It’s funny — I never thought I would write anything positive about beer. My husband homebrews, so it has always been his thing. It was never something I cared too much about since I’ve never had much of a palate for beer. I’ve always preferred wine as my alcoholic beverage of choice — until recently when I started The Craft of Herbal Fermentation course through the Herbal Academy.
This course has four different units covering different fermentation methods that can be used to produce a variety of drinks and foods. The entire course was incredible, and I learned a lot. And guess what? My favorite unit was the one on herbal beer! In fact, I wish it had never ended!
In this post, I’d like to share a bit about what I learned about making herbal beer, its history and use in ancient times, and its benefits during modern times.
IS IT REALLY BEER?
There’s been some kickback to calling what we are talking about “beer.” To be grammatically correct, beer is defined as,
“An alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops” (Oxford Dictionary, n.d.).
Since the herbal beer I’m speaking of does not have hops in it, it’s technically not a beer. The correct term for an herbal beer is a “gruit,” which is an herb mixture used for bittering and flavoring beer, popular before the extensive use of hops. Some brewers still choose to call it “beer” because that is what it was considered in ancient times until Reinheitsgebot...