I’ve been homebrewing since the mid-1990s, and experimenting with gruit or herbal brewing since 2001. During that time I’ve progressed to all-grain brewing, mostly to save money, while also keeping my equipment basic and my methods primitive, at least compared to the average American homebrewer’s geektastic set-up. Though I’m still very much a learner, I want to use this space to share a few of my techniques and discoveries as time permits. See also the brewing category at Via Negativa and Rachel Rawlins’ photoset from May 2012, “Brewing with Bonta” (whence the above photo).
- Sassafras-Black Birch Beer
- Juniper-Yarrow ESB (Extra Scandinavian Bitter)
- Juniper-Ginger Beer
- Mugwort Oatmeal Stout
- Mugwort Spicebush Stout
- Summer Meadow Ale
- Ground Ivy Gruit Ale
Articles on brewing from Via Negativa
- A beer thinker’s guide to life
Beer-related proverbs from around the world.
- Brewing without a recipe
Yes, you can pretty much just wing it and the beer will probably be fine.
- Brewing with gruit
A typical summer brewing session for me.
- Sweet flag
A meditation on an important brewing herb, Acorus calumus.
- Meadow in a bottle
The origin of my Summer Meadow Ale.
- Devil’s Plaything
Some notes about yarrow and how to brew with it from 2004.
- Beer Tasting 101: Yarrow Sarsaparilla Ale
Only slightly facetious. (But really, I do need to take a beer tasting course.)
- Sassafras beer: a short history
It might seem strange to think of beer as a health drink, but for many centuries, it was far safer to drink than most available sources of fresh water.
- Digging for Beer
Hunting for aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis) and American black elderberry blossoms.