From the dawn of civilization until the Middle Ages, hops were unknown as a beer component. Instead, herbs and other botanicals were used to flavor the malt beverage--gruit.

People have been enjoying beer without hops way longer than with hops.

Wormwood has long been a fascinating botanical. It's a group of about 180 species, including tarragon. Traditionally used for digestion problems.

It's used to make Absinthe and some Vermouths. Absinthe was popularized by Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Traditional Absinthe is now prohibited from sale in the US, but is still sold in Europe and other parts of the world, due to Thujone, a potentially poisonous oil which excites the central nervous system. No one said it couldn't be used in beer, though. Cheers!


HEATHERWOOD

Style Guidelines: Gruit

Rotation Schedule: Not yet established

Food Pairings: Rye whiskey, neat; chilled prawns; lobster poached in butter; fennel salad; smoked pork chops with tarragon butter

Body: medium

Color: hazy golden straw

Grain: American two row; pale; German Munich; acidulated wheat

Hops: None

Botanicals: Heather and Australian wormwood

Original Gravity: 1.061
IBUs: 0
Alcohol By Volume: 5.8%

First Tapped: May 14, 2015. in the firkin at our 13th annual Mini Real Ale Fest