded for every ten that you stamp in your passport. I can’t wait for Portabeera Brew to be added; drinking beer while reaping mushrooms’ health benefits is literally a dream come true for me.
Although Rhode Island will be the first to have a brewery dedicated to beer made from fungi by fun-guys and fun-gals, they are not the first to create shroomy beer. Disclaimer: While it probably is possible to create a psychedelic beer, magic mushrooms are not a legal ingredient.
Luckily, there are about a million legal mushroom species, and thousands of them are edible and have health benefits. You can learn about these in the Learn Your Land course and on Adam Haritan’s YouTube channel. Fun fact, The Travel Bug Bite is run by two mycophiliacs, and we do a lot of foraging for edible mushrooms.
Our favorites are giant puffballs, boletus, chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, chanterelles, birch polypore, and morels. If you want to get into foraging, we recommend joining a Mycological society to learn how to do it right and avoid getting pick-shamed.
100 Types of Mushroom Beers Already Exist
Anyway, back. to beer! There are over 100 beers made out of mushrooms on record:
“Yes, mushroom beers exist—around 100 on record at Untappd (a paltry number compared to the 12,412 pumpkin beers available). Though a tad off-putting in concept, in its ideal state, the mushroom beer hits with deep, rich, satisfying savory notes, as complex as the fungus that spawns it. That’s what Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Tröegs Independent Brewing Company was going for when it jump-started the current wave of mushroom beer in 2013.” – The Takeout
It’s not as crazy as it sounds… especially when you remember that truffles are a mushroom. They are considered a gourmet ingredient and are used in a variety of fancy recipes. In fact, mushrooms are not even the craziest thing that has made it into beer. Many breweries are experimenting with bugs in their beer, and no, I don’t mean the ones that accidentally end up in your beer.
But don’t let the fact that there are 25,000 bug bits per 100 grams (two and a half cups of beer) scare you away. There are so many health benefits to eating insects, which is why we enjoy Exo cricket protein bars, and we used to grow our own mealworms to snack on with the Hive by Livin’ Farms. But that’s a topic for another time…
About Portabeera Brew
Portabeera Brew opens its doors to the public today! But they don’t make it easy to find them. In the true spirit of foraging for mushrooms, their brewery is hidden in the forest. Which one? Well, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself. It may take you a while to find since 59% of the state is covered in forest.
Yes, that’s 393,000 acres that you have to search to find this fantastic new brewery. But once you do, it will be worth the search. Instead of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you’ll find a healthy yet delicious mushroom beer! Do not fret if you’re not experienced at finding mushrooms or tracking down hidden breweries; you can get hints on how to find Portabeera Brew on their website.
Pro Tip: If you are foraging, hiking, camping, or doing anything else in the forest, avoid cottages on chicken feet. You do not want to run across Baba Yaga. Just because Cinderella lived to tell the tale doesn’t mean that you will.
Mushroom beer is delicious! Well, I haven’t tried it yet, but as a mushroom enthusiast, I have no doubts that I will love it. But if it’s a little too exotic for your taste, I recommend the following breweries that have a more classic beer selection:
- Shaidzon Beer Company: Rhode Island’s Breweries
- Tilted Barn Brewery: Rhode Island’s First Farm Brewery
- LineSider Brewing Company: First Brewery in East Greenwich, RI
- Apponaug Brewing Company: Women-Owned Brewery in Warwick, RI
- Cottrell Brewing Company: Pawcatuck, Connecticut (CT)
- Revival Brewing Company: Delicious Craft Beer & More
- Whalers Brewing Company: South Kingstown, RI
If you’re looking to buy high-quality mushrooms, check out RI Mushroom Co. They sell mushrooms at a variety of locations in Rhode Island! Another place to get fresh mushrooms is Shewatuck Farms. We even did a class there on how to farm our own mushrooms at home!