When using mushrooms, the earthy flavors of the fungus can complement everything from light and salty goses to roasty, chocolaty stouts. For example, Chanterelles add an apricot-like flavor that enhances the maltiness of a wee heavy, Matsutakes add a bit of funk to a Belgian golden strong ale, Portobellos add a deep, earthy richness to an American brown ale, and candy caps are wonderful in a chocolatey porter.
OriginNative to deciduous forests of Europe, found in the U.S. in areas east of the Rocky Mountains
Also Known As Horn of Plenty; Trumpet of Death; Black Chanterelle; Trumpet de Mort; Poor Man’s Truffle
Used In Porters
Primary Use Impart a bready like, fresh sourdough taste
Taste/Aroma Rich, buttery, woodsy flavor with a sweet aroma
Family Cantharellaceae
Botanical Name Craterellus fallax
Synonyms Craterellus calyculus
The Black Trumpet mushroom’s given name suggests its shape, albeit the shape is more interpretive, often appearing more like a frail flower. The mushrooms have a waxy charcoal-gray exterior and a deep brown, near black flesh. The cap blends fluidly into the stem, both edible and equal in texture and flavor. Black Trumpets have a soft yet chewy texture and a rich, buttery, woodsy flavor with a sweet aroma. They are harvested between two and three inches in length.
OriginGrown over much of the northern hemisphere outside the tropical zone
Also Known As Table mushroom; Agaric Cultivé; Champignon de Paris; Cultivated Mushroom; Crimini Mushroom; Baby Portobello; Baby Bella
Used In Various beers
Primary Use Add flavor
Taste/Aroma Flavor is mild when raw and more fragrant and meaty when cooked
Family Agaricaceae
Botanical Name Agaricus bisporus
Synonyms Agaricus bisporus (J.E. Lange) Imbach; Psalliota hortensis f. bispora J.E.Lange (1926)
Historically, this species and/or its close relatives were the first mushrooms to be cultivated in Europe during the late 1700’s. It remains the most widely cultivated mushroom in the world today. White Button mushrooms are tiny thumbnail sized mushrooms with smooth rounded caps and short truncated stems. Depending on when they are harvested they are either stark white in color or earthen brown like a Crimini mushroom. Their flavor is mild when raw and more fragrant and meaty when cooked.
OriginNative to the Pacific Northwest and can be found growing along the West coast of the U.S.
Also Known As Curry Milkcap
Used In Saisons
Primary Use Add flavor
Taste/Aroma Burnt sugar or maple syrup-like taste, lightly aromatic
Family Russulaceae
Botanical Name Lactarius rubidus (Hesler & A.H. Sm.) Methven
Synonyms Lactarius fragilis var. rubidus Hesler & Smith; Lactarius fragilus var. rubidus,
Candy Cap mushrooms are very small, with caps roughly a half to 1.75 inches in size. Candy Cap mushrooms can be one of two different species, Lactarius rubidus or Lactarius rufulus, though it is more commonly the former. Lactarius rufulus is a larger mushroom. Unlike most fungus, fresh Candy Cap mushrooms are most often found in sweet dishes.
OriginFound throughout the temperate zones of North America, Europe, North Africa, the Himalayas, and Thailand
Also Known As Golden Chanterelle; Egg Mushroom; Girolle
Used In Belgian-Style Amber Ale, Cream ale, German-style wheat ale
Primary Use Impart a light apricot aroma and warm buttery texture
Taste/Aroma Nutty, with an aroma of apricots or peaches
Family Cantharellaceae
Botanical Name Cantharellus cibarius
Synonyms Cantharellus formosus; Cantharellus cibarius var. roseocanus
Chanterelles are a dense and meaty, edible, wild mushrooms ranging in color from orange to gold. They have wavy, fleshy caps with ruffled false gills that flare upward along the stem forming an abstract tulip. Their flavor is nutty, with an aroma of apricots or peaches. Entirely edible, the stem is chewier and more fibrous than the cap. The golden color which makes this mushroom distinct, may be due to the levels of carotenoid pigments present, which are like those that color carrots. The Chanterelle has resisted attempts to cultivate it and can only be found in the wild.
OriginFound throughout the northern temperate zone
Also Known As Sweet Tooth; Pig’s Trotter; Wood Urchin; Wood Hedgehog; Hedgehog Fungus; Pied du Mouton
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart flavor
Taste/Aroma Nutty, peppery and fruity flavor
Family Hydnaceae
Botanical Name Hydnum repandum
Synonyms Dentinum repandum (L.: Fr.) S. F. Gray
The Hedgehog is reminiscent of the Chanterelle mushroom because of its vibrant orange coloring and its nutty, peppery and sometimes fruity flavor. The Hedgehog is an upright mushroom with a wide indented cap that contains downward projecting teeth on its underside. Its stem is stout, truncated and firm. The entire mushroom should maintain its golden color aside from the flesh, which is chalk white. Fresh, young Hedgehog mushrooms can be eaten raw, but older specimens should be cooked, as they have a bitter first bite. Cooked fresh Hedgehogs are very meaty in texture and hearty in flavor.
