I came across some star anise in an ethnic supermarket the other day, and picked some up on a whim. I’ve been trying to come up with a recipe to try it in, when it occurred to me that it might be tasty in some beer. I’ve seen mention of it being used in some Belgian brews – supposedly it lends a sharp licorice flavor to the beer, and takes awhile to mellow. I’m thinking of using it in a stout or porter recipe – something with enough body and flavor to support this strong spice. Has anyone used this in a similar style? I’m wondering if it would play nice with chocolate, hazelnut, or vanilla – some of my favorite flavors for stouts. I also made a bourbon Russian imperial stout once that I could picture the licorice flavor in. I’m going to play around with some grain bills tonight and try to come up with a sample recipe – if anyone has any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment!