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Sassafras beer: a short history

Sassafras beer: a short history

The small tree known as sassafras (Sassafras albidum) was once one of the most prized plants of North America.

Digging for beer

Digging for beer

Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis), a close relative of sweet cicely (O. claytonia), would represent a new brewing ingredient for me, and I can’t find any mention of its use as a brewing herb online or in print.

Indian Sarsaparilla Gruit Ale

Indian Sarsaparilla Gruit Ale

A partial mash-extract beer featuring a great many delicious spices.

Yarrow Gruit Braggot Ale

Yarrow Gruit Braggot Ale

Braggot is half beer, half mead. I brewed this way back on July 24, 2002, when honey was cheap and when my technique involved a LOT of herbs, usually including roasted dandelion root.

Bosasa!

Bosasa!

During this maize beer communion, in place of “happy Easter,” the Raramuri will say to one another “bosasa” – “fill up, be satisfied, be contented.”

“Such a harmlesse treasure”

“Such a harmlesse treasure”

John Gerard in his Herbal did not stint in portrayals of plants for which the only “vertues” were aesthetic.

Zulu brew

Zulu brew

Even before I read the column, I found myself saying the words “Zulu Brew Route” out loud, over and over.

Stalking the wild homebrew

Stalking the wild homebrew

Chris O’Brien compares the “real ale” movement in England with homebrewing traditions in Ethiopia.

Devil’s plaything

Devil’s plaything

All I know is that yarrow beer (actually, yarrow gruit braggot ale, if you want to get technical about it) makes a nice, crisp, aromatic summer drink. If it helps stave off baldness, piles and ague, so much the better.