OriginNative to the northwestern United States and northeastern Japan
Also Known As Maitake; Sheepshead Mushroom; Ram’s Head; Kumotake; Dancing Mushroom; Phantom Mushroom
Used In Brown Ale
Primary Use Impart a beefy, savory flavor
Taste/Aroma Fruity, earthy and spicy in flavor
Family Agaricaceae
Botanical Name Meripilaceae
Synonyms Polyporus frondosus Dicks.: Fr.
Maitake mushrooms are easy to distinguish versus other mushrooms because their fruiting body is made up of clustered leaf-like fronds. Their color varies from pure white to tan to brown depending on how much sunlight they received prior to harvest. The Maitake texture is succulent and semi-firm. They are fruity, earthy and spicy in flavor and absorb companion flavors readily when cooked.
OriginFound throughout North America, continental Europe, Asia, Scandinavia to as far south as Mexico and Morocco
Also Known As Porcino; Cèpe (cep); Bolete, Borowik; Polish Mushroom; Steinpilz; Stensopp; Penny Bun
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart flavoring
Taste/Aroma Nutty, meaty, buttery, savory, almost sweet flavor
Family Boletaceae
Botanical Name Boletus edulis
Synonyms Boletus edulis var. grandedulis Arora & Simonini,
Slightly reddish-brown in color, porcinis are one of the most prized wild mushrooms, sought out for their smooth texture and aromatic, woodsy flavor. They’re popular in Italy, as well as in France, where they’re called cèpes. California boasts several impressive members of the North American Boletus edulis group, including this stately mushroom, which grows under pines–especially Bishop pines along the coast in fall and under other pines and firs inland. Boletus edulis var. grandedulis was recently named (Arora, 2008), as a particularly large variety.
OriginFound throughout North America, continental Europe, Asia, Scandinavia to as far south as Mexico and Morocco
Also Known As Hypomyces lactifluorum
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart flavoring
Taste/Aroma A seafood-like flavor and a firm, dense texture
Family Hypoceaceae
Botanical Name Hypomyces lactifluorum Schwein
Synonyms Sphaeria lactifluorum Schwein
Lobster mushrooms have a color like that of cooked lobster shell, with bright, fiery orange beneath the spotted or mottled cap. The Lobster mushroom is an example of a fungus attacking another mushroom. Hypomyces lactifluorum most commonly attacks and parasitizes the brittle white mushroom, Russula brevipes or the peppery mushroom, Lactarius piperatus. Hypomyces lactifluorum leaves the host mushroom with a bright orange coating and eventually twists the fungus into odd shapes, transforming into the “Lobster mushroom.” Lobster mushrooms are popular for their robust flavor and aroma, which can sometimes mirror that of seafood or lobster.
OriginNative to North America (Pacific Northwest, California, parts of Oregon and Canada)
Also Known As Pine Mushroom
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart a bit of funk
Taste/Aroma Spicy but a little bit foul, pine like
Family Tricholomataceae
Botanical Name Tricholoma magnivelare (North American variety)
Synonyms Tricholoma nauseosum
North American Matsutake, aka Pine mushroom, is a different mushroom species than the Japanese Matsutake. The Matsutake mushroom is a deep mycelium fungi, scientifically classified as Tricholoma matsutake. Matsutake means pine mushroom and it is the odor of this mushroom that truly identifies it. As it thrives in pine forests, it resembles the aromas of the woods. Most matsutake (Tricholoma magnivelare) harvested from the Western United States gets shipped to Japan, where demand for the prized mushroom is high. Matsutake means “pine mushroom” in Japanese.
OriginFound growing in forests throughout Europe, Asia, and most of North America
Also Known As Sponge Mushroom; Molly Moochers; Hickory Chickens; Dryland Fish; Yellow Morel; True Morel
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart a beefy, savory flavor
Taste/Aroma Earthy hazelnut flavor with a smoky and woodsy aroma
Family Morchellaceae
Botanical Name Morchella esculenta
Synonyms Morchella americana
Morels are an easily identified fungus. Hollow from stem to crown, they have rippled honeycomb-shaped spores throughout their fruiting body. Their color ranges from a muted grey to dark brown depending on species and simply, age. Morels impart a superior meaty and earthy hazelnut flavor with a smoky and woodsy aroma not achieved with other mushrooms.
