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Nettle Beer

6th August 2021 International Beer Day

International Beer Day is a global celebration of beer, taking place in pubs, breweries, and backyards all over the world. It’s a day for beer lovers everywhere to celebrate the craft of brewing and to show appreciation for those involved in the making of beer.

The majority of beers on the market today are either ales or lagers. Lagers tend to have a more smooth and mellow flavor, while ales are more full-bodied and slightly bitter, due to the yeast and fermentation process. Lagers are fermented for longer at lower temperatures, while ales are fermented at higher temperatures for a shorter period of time.

The hop (Humulus lupulus), which is now the quintessential aromatic and bittering herb of our contemporary beers, was often completely unknown in some brewing areas of Europe. In fact, hopped beer has only been popular in the UK for the last five hundred years. Instead, brewers relied on a healthy collection of herbs. This was the unhopped Gruit Ale. For example, yarrow ale was the traditional wedding beer in some cultures. 

Today, Gruit is making a comeback, as many breweries are riding a wave of interest in speciality beers. There are hundreds of ingredients they use to taste beers, like fruits and herbs.

The Celts have started to use nettle (Urtica dioica) for making beer as far back as the Bronze Age. The brewing of nettle beer is mostly unrecorded, probably because it was strictly a rural activity carried out by the poor and illiterate. Most recipes miss out both hops and malt. 

Modern enthusiastic foragers who become talented homebrewers, usually use fresh nettle tops, ginger, lemon or orange to make nettle beer. If you are planning to impress your friends and loved ones with your homemade nettle beer on International Beer Day, you can find several nettle beer recipes on the internet. Don’t hesitate to brew your own beer!

Happy International Beer Day!

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