There's a new beer on draft at Husk, and it's a riff on rice and peas (aka Hoppin' John) made with koji, the ancient Asian fungus that's the starter for making soy sauce, miso and other fermented sources of umami.
Chef Sean Brock was experimenting with koji at about the same time he and his team at Husk, including director of hospitality and performance Kenny Lyons, sat down with the brewers from Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in the Smoky Mountains that is as well known for its food as its accommodations. The idea was to collaborate on a beer.
"We had originally talked with Blackberry about doing a whit bear," says Lyons, "with orange and coriander and pink peppercorns."
But then the koji influence started talk of a different beer. This one began with using koji to create a white rice pea miso, made from Carolina Gold Rice and peas from Anson Mills.
The result, says Lyons, is an earthy, savory beer that goes great with charcuterie, cured meats and country ham. They used red bay foraged from the Folly Beach area for the dry-hopping process. "The bay gives it a unique sweet, bitter finishing compound component," says Lyon.
Reezy Peezy, Red Bay Breezy is available on draft at Husk Charleston, Savannah and Greenville.
Lyons says it's been going over great. "With the openings of Greenville and Savannah, we spent a ton of time during the training process and dove deeply into the beer. We had sample bottles and were able to get staff really excited about it."
— Stephanie Barna