Ginseng is for Lovers

- by Bill Craver

“Virginia is for Lovers”

— Official tourism and travel slogan of the State of Virginia

Ginseng has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, believed to have restorative properties such as improved memory, reduced fatigue, and increased stamina. Some are convinced that the ginseng root also contains aphrodisiac properties. Whether or not that last part is true, as dedicated beer drinkers, we can seriously get behind each of these potential health enhancers!

Primarily cultivated in Asia and the United States, wild ginseng can be harvested up and down the East Coast, where it occurs naturally from Georgia to Maine. When Legion’s Brew Staff decided to incorporate this power-packed root into one of our brews, Associate Brewer, Scott Griffin reached out to a friend from his youth who forages for wild ginseng in the mountains of Virginia.

As it turns out, Legion Brewing’s roots in Virginia run deep. Co-founder and Brewmaster, Phil Buchy grew up in Roanoke, VA, attending college at Virginia Tech. Taproom Manager and Media Maven, Brittany Smith spent the first part of her life in Franklin County, VA, prior to settling in Charlotte in 2006.

Ginseng in hand, our brewers dropped finely-shaved flecks into a kettle-soured brew alongside lemongrass, coriander and salt. The result? A thirst-quenching Gose like no other! With a nod to its most unique ingredient, we’re calling this beer “Ginseng is for Lovers.” (Gose, 5.4% ABV, 5 IBUs).

A highly-carbonated, tart and fruity wheat ale, Ginseng is for Lovers is a very refreshing beer with a restrained coriander and salt character. In the absence of bitterness, expect bright flavors and high attenuation with this brew. Ginseng is for Lovers also offers a lemon tartness that finds support from subtle notes of pepper and spice.

According to Scott, “The ginseng we added contributes notes of black pepper and ginger, which are really unique components that would not be considered part of a traditional gose. The perfect beer for warm afternoons, Ginseng is for Lovers has quickly become my favorite beer on Legion’s draught list.”

Head Brewer, Alexa Long adds, “Now that 80 degree days are upon us, our staff decided it was time to offer our customers some refreshing, crushable brews. With Ginseng is for Lovers, lemongrass and coriander contribute a heavy citrus characteristic, reminiscent of a personal favorite of mine, Lemonheads candies. These citrus notes balance and complement elements of spice derived from the ginseng.”

Whether you grab this gose for the medicinal qualities of the ginseng root (or perhaps because you are a fan of Lemonheads), we think you’ll love this brew. And if ‘Ginseng for Lovers’ enhances your love life in any way, perhaps this beer is just what the doctor ordered…