Forager is a new series of draft and (sometimes) bottled beer, brewed with ingredients we source in the wild and harvested by you, the community.

Too many trees go unpicked: persimmons, pears, figs, paw paws. Seeds mature into a resplendent harvest, only to go untouched until frost. We hear it all the time: “We have a persimmon tree…but the fruit just falls to the ground and makes a mess.” “Our pear tree produced more than we knew what to do with.” We know what to do with it. Let’s make beer. Let’s ferment what we forage.

You can be a part of our amazing group of Foragers, simply by responding to our call for a harvest, which we announce on Facebook, Twitter, and in our newsletter. Depending on how much usable ingredients you bring us, we will give you:

  • the market price for your harvest (on a per-pound basis),
  • a Forager hat that only fellow Foragers can own, and
  • a pint or bottle of  the beer when it’s ready.

Of course, the money and beer you receive is contingent on the quality and usability of the harvest. (In other words, a bushel of washed, ripe heirloom pears is worth more than a pail of half-rotten fruit). Again, we pay for the harvest. If you choose not to take money, we will donate your proceeds to one of our favorite local charities, SEEDS.

FIRST FROST winter persimmon ale


Persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana) — literally, “fruit of the gods.” Sweet and savory, with natural notes of cinnamon and apricot, the orange-globed persimmon fruit truly is heavenly. But it’s not until after the first frost that persimmon turns from astringent and bitter to a luscious fruit worthy of the gods.

Starting in late summer and extending through the fall, the forager network supplies Fullsteam with hundreds of pounds of native persimmons. This bountiful yield produces a complex, fruit- forward winter ale. The beer’s notes of holiday spices come entirely from the native persimmon and the beer’s Belgian ale yeast.

We’re proud to offer a small batch of brandy barrel-aged First Frost around Christmastime.

Availability: FALL and WINTER. 10% ABV

PAW PAW Belgian-style tripel

Paw Paw (Asimina triloba) is the largest edible tree fruit native to North America –but you may have never seen one before. The nondescript trees grow in wet, shady groves, often along the banks of rivers. Paw paws taste like mango-meets-butterscotch-meets-banana. In other words, they’re delicious. But the fruit’s notorious short shelf life keeps them from being commercially viable. We forage for wild paw paws around Jordan Lake, and a few North Carolina foragers who know the fruit bring us their harvest.

Most of our paw paws come from the amazing Wynn Dinssen, owner of Full of Life Farms in Chatham County. He’s a modern Johnny Pawpawseed. To better connect the paw paw growing season (late summer) to the beer’s availability, we freeze the fruit and brew the beer in late spring. The sweet, tropical notes of the paw paw enhance the esters of the beer’s Belgian-style yeast strain.

Availability: FALL. 10% ABV.


You got Fruitcake for Christmas! Fruitcake…The Beer is a Bourbon barrel-aged old ale brewed with roasted figs from our Forager network and chestnuts from High Rock Farm in Rockingham County.

The Internet once called fruitcake “the gift that keeps on giving,” but Fruitcake…the Beer just might break that cycle. Gift one to a friend this holiday season and keep one for yourself.

This beer will age well, like a fine fruitcake should.

Availability: HOLIDAYS. 10% ABV.

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