Brewers are taking full advantage of farmers markets with the mission of creating successful beers brewed using vegetables, called field beers. Vegetables are typically incorporated in the mash, kettle or secondary fermentation part of the brewing process.
Vegetable beers tend to have an earthy flavor. Think green & bread. They may be crisp or light up to a medium bodied, and are generally variable in color and flavor.
Also Known As: Arrow Root; Chinese Potato; Goo; Seegoo; Tse Goo; Ci Gu; Tsu Goo; Marante
Parts Used: Flowers
Arrowroot, or obedience plant, is a large perennial herb of genus Maranta found in rainforest habitats. Arrowroot is also the name for the easy-to-digest starch from the rhizomes (rootstock) of West Indian arrowroot. This plant should not be confused with Sagittaria species sometimes called “arrowhead” and used as a root vegetable. The plant is naturalized in Florida, but it is chiefly cultivated in the West Indies (Jamaica and St. Vincent), Australia, Southeast Asia, and South Africa. Because of this, Napoleon supposedly said the real reason for the British love of arrowroot was to support their colonies.
Also Known As: (by varieties) Green Globe; Desert Globe; Big Heart; Imperial Star
Parts Used: Flower
The artichoke was first developed in Sicily and was known to both the Greeks and the Romans. In 77 AD the Roman naturalist Pliny called the choke one of earth’s monstrosities, but many continued to eat them. Historical accounts show that wealthy Romans enjoyed artichokes prepared in honey and vinegar, seasoned with cumin, so that this treat would be available year round. It was not until the early twentieth century that artichokes were grown in the United States. All artichokes commercially grown in the United States are grown in California and Castroville, California, claims to be the “Artichoke Capital of the World.”
Also Known As: Garden Asparagus; Sparrow Grass
Parts Used: Spear
Asparagus is the vegetable obtained from one species within the genus Asparagus, specifically the young shoots of Asparagus officinalis. It has been used from very early times as a culinary vegetable, owing to its delicate flavor and diuretic properties. Asparagus can be found in green and white varieties. Green asparagus is the most common in the United States, while the white is more popular in Europe. White asparagus is grown under the soil. This does not allow the sun’s rays to penetrate the plant, and therefore it does not produce the chlorophyll necessary to produce the green color. When eaten raw, white asparagus has a sweet, nutty taste.
Also Known As: Table Beet; Garden Beet; Red Beet; Dinner Beet; Golden Beet
Parts Used: Taproots and leaves
The Beet is a flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae, native to the coasts of western and southern Europe, from southern Sweden and the British Isles south to the Mediterranean Sea. The cultivated forms are thought to have come from sea-coast plants of Europe and Asia. With the imposition of the blockade of the continent during the Napoleonic wars there was an impetus to develop beet for their sugar content. The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, usually known in Canada and the United States as beets while the vegetable is referred to as beetroot in British English. This root vegetable like its turnip cousin has two parts — the edible root and the edible green leaves.
Also Known As: Cruciferae
Parts Used: Flower Head
Broccoli has been around for more than 2000 years, The name “broccoli” comes for the Latin word brachium, which means “branch,” or “arm.” Americans have grown it in their gardens for only about 200 years! The famous broccoli plant is part of the cabbage (Brassicaceae) family of plants. Broccoli is cultivated in colder climates, as it develops poorly in hot weather. Several variations of the plant are commonly found in markets all over the world – varieties such as sprouting broccoli or Calabrese. The nutritious broccoli displays a bouquet of green flower heads that are situated on a tree like structure, with branches coming out of a thick stalk. Similar to cauliflower, broccoli has leaves sprouting around the flowers.
Commercial Examples: Sentite Libbero | Vale La Pena
Also Known As: Brussel Sprouts
Parts Used: Buds
The Brussels sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) is a cultivar group of Wild Cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5-4 cm diameter) leafy heads, which resemble miniature cabbages. Brussels sprouts were first cultivated in Belgium, and are therefore named after its capital, Brussels. Brussels sprouts grow on long thick stalks, from which they must be picked off, usually by machine. In the UK, they are a traditional winter vegetable, and are often eaten boiled with a roast dinner. They can also be stir-fried or made into soup. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber.
Commercial Examples: Brussel Sprout Lager | Declan Brewery
Varieties: Carota; Anthocyanin carrot; Carotene carrot
Parts Used: Taproot; Stems; Leaves
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange or white in color with a woody texture. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year. The flowering stem grows to about 1 m tall, with umbels of white flowers. There are many varieties of carrots, and they can be found in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, black, and purple. Orange carrots get their bright color from beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A.
