Boston Breweries – Red Reishi Review

Boston Breweries, one of Cape Towns oldest craft breweries, launches a limited edition experimental beer unlike anything I have ever tried before. The Red Reishi Mushroom Ale is only available on tap from their taproom and at selected venues. It will also be available at this weekends Cape Town Festival of Beers together with some of Boston’s twelve other beers in their portfolio.

This beer is brewed using Red Reishi mushrooms which date back over 2000 years and are used in Eastern medicine with many benefits reported including boosting the immune system and fighting off fatigue.  

I really didn’t know what to expect with this beer having never tried, or even heard of anything like it before. It pours a beautiful golden colour, very reminiscent of a typical pale ale. A tight white head forms and lingered throughout. Sticking my nose in for a smell and things started to get different, lots of oak, with sherry like aromas, very complex. These must come from the Red Reishi mushrooms. Finally a nice big sip of the beer and you still get some of the oak and some spiciness from the East Kent Goldings hops used. At just 4% ABV, this beer is light and refreshing and is great for summer. However, I was left wanting a bit more of a full bodied beer to marry up to those complex aromas.

This is a great experimental beer and one I would definitely recommend you giving a try, I am sure you will have never tasted anything quite like it before. I find it extremely exciting to see Boston pushing the boundaries and trying new things, let’s hope this is the first of many!