Local Beer of the Week: Wit’s End
This new weekly feature in the Cherokee Scout will take a look at beers brewed in Cherokee County over the summer.
* Name: Wit’s End
* Brewer: Mike Marsden at Valley River Brewery
* Style: Belgian wit
* Alcohol by volume: 5.2 percent
* Food pairing: Barbecue and pizza
* Description: With a style dating back to the 14th century, Valley River Brewery’s Wit’s End provides refreshing explosion of wheat and citrus. Garnished with an orange slice, the beer’s light body gives it a summer appeal.
Like most Belgian wits, Mike Marsden brewed the beer with unmalted wheat, then spiced it with coriander and bittersweet orange peel. Marsden said having to boil the wheat before adding it to the mash proved the most challenging aspect of the brewing process.
The beer’s farmhouse style originates from centuries-old practices in Belgium. Brewers had limited ingredients, so their beer’s flavor depended heavily on available local ingredients (e.g. wheat, barley and oats).
Marsden recommends pairing Wit’s End with barbecue or any pizza Valley River Brewery offers.
When deciding upon the name for the Belgian wit, he said the idea came almost instantly. “Wit’s End is a place where I used stay when I was a kid up in northern Wisconsin,” Marsden said. “It kind of fits with the beer, too.”