There are two wolves inside of us all. One wants to be healthy, eat right, and get fit. The other wolf just wants a cold beer or two. A UK-based brewing company is looking to feed both of those wolves. They’re offering a non-alcoholic mushroom beer.
Hang on. Don’t break out the Grateful Dead records and tie-dye shirts just yet. It’s not that kind of mushroom beer. Instead, the new brewery, called Fungtn, brews their suds with “functional” mushrooms. Basically, their line of beers contains healthy ingredients and almost no alcohol.
A beer with takes out the alcohol and adds healthy mushrooms? It sounds weird, but we’d try it. After all, putting a pickle in beer turned out great. These beers couldn’t be that bad.
Currently, Fungtn offers three mushroom-based beers, according to their website. They have a Chaga lager, a Reishi-based “citra hop,” and an award-winning Lion’s Mane IPA. Each of those mushrooms has different effects. However, Fungtn’s mission for each of them is the same. “To deliver a beer that not only saves you from hangover hell but contributes positively to mind and body.”
What Kind of Mushrooms Are in the Beer?
According to the Fungtn website, their beer contains mushrooms that fall under the category of adaptogens. More specifically, they use myco adaptogens or “functional mushrooms” that people have been using for centuries. For instance, they are used in traditional and Eastern medicine. Now, Fungtn is taking all of those healthy properties from the adaptogens and brewing them into non-alcoholic beer.
The Lion’s Mane in their IPA is said to improve nerve and neurological function. Additionally, that Chaga in their lager is supposed to boost your immune system while keeping blood sugar levels in check. Then, there’s the Reishi mushroom. They say it helps with the immune system. Also, people have used these mushrooms “to help overall wellbeing and health for centuries.”
Whose Idea Was This?
The Telegraph reports that mushroom beers have existed here in the States for about six years. However, they’ve never really caught on. Now, Fungtn is picking up the practice in the UK.
Zoey Henderson, a former consultant in the hospitality industry started Fungtn after COVID put her out of work. Before getting into the brewing game, Henderson was passionate about the positive effects of functional mushrooms. She told The Telegraph, “I’d been taking a mushroom called Lion’s Mane in coffee for about six years – it’s a powerful anti-histamine, and really helped my hay fever.”
She said that the flavor or the lion’s mane reminded her of some beers. “It’s bitter and nutty, with hints of cacao,” she said. This thought led Henderson to Fungtn. She commissioned a brewer to create beers that would complement the flavor of each mushroom.
How Does Mushroom Beer Taste?
The simple answer there is “not like mushrooms.” Each beer is brewed with barley, hops, and everything else you’d expect. The mushrooms extracts are just an additive. So, would we stock our cooler with them? Probably not. But, we’d definitely give them a shot.