Top | Nina Lary

Portland Modern Wassail

(recipe, Nina Lary)


Alex Ganum, the head brewmaster at Upright Brewing, has a modern, Oregon-centric take on wassail. Starting with Upright’s holiday brew, a Belgian-style ale with subtle hints of cherry and star anise, Ganum swaps out the traditional sherry, sugar, and roasted apples for Pinot Noir, wild honey, and local dried cherries.


  1. 10 cloves
  2. 5 allspice berries
  3. 11 cinnamon sticks
  4. 1 square of cheesecloth
  5. Kitchen twine or undyed string (about 3 inches long)
  6. 12 cups Upright Brewing “Upright Noël” or any Belgian Noël-style ale
  7. 5 oz. dried cherries
  8. 4 cups Oregon Pinot Noir
  9. 5 Tbsp. wild blackberry honey


  1. Tie the cloves, allspice berries, and one of the cinnamon sticks into the piece of cheesecloth. Place the spice bundle, ale, and the dried cherries into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the wine and honey, and reheat briefly (do not allow to boil). Remove from the heat and ladle into mugs. Garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick.