At different times in the past, we have suggested various ways of combating one of the toughest of alien invasive plants to control – Japanese Knotweed. One of the combat approaches, generally assumed to apply to those most desperate, is consumption. If all else fails, eat it. Young plants can be cooked and eaten like asparagus (see, for example:
www.http://eattheinvaders.org/japanese-knotweed/). Further, some enterprising folks have made jams and jellies (for example: www.potlickerkitchen.com/wild-knotweed-jelly), offering them commercially.
Recently our attention was drawn to yet another gastronomical suggestion: knotweed beer!
The idea seems to have been suggested by another Conservancy past speaker, Russ Cohen, for trial by the Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society. The Boston Globe reports that Krysten
Sykes, founder of the Society, tried brewing a batch of the weed finding it to have a natural
tartness with rhubarb-like qualities. Doesn’t sound inspiring, but the experiment seems to
have been sufficiently promising to bring it to the attention of the Cambridge Brewing Company. Their brew master tweaked the recipe to reduce maltiness, adding a bit of cranberry. The result was said to be light, dry, and refreshing