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Finnish brewery breaks out broad bean beer

Maku Brewing is tapping into environmental concerns with its latest concoction.

Maku Brewing

Maku Brewing has announced the launch of an ale that uses malted broad beans with a sustainable aftertaste.

Härkönen Papu Ale is Finland’s first and presumably one of the world’s first commercial brews where malted broad beans have a central role in the recipe. Despite consisting roughly 20 per cent of broad beans sourced from Finnish farms, the beans add no distinct characteristics to the flavour, according to the brewery.

“We wanted to discover a new way to brew beer so that it, along with the ingredients, puts as small a burden on the environment as possible. In addition to environmental considerations, it was important to develop a beer from the new ingredient that also tastes good," commented Jussi Tamminen, founder of Maku Brewing.

The ale was developed in collaboration with Viking Malt.

Annika Wilhelmsson, director of innovation, marketing and responsibility at Viking Malt, expressed her delight with the fact that new and innovative uses with possibly long-reaching positive effects continue to be discovered for broad bean, which has been farmed in Finland since the 600s.

“We originally started working on the malting of broad beans for other segments of the food industry, but with Maku Brewing’s project we have had the opportunity to create an innovation that encourages more sustainable agriculture and promotes natural diversity,” she stated.

Maku Brewing is based in Tuusula, Southern Finland.

Maku / Facebook

The project taps into two trends: the systemic shift toward more sustainable production and consumer interest in more exotic and experimental foods and beverages. Broad bean is used widely particularly in crop rotation because the bean absorbs nitrogen from the air into the soil, reducing the need for fertilisers and pesticides.

“Using broad bean in beer encourages expanding its farming, and in future even beer choices can reduce the dependence of plant production from fossil inputs,” highlighted Marjo Keskitalo, senior researcher at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

“Finnish beer consumers are increasingly investing in experiences and increasingly willing to experiment,” added Mikko Kovalainen, head of fresh produce sales at SOK.

By: Aleksi Teivainen