OriginGrown across much of the temperate parts of mainland Europe, Asia, including Japan, and North America
Also Known As Tree Oyster; Angel’s Wings; Pleurotte en Huître; Abalone Mushroom; Shimeji
Used In Farmhouse ale, Gose
Primary Use Impart a savory, dry mushroom flavor
Taste/Aroma Rather mild and sweet with slight aroma of anise
Family Pleurotaceae
Botanical Name Pleurotus ostreatus
Synonyms Pleurotus populinus; Pleurotus pulmonarius
When Oyster mushrooms fruit, depending on the season, the color of the caps can vary from pale to dark gray. Some Oyster mushrooms can be green, pink or yellow in color depending on the species. The fluted caps are shaped similarly to oysters, and they can range in size from two to 8 inches. White gills extend from beneath the cap down a very short to a non-existent stem. Oyster mushrooms are soft and have a somewhat chewy texture. Wild Oyster mushrooms can develop a slight aroma of anise while cultivated varieties are milder. Some say Oyster mushrooms have a slight seafood aroma and taste.
OriginFound in southern Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, Canada (Québec) and northeastern U.S.
Also Known As
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart sweetness and flavor
Taste/Aroma Aroma and taste of maple syrup
Family Agaricaceae
Botanical Name Macrolepiota procera var. procera (Scop.) Singer
Synonyms Sphaeria lactifluorum Schwein
North America has several “parasol mushrooms” going under the name of the Eurasian species Macrolepiota procera. Originally described in 1772 by the Italian naturalist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli who called it Agaricus procerus, the Parasol Mushroom was transferred to its present genus by the famous German-born mycologist Rolf Singer in a 1948 publication. The parasol mushroom cap is quite tasty if cooked, but can be poisonous if eaten raw.
OriginGrows naturally in grasslands, fields and meadows in North America and Europe
Also Known As Champignon Mushroom; Champignon; Cappellone, Portobella; Table Mushroom; Crimini
Used In Stouts
Primary Use Impart flavor
Taste/Aroma A deep, earthy richness
Family Agaricaceae
Botanical Name Agaricus bisporus
Synonyms Psalliota hortensis f. bispora J.E.Lange
Portobellos can be simply defined as a larger, earthier and mature form of the common white mushroom, with crimini being the “adolescent” stage. The Portabello mushroom is of Italian origin and gets its namesake from Portobello, a town in Italy. Today, the United States grows 90 percent of the world’s Portobello mushrooms.
OriginNative to China, Japan, and Korea, now grown worldwide
Also Known As Ling Chih; Lingzhi mushroom; Champignon Reishi; Mushroom of immortality; Red Reishi; Rei-Shi
Used In Various styles
Primary Use Impart bittering
Taste/Aroma Bitter taste
Family Ganodermataceae
Botanical Name Ganoderma lucidum lucidum
Synonyms Polyporus lucidus W. Curt.: Fr
Ganoderma is a member of the Polypores, a group of fungi characterized by the presence of pores, instead of gills on the underside of the fruiting body. G. lucidum, considered by many mycophiles to be one of the most beautiful shelf fungi, it is distinguished by its varnished, red surface. Ganoderma means having a ” shiny or lustrous skin”; lucidum means “clear” or “shining.”
OriginNative to East Asia (China, Japan), now widely cultivated all over the world
Also Known As Sawtooth Oak Mushroom; Black Forest Mushroom; Black Mushroom; Golden Oak Mushroom; Oakwood Mushroom
Used In Brown Ale
Primary Use Impart a beefy, savory flavor
Taste/Aroma Woodsy mushrooms notes
Family Marasmiaceae
Botanical Name Lentinula edodes
Synonyms Agaricus edodes; Armillaria edodes; Collybia shiitake; Lentinus tonkinensi; Mastoleucomyces edodes
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms are relatively small, gilled mushrooms native to East Asia, and have been cultivated for hundreds of years. Shiitake mushrooms are scientifically classified as Lentinula edodes. In Japan, there are two general types of Shiitake mushroom: donko, the more round with a thick flesh and koshin, with a thinner flesh and an open cap. Shiitake mushrooms are scientifically classified as Lentinula edodes. In Japan, there are two general types of Shiitake mushroom: donko, the more round with a thick flesh and koshin, with a thinner flesh and an open cap.
OriginNative to China Europe and the U.S. (Pacific Coast)
Also Known As Yun Zhi; Kawaratake Krestin; Many-zoned Polyporem
Used In Stouts
Primary Use Impart flavor
Taste/Aroma Tough and leathery
Family Polyporaceae
Botanical Name Trametes versicolor
Synonyms Polyporus versicolor L.: Fr.; Boletus versicolor L.; Coriolus versicolor (L.) Quel.
Coriolus versicolor (“multicolored mushroom”), is a mushroom readily found in woodlands in China and Europe and is the most commonly found polypore in the oak woods of the Pacific Coast in the U.S. It grows in clusters or tiers on fallen hardwood trees and branches, frequently in large colonies. As its name implies, it is often multi-colored, with contrasting concentric bands, variously appearing in shades of white, gray, brown, black, blue or even red. It has a thin, velvety fruiting body, usually 2- 7 cm wide, fans out into wavy rosettes, giving rise to its popular name, Turkey Tails.