I've had a couple of tasty rauchbiers lately, and got thinking about whether it would be possible to get the aroma of a cigar into a similar beer.

As a user, I don't mind getting nicotine into the brew, but I'm sure my guests would rather not. Much like a rauchbier, I think the magic comes from the aroma.

How can I "smoke" my beer? Can I drop raw tobacco leaves into secondary? Throw a can of snus in? Smoke malt over a case of cubans?

5 Answers 5


Italy's Birra del Borgo do a range of beers that are made with tobacco. I don't know how they do it, but I have had the KeTo RePorter and the KeTo ReAle and can say that they genuinely taste like they have tobacco in them. The KeTo ReAle left my mouth feeling like I'd had a cigar... You could always drop them an email and ask how they use the leaves.

(2011-11-02) Also just found out that they are on Twitter so you could always tweet them, if you're on there...

  • I don't read Italian, so can you say where you bought it, hopefully in the US?
    – drj
    Oct 29, 2011 at 6:59
  • Can't find anything on their site about the KeTo ReAle, but the KeTo RePorter page says "Kentucky tobacco leaves are added, the same ones used for the famous Toscano cigars". Oct 31, 2011 at 9:25
  • drj, I bought them in Rome when I was working over there last year. C4H5As, you're right, their website doesn't list it, it might have been a special, I have photos to prove it's real though... ;-)
    – fatboab
    Nov 2, 2011 at 11:59

Of course, you can use anything in beer but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Keep in mind that tobacco is poisonous when ingested.

  • Very valuable advice, although doesn't quite answer my question. Thanks though - I hadn't taken this into consideration. Oct 31, 2011 at 9:15

You could buy leaf-tobacco in bulk and home-smoke some grain with tobacco smoke. Nicotine's LD50 is pretty low, though. I would try to find combinations of ingredients to closely mimic the flavor, rather than using actual tobacco.


I'm wondering if you went to a local cigar store and bought some of the empty wooden boxes, then used them like oak chips, if you would get some of the aroma transfer without the nicotine. My local cigar lounge sells these pretty cheap, but most of them are cedar and don't exactly smell just like the cigar smoke (just checked a couple that I use to store my 9mm's in my office and bedroom :-)). I vote for smoking the grain over some cuban clones (wouldn't want ATF after you). Definitely not the snuff.

  • Great idea. I'll have to hit the local cigar store and see what old boxes I can find. I wonder if the LD50 for cedar is less than the cigars... Oct 31, 2011 at 9:13
  • We routinely cook salmon on cedar planks on the grill here in the NW, so I don't think that you have anything to worry about. But, I'd look for non-cedar boxes (most are basswood, but not that common) to focus on the cigar smell.
    – drj
    Nov 1, 2011 at 0:49

might be able to smoke the malts or store the cigars in your keg till they take the aroma!

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