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Lions and dandies and beer, oh my!

Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:56am

Dandelions? Yup, that scourge of many a lawn doctors is entirely edible and a worthy bittering agent for ales.

Lion Dandy, the latest brew in our year-long Province Ale Company project, is brewed with a French biere de garde yeast, floor-malted pale malts, brown sugar, French Strisselspalt hops and a load of dandelion greens. The recipe, passed down to Nicolo from his brewing mentor, Henri Hillion (of French origin, as the story goes), is for a traditional French country ale with the addition of fresh dandelion greens to assist the hops in adding bitterness to balance the malt sweetness.


Dandelion greens have a long culinary history in France and have long been used to make tonic beers and wines to help clean the liver. Dandelion greens contain a high amount of potassium and are highly nutritious.

To pair with this off-centered antique ale, Chef Joseph Arsenault is taking advantage of the local harvest. Apples are plentiful, and September is the first month in a few that ends in R, so that means oysters are back. To celebrate, we're serving Rambo apple-stuffed oysters with pig belly and fennel. Yum!

Lion Dandy will be tapped this Saturday at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. And don't worry if you missed last month's beer. We held back a keg so members and newcomers can catch up and join the run of antique ales.

If you're new to Province Ale Co., here's the story.

We've asked about 100 adventurous beer lovers to join us on this journey. Participants are experiencing the re-creation of 19th-century beer recipes discovered in the dusty shelves of a local library. Nicolo Mastroianni (aka Sam Calagione) and his plucky head brewer, Ragged Jordan, are releasing one beer a month in 2013, and Chef Joseph Arsenault is re-creating a period-appropriate food pairing to go with each beer. It's an analog project for the digital age!