Also Known As: Leaf Celery; Chinese Celery
Parts Used: Leaves; Roots
Celery is a herbaceous plant of the parsley family Apiaceae. Celery is usually eaten cooked as a vegetable or as a delicate flavoring in a variety of stocks, casseroles, and soups. In the United States raw celery is served by itself or with spreads or dips as an appetizer and in salads. The tiny seed-like fruits, known as celery seed, resemble the plant itself in taste and aroma and are used as a seasoning, particularly in soups and pickles. Native to the Mediterranean areas and the Middle East, celery was used as a flavoring by the ancient Greeks and Romans and as a medicine by the ancient Chinese.
Also Known As: Gram; Bengal gram (black chickpeas); Garbanzo; Garbanzo Bean; Egyptian Pea; Chana; Ceci bean
Parts Used: Pulse (seeds)
Chickpea is an annual plant of the pea family (Fabaceae), widely grown for its nutritious seeds. Chickpeas are an important food plant in India, Africa, and Central and South America. The yellow-brown or dark green beans are borne one or two to a pod. There are large- and small-seeded varieties.These are very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Canned chickpeas can be found in the bean aisle of most grocery stores.The plant is 20–50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on both sides of the stem. One seed-pod contains 2-3 peas. The flowers are white or reddish blue. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate and more than 400 mm annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate, but yields will be much lower.
Varieties: Armenian; English; Garden; Japanese; Kirby; Lemon; Mediterranean; Persian cucumbers
Parts Used: Fruit (eaten as a vegetable)
The cucumber is the edible fruit of the cucumber plant Cucumis sativus, which belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, as do melons and squash. The plant has been cultivated for 3000 years and is still a major part of worldwide crops today. The cucumber is consumed as a vegetable, while the commercial pickles belonging to the same species Cucumis sativus is consumed as a condiment. As a plant, the cucumber has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine grows on the ground or on trellises, often also in greenhouses. The fruit is commonly harvested while still green, and eaten as a vegetable, whether raw, cooked, or made into pickled cucumbers.
Commercial Examples: Unencumbered Antelope | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Speedway Stout – Cucumbah | AleSmith Brewing Co.; Coolcumber | Wicked Weed Brewing Co.; Repoterroir | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Also Known As: White Radish; Japanese Radish; Chinese Radish; Icicle Radish; Lo Bak; Loh Baak; Loh Buk; Mooli; Oriental Radish; Lo Pak
Parts Used: Leaves; Root; Sprouts
Daikon (Japanese literally large root; Chinese literally white radish), is a mild-flavored East Asian giant white radish. Although there are many varieties of daikon, the most common in Japan, the Aokubi Daikon, which has the shape of a giant carrot, approximately 8 to 14 inches long and 2 to 4 inches in diameter. One of the most unlikely shaped daikon is Sakurajima daikon from Kagoshima Prefecture that is shaped like an oversized turnip with white outside and bright pink inside. Fresh leaves of daikon can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable but they are often removed when sold in a store because they do not adjust well to the refrigerator, yellowing quite easily. Daikon sprouts, known as kaiware, are a popular garnish for salads and sushi.
Commercial Examples: Kichiemon Daikon Ale | Yokosuka Beer
Also Known As: Mukimame
Parts Used: Beans
Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod, typically found in cuisines with origins in East Asia. The pods are boiled or steamed and may be served with salt or other condiments. In Japan, they are usually blanched in 4% salt water and not served with salt. When the beans are outside the pod, the term mukimame is also sometimes used in Japanese. In Japan, the name edamame is commonly used to refer to the dish. It literally means stem beans, because the beans were often sold while still attached to the stem. Edamame is typically harvested by hand to avoid damaging the crop’s stems and leaves. Green soybean pods are picked before they fully ripen, typically 35 to 40 days after the crop first flowers. Soybeans harvested at this stage are sweeter because they contain more sucrose than soybeans picked later in the growing season.
Commercial Examples: Black Thai |Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Also Known As: Witloof; Radicchio; Puntarelle; Escarole; Chicon
Parts Used: Leaves
Endive is a winter leaf vegetable which can be cooked or used in salads. It is often confused with the closely related chicory. Endives were first cultivated in the 1830s in Belgium, and France remains the largest producer of endives. Endives are part of a genus called Cichorium, made up of bitter leaf vegetables. It is divided between Cichorium endivia (Endives) and Cichorium intybus. The second includes Chicory, Belgian Endive (witloof), Radicchio and Puntarelle. There are three main varieties of endive: Frisée, curly endive and escarole. Curly endive (sometimes mistakenly called chicory in the United States) has green, rimmed, curly outer leaves. “Frisée” has finely cut, frizzy leaves. Escarole has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties.
