Each year before Passover, we search for and either destroy, sell ro donate our chametz. Bedikas Chametz we call it. I often wondered why, after over a week of wading through and wearing matzah crumbs, we didn’t have a similar ritual for ridding ourselves of matzah. After this many centuries and all the kvetching, you’d think someone would have come up with a creative way to recycle remnant lachma anya.
Last spring, I learned of some clever folks who did; Portland’s Ambacht Brewery. They’ve created MatzoBrau, a beer made from leftover Matzo. Yes, you read that right. No, not Kosher l’Pesach.
The season ale is produced directly following Passover, when leftover Matzo is collected at nearby Synagogues, who then get a keg of the brew in exchange. The Matzo is used as a primary grain component in the mash itself, not just as a flavor additive. So this is not a gimmick, this is adaptive reuse at its best and most refreshing!
I’ve yet to taste it and I understand that the batch sells out wicked quick, as Ambacht is a small craft house with a growing fanbase. I’ve made it my personal minhag to have a beer directly following Pesach. Beer was something the Egyptians invented and probably fed to their workers to sustain them cheaply and efficiently.
Knowing them, they probably denied it to our ancestors as slaves, who lively would have liked a cold frosty after a hard day toiling. In remembrance of their servitude, we refrain from beer for 8 days… or something like that… but after Passover, its time to have one.
A Matzobrau would be a great way to cap Pesach. Or to count the Omer! Now if I could just get my hands on some in Chicago… I can’t wait.