Entrepreneur creates world’s first Beer Jelly


Archaeologist-turned-entrepreneur Nancy Warner is making headlines for creating the world’s first jam made purely from beer. But before you get too excited, let me tell you it’s non-alcoholic, so there’s no real chance of getting tipsy at breakfast!

Nancy had already quit her job as an archaeologist to start a preserves company called ‘Potlicker’, when she stumbled upon the unique recipe by accident. She had run out of fruit to make jams and jellies one day, so she reached into her beer cupboard instead. After much experimenting, she managed to come up with a clear ‘Beer Jelly’. It is now so popular that she’s producing about 3,000 jars a week!

I’m actually an archaeologist by trade and spent close to 10 years working in south eastern US archaeology before my husband Walter and I moved to Vermont,” the 34-year-old said. “I could not find archaeology work, so I developed a food blog hobby to keep me busy. The blog lead to a canning addiction, the canning addiction turned into a small business. I had bills to pay and lots of jam on the shelf so Walter packed me up and sent me to the farmer’s market.

I started making beer jelly simply because I ran out of fruit,” Nancy explained. “It was a long winter in Vermont, I was addicted to canning and canned through all the fruit in my house, so I turned to my cabinets where I had plenty of beer and wine.

When she first started making beer jelly, Nancy says she had never heard of anything like that before. But she did know about the centuries-old process of making wine jellies, so she thought it would be interesting to try it with beer. “I have made all of my own recipes and can find no record of anyone else making a pure beer jelly before I did.”

Nancy revealed that she makes the beer jelly in pretty much the same way that she makes fruit jelly – only substituting ‘kid’ (fruit) juice with ‘adult’ juice. “Each jar of jelly is approximately half full of beer or wine, but, for better or worse, the jelly is non alcoholic,” she said. “The alcohol is removed during cooking and by dilution of sugar.”

Nonetheless, her Beer Jelly was a big hit and she had to move production to a commercial kitchen in order to keep up with the growing demand. “The feedback is wonderful and sometimes overwhelming,” she said. “I never dreamed I would be running a business and hiring employees just to make my jams and jellies. I thought beer jelly was awesome and as it turns out I was not the only one.”

Apart from beer, the recipe calls for two other ingredients – cane sugar and citrus pectin. This makes the jam taste like a sweeter version of the original beer. “You can actually taste the hop and malt characteristics of each flavour jelly,” Nancy said.

Beer Jelly comes in eight flavors, including ale, IPA, oatmeal stout, and porter. “We pair it with cheese but also use them to glaze meats and veggies – things like Apricot Ale glazed ham, Black IPA chicken wings, Burgundy Anise cookies, and Spiced Wine baked brie,” Nancy explained.  Each 450ml jar contains around 225ml of beer, and is priced at about $7 apiece. You can order some on her website, potlickerkitchen.com.

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