Dogfish Head is known for making some off-the-wall, but ultimately tasty, brews. This one, however, has to be the strangest. It is called “chicha” and uses the enzymes in saliva to help with the fermentation process. They chew up some corn, spit it out and then put it in the mash with other ingredients, including strawberries. Lead Brewer Bryan Selders explains the process in the video below.

Has anyone tried this?

From the Dogfish Head site:

Throughout the last 15 years we have brewed over 200 different off-centered ales here at Dogfish Head. A number of our beers have been based on archeological evidence or researching ancient brewing traditions. We have now made what we believe is one our most exotic and unique beer yet. Chicha is the quintessential native corn beer throughout Central and South American. Indigenous versions with local variations exist in Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and many other countries.

1 comment

  1. Though I have never tried Chicha, I understand that the chewing is necessary to convert the starch of the corn into fermentable sugars via amylase. This conversion could be achieved other ways, So it seems to be just a showy/bored attempt at something traditional. I am sure if the ancient Peruvians had figured out a better way, they would not be chewing corn for kicks.

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