Commercial Examples: Arugula & Endive Salad | Urban Artifact
Also Known As: Jicama; Yam Bean; Mexican Yam Bean; Ahipa; Saa Got; Chinese Potato; Mexican Potato; Mexican Turnip; Chinese Turnip; Singkamas (Philippines)
Parts Used: Taproot
Jícama is a relative of the potato family, and is a bulbous, brown root with a crunchy white interior used in Latin American cooking. The sweet and nutty interior is great for crudité platters and salads. It can be found from May to November in many Mexican markets. The jícama is a species of Pachyrhizus, a legume native to tropical and subtropical Central America. It is cultivated for its edible taproot. In contrast to the root, the remainder of the jícama plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish. The jícama grows in frost-free climates. Native to tropical America, it is currently cultivated in warmer parts of China and Southeast Asia as well.
Commercial Examples: Jicama Blonde Ale (Ghost 139) | Adroit Theory
Also Known As: Broadleaf Wild Leek
Parts Used: Leaf sheaths (sometimes erroneously called a stem or stalk)
The leek is a vegetable belonging, with onion and garlic, to the onion family (Alliaceae). Also in this species are two very different vegetables: the elephant garlic grown for its bulbs, and kurrat which is grown for its leaves in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The leek is also sometimes classified as Allium porrum. The leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.) J. Gay) is a vegetable belonging, with onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae, the onion family. Also in this species are two very different vegetables: The elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) grown for its bulbs, and kurrat which is grown for its leaves in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The leek is also sometimes classified as Allium porrum (L.)
Commercial Examples: Hard Leek Cider | Declan Brewery
Also Known As: Dal
Parts Used: Seeds
The lentil is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40cm tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. The plant originated in the Near East, and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic Neolithic. With 25% protein it is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans, and because of this it is a very important part of the diet in many countries, and especially India which has a large vegetarian population. A variety of lentils exist with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. The colors of the seeds when removed from the pods also vary, and there are large and small varieties. They are sold in many forms, with or without the pods, whole or split.
Also Known As: Lady’s Finger; Okro; Ochro
Parts Used: Seed Pods; Leaves
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family Malvaceae, originating somewhere near present-day Ethiopia. It was formerly considered a species of Hibiscus, but is now classified in the genus Abelmoschus. The word okra is of African origin and means “lady’s fingers” in Igbo, a language spoken in what is now known as Nigeria. The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions around the world and is a notable part of the cuisine of the Southern United States as well as Middle Eastern cuisine and Indian cuisine.
Commercial Examples: Noctúria | Doktor Bräu
Common Varieties: Bulb; Red; White; Yellow; Sweet; Bermuda; Vidalias; Pearl; Shallots
Parts Used: Bulb
Onion is a vegetable, which belongs to the lily family of plants, that is grown for its edible bulb, which most often serves to flavor a variety of foods. Onions are categorized as being either green or dry onions. Green onions, known as scallions, are harvested before they mature, while their stems are still green. The bulb is generally white-skinned with a flavor that ranges from mild to peppery and pungent. Common varieties that are eaten raw or are used to flavor soups and salads include white Lisbon and Ishikura. Dry onions, also known as mature onions, are harvested when their shoot has died and layers of papery thin skin cover a firm juicy flesh.
Commercial Examples: Laser Bindi Grilled Onion | Southern Brewing & Winemaking; Grøntsager: Tomato Dill Garlic Paprika Onion Cumin | Flasker; Winter Onion | SØRT
Also Known As: Chirivía; Grand Chervis; Panais; Pastenade
Parts Used: Taptoot
The parsnip is a root vegetable related to the carrot, which it resembles, although it has a paler color and a stronger flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times. Indeed, until the potato arrived from the New World, its place in dishes was occupied by the parsnip. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. Parsnips look like a pale carrot and are actually a relative of the carrot, celeriac, and parsley root. Commonly found in Europe, this root vegetable arrived to the United States with the colonists. Popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries for its celery flavor and nutty fragrance, this vegetable was often used in recipes that called for caloric decadence.
Also Known As: Red Chicory; Red-Leafed Chicory; Red Italian Chicory; Chioggia
Parts Used: Leaves
Radicchio is a leaf chicory, sometimes known as Italian chicory. It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. It can also be used to add color and zest to salads. The varieties of radicchio are named after the Italian regions where they originate: the most ubiquitous variety in the United States is radicchio di Chioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a grapefruit. Somewhat less common in the states is the radicchio di Treviso, which resembles a large Belgian endive: other varieties include Tardivo, and the white-colored radicchio di Castelfranco, both of which and are only available in the winter months.
