Thanks to the growing desire for gluten-free everything, brewing beer from nontraditional ingredients beyond barley and wheat has become far more common. Grains like sorghum, millet, rice and buckwheat have all been finding their way into specialty brews. But even in this grain-free world, chickpeas rarely factor into many brewing conversations. A small Israeli brewer thinks they could be more common, though.
According to the AFP, Meadan Craft Brewing, which regularly dabbles in alternative bases for beer—like this one intended to be kosher for Passover—is focusing on beers for those with gluten intolerance, using chickpeas as one of the primary ingredients. “It's a very Middle Eastern food,” said brewer Bryan Meadan of his beer, which the news organization has dubbed “hummus beer” based on the ingredient the two items share.
On Meadan’s website, the brewery plays up just how rare chickpea beers are. “Our beers are produced using specially malted buckwheat or chickpeas, making them the only beers in the world using chickpeas as a base,” it states. Their Meadan Chickpea Malt Ale is around 5.3 percent ABV with a “sweet hop aroma, gentle bitterness (37 IBU), and a rich maltiness,” according to their own description.
These “hummus beers” are currently only available in Israel. So for now, if you want to try a chickpea beer in the States, you’re probably going to need to find a very adventurous homebrewer. But beware: Even Meadan says it took “a few mediocre batches and hundreds of bottles” to get the taste right.