Gruit, Gruit – How Do You Do It?! by Ginger Johnson

Ginger JohnsonGruit, Gruit – How Do You Do it?!

Welcome to the wild world of Gruit. Never heard of it? Well, today’s the day.

In homage to the springtime bounty of greens, herbs, and leaves (like Karie’s Facebook post sharing the use of leaves for dyeing Easter eggs), Gruit deserves its day in the sun. Or the glass as the case may be.

Gruit is the predecessor of hops: using herbs and spices in brewing to flavor beer. 

There are plenty of sites and resources with references and information on gruit. Here are three to start with:

1. Gruit History

2. International Gruit Day

3. Sacred & Herbal Healing Beers

Miner's lettuce - locally and abundantly available, edible

Miner’s lettuce – locally and abundantly available, edible

Last September when I was in Mexico City for the Congreso Cerveza Mexico, we had the pleasure of tasting a local beer made with gruit. T’was delicious! And a nice change of pace since the gruit contribution replaces hops.

Come to find out a few American brewers are making gruit beers. WSJ chatted it up with Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing a while ago, Mountain Town Brewing has one in their line up and Mystic Brewing’s got some info to share too. Beers Made By Walking is after this fashion as well. Check out some of the beers that have come about from this great idea.

I found the WSJ headline funny: “The newest thing in beer is an ancient style…” Old is new again. Old was never really old, perhaps maybe dormant or temporarily forgotten. Chances are good that anything that comes around once will cycle through again.

Larry (brewer, Standing Stone Brewing Co) and crew searching wildcrafting for his last Beers Made By Walking

Larry (brewer, Standing Stone Brewing Co) and crew searching wildcrafting for his last Beers Made By Walking

So cheers to gruit today. When you find theses beers, however intentionally or incidentally, I highly encourage you to try them. They’re delicious and yet another facet of our flavorful global beer culture.

Till the next glass ~


Go Here: Head to Ontario, Canada to enjoy more beers all the time – tell Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company that we sent you! I’ve got a love for Canada and encourage you to head into another country. Mexico, Canada, USA…wherever you travel, try the beer and ask for gruit.

Try This: Gruit! When you find it on a menu or tap list, order it.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at or

About Karie Giffin (825 Articles)
Sisters in Craft Magazine is a community lifestyle magazine for Witches.

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