Also Known As: Pie Plant
Parts Used: Stalks (petioles)
Rhubarb is the fleshy, edible stalks (petioles) of species and hybrids (culinary rhubarb) of Rheum in the family Polygonaceae, which are cooked and used for food. Rhubarb has celery-like stalks that are greenish pink to dark red in color. Rhubarb is a vegetable but is generally prepared and served in the same manner as a fruit, since it is most often cooked and sweetened with sugar. When eaten raw, it has a tart flavor and when cooked, there is a tendency to add more sugar than necessary in an attempt to sweeten the flavor. The large, triangular leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making them inedible. The small flowers are grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescences.
Also Known As: Swede Turnip; Swede; Yellow Turnip; Neep (Scottish)
Parts Used: Taproot
A cousin to the turnip, rutabagas are a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Virtually unknown in the United States until the 19th century, this root gets its name from the Swedish word ‘rotabagge’ meaning round root. The rutabaga or swede or (yellow) turnip (Brassica napobrassica, or Brassica napus var. napobrassica) is a root vegetable, that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the (white) turnip—see the turnip disambiguation page. Its leaves may also be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Rutabaga roots are eaten as human food in a variety of ways, and the leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. The roots and tops are also used for livestock, either fed directly in the winter or foraged in the field during the other seasons.
Commercial Examples: Rutabaga Ale | Uncle Slappy’s; BOULEVARD RICELLE – Bière de Table Rutabaga & Poivre | Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or
Also Known As: Soya (Samoan); Daizu (Japanese); Dadou (Chinese); Kong (Korean)
Parts Used: Seeds
The Soybean (U.S.) or Soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume, native to eastern Asia. Both fresh shell and dry seed forms are highly regarded for their protein, oil, and multitude of nutritional uses. Typically soybean is used at the green shell stage as “edamame”. However, it has many other uses, including: green and dry cooking, flour, soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, miso, natto, and others. Soybeans can be harvested at three different stages of maturity: green pods, green-mature peas, and dry seeds. Beans are classed as pulses whereas soybeans are classed as oilseeds. The word soy is derived from the Japanese word shoyu.
Commercial Examples: IPA No. 4 | Ground Breaker Brewing
Also Known As: Persian vegetable
Parts Used: Leaves
Spinach is a flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae, native to central and southwestern Asia. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, maturing into a small hard dry lumpy fruit cluster containing several seeds. There are three basic types of Spinach: Flat or Smooth Leaf: Flat or smooth leaf spinach has unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves that have a milder taste than the savoy. Savoy: Savoy has crinkly, dark green curly leaves. The texture is different from the flat leaf but tastes equally as good. Semi-Savoy: Increasing in popularity is the semi-savoy variety, which has slightly curly leaves.
Also Known As: Gourd
Parts Used: Fruits; Seeds; Shoots; Leaves; Tendrils; Blossoms
Squashes are four species of the genus Cucurbita, also called pumpkins and marrows. Squashes are categorized as summer squash or winter squash. Summer squashes, include young vegetable marrows (such as zucchini (also known as courgette), pattypan and yellow crookneck) are harvested during the summer, while the skin is still tender and the fruit relatively small. They are consumed almost immediately and require little or no cooking. Winter squashes (such as butternut, Hubbard, buttercup, acorn, spaghetti squash/vegetable spaghetti and pumpkin) are harvested at the end of summer, generally cured to further harden the skin, and stored in a cool place for eating later. Pumpkin and Butternut squash are the most commonly used squashes in beer.
Also Known As: Winged Yam; Water Yam; Purple Yam; Air Potato; Mountain Yam; Yamaimo
Parts Used: Taproot
Yam is an all purpose term for yellow-orange tubers. Similar in size and color to the potato, but nuttier in flavor, it is not to be confused with the Southern sweet yam or sweet potato. Caribbean yams are served boiled, mashed or baked usually mixed with some kind of meat. Yam is the common name for members of the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae). There are more than 150 different varieties of yam. Some species are cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. The word yam comes from Portuguese inhame or Spanish ñame, which both ultimately derive from the Wolof word nyami, meaning “to eat”. Yam skins vary in color from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the yam is composed of a much softer substance known as the “meat”.
Also Known As: Italian Marrow Squash; Courgette; Baby Marrow
Parts Used: Flower; Fruit
Zucchini (US, Australian, and Canadian English) or courgette (New Zealand and British English) is a small summer marrow or squash, also commonly called Italian squash. Its Latin name is Cucurbita pepo. It can either be yellow or green and generally has a similar shape to a ridged cucumber, though a few cultivars are available that produce round or bottle-shaped vegetable. Zucchini is commonly thought of as a vegetable, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. Zucchinis come in different shapes, from long and narrow to short and round. Zucchini range in color from dark green to lighter shades of green and yellow. Some have stripes, and many are highlighted with speckles.