Forbidden Root Elixirs are house-made flavored syrups inspired by the "Schuss" syrups traditionally served as a mix-in with Berliner Weisse, a tart, low-alcohol wheat beer. Our Elixirs combine botanicals, flavor extracts and sugar or fruit syrups, plus acidity as the flavor requires. Dive in to the story of these elixirs below.
A couple of hundred years ago, Berlin became famous for a pale, sour, highly carbonated weisse beer. In order to balance the acidity and add a little kick, liqueurs like kümmel (caraway) and others were drunk alongside the weisse and sometimes added to it. During the 20th century, these evolved into non-alcoholic syrups, most frequently himbeersaft (raspberry) or waldmeister (woodruff, a spicy forest herb). These became so linked with Berliner weisse that it was nearly impossible to order the beer without one or the other. A side benefit was the bright colors these syrups added to an otherwise pale beer.
With our interest in all things botanic, we thought this concept was due for a revival and reinvention. What we've ended up with will be an ongoing series of rotating flavors designed to match the season and our beers and take advantage of our interest in fun, tasty and sometimes exotic flavors. We picked the name "Elixir" as a nod to old-time "snake-oil" patent medicine, although ours are fully wholesome and not medicinal in any way.
In addition to simply offering a wider range of flavors to our guests, we thought these would be a great way to bring people into our botanic world and get hands-on with the process. The Elixirs will be delivered individually or as a flight, and the guests can mix whatever amount they feel is suitable and try different things. We will always have at least one "blender" beer on tap as an accommodating base, but the flavors might be appropriate in a number of our beers.
As far as we know, Forbidden Root is the first craft brewery to formulate anything like these Elixirs. It's just one more part of our broader mission to bring the widest range of flavor experiences possible to people in delicious, entertaining and engaging ways. Try them yourself at our Elixir Mixer on Wednesday March 6th.