meadowsweet

Filipendula ulmaria is a Eurasian plant, also naturalized in North America, that can be found in wet meadows and fens. “The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavour, the green parts having a similar aromatic character to the flowers, leading to the use of the plant as a strewing herb, strewn on floors to give the rooms a pleasant aroma, and its use to flavour wine, beer, and many vinegars.” (Wikipedia) Meadowsweet possesses strong preservative qualities, which may explain its apparently widespread use in Neolithic and Bronze Age brewing in Britain.

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy, AKA alehoof or gill-over-the-ground, is an historically important brewing herb that I’d never fully appreciated until encountering it in its native land.

Fraoch Porter

Fraoch Porter

Fraoch, or heather ale, is a legendary unhopped beer from Scotland, said to date back to Pictish times.

Sweetfern Red Ale

Sweetfern Red Ale

This experiment confirms that Comptonia peregrina is the best all-around native North American “hop substitute” I’ve ever used.

Meadowsweet, Heather and Gentian Gruit

Meadowsweet, Heather and Gentian Gruit

This was my other stand-out beer of the winter 2014-15 brewing season. The idea was to make a vaguely Neolithic-style ale inspired by archaeological findings in Britain.

New “ancient ale” from Dogfish Head revives hybrid Scandinavian grog

New “ancient ale” from Dogfish Head revives hybrid Scandinavian grog

Fascinating to see yarrow already in use as a brewing herb 3500 years ago. Here, it’s in combination with several bog plants: sweet gale, meadowsweet, cranberries and lingonberries.