Tree Brew

The Ale Apothecary owner and brewer Paul Arney makes unique, small-batch creations aged in oak barrels at his brewing facility outside Bend. While looking for ideas for a new concoction, Arney decided to cut down a spruce tree from his backyard to make a Finnish style of beer called a Sahti.

The Sahti was first brewed in Finland over 400 years ago, usually using a juniper tree as a kuurna, or hand-carved wooded trough. The kuurna acts as a lauter tun, which separates out the liquid wort from the mashed grain as it runs through a filter of spruce branches during the brewing process.

Arney estimated the spruce tree he chose at roughly 85-100 feet tall, and after a quick count of the rings, close to 200 years old. He spent several months hollowing out the inside and turning the tree into a brewing vessel.

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