We’re talking about herb ales an ancient style of brewing; ales made with herbs and brought up to date to suit the modern palate.
For many hundreds of years the ales that were produced and consumed in Europe contained no hops favouring instead to be made from just malted barley, water and yeast or flavoured with hedgerow herbs and spices. Ales brewed with herbs were known as Gruit Ales. In England the brewers were very resistant to the introduction of any herbs including hops to the malted barley ale that was popular at the time. The history behind the movement away from these traditional ways in favour of the use of hops is complex involving political, financial and the age old wranglings for power over the people.
There is a revolution rumbling as more craft ale breweries are realising that although hops are magnificent herbs in themselves, there are other herbs and spices that broaden the flavour spectrum and bring new aromas to delight our senses.
There are many excellent web sites that are dedicated to the history of gruit and unhopped ales so we will leave that to the expert historians.
The Original HerbAle Brewing Company Ltd are driven by a passion to be different, to produce exciting, intoxicating, flavoursome and aromatic ales. Experimentation does not always result in a commercially viable product but we’ll have fun trying! Come with us on this journey we assure you it won’t be boring.