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Made from Rye

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


Made from Rye

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
Rye is a key ingredient in several types of Alcohol beverages, including vodka, rye beer, and rye whiskey. Rye is gaining popularity as a grain used in Alcohol beverages--craft breweries are putting out new types of rye beer, rye whiskey is becoming more recognized and widely available, and a few new rye vodkas have recently been introduced to the U.S. market.

Rye and wheat are the grains most commonly used in vodka production, with many of the Russian vodkas being made from wheat and the better Polish vodkas being made from rye. Belvedere is a notable premium Polish rye vodka, as is Sobieski. Chopin, a Polish vodka maker known in the U.S. for its potato vodka, released a rye vodka in the U.S. in 2011.

Rye whiskey, prior to Prohibition in the 1920's, was one of the most popular Alcohol beverages in the U.S. After Prohibition was repealed, rye whiskey became scarce in the U.S., but has been making a comeback over the last five years or so. Rye whiskey generally refers to American rye whiskeys, which must be made from a mash containing at least 51% rye, and Canadian whiskeys, which were traditionally made with rye but now are made from a variety of grains. The one exception among the Canadian rye whiskeys is Alberta Premium, which is made from a 100% rye mash. Popular rye whiskeys on the U.S. market currently include Templeton Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, and Redemption Rye.

Rye beer is experiencing resurgence in popularity among craft brewers, who typically use about 10-30% rye in their beers. Rye lends a sour and spicy characteristic to beer, and a new trend in which rye beers are so heavily hopped that they resemble I.P.A.'s (India Pale Ales) has given rise to the term "rye-P.A."

Roggenbier is a Bavarian style beer made from a mash that contains about 50% barley, 25% rye and 25% wheat. Roggenbier dates back to Medieval times, but it all but vanished until it was brought back into production in Germany 1988. Roggenbier is characterized by smokiness, yeastiness, a sour taste and a very dry finish, and like hefewiezen is typically served unfiltered and with the yeast poured from the bottle into the glass.

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