hist-brewing: Fruit in beer/ale

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Wed Apr 28 14:16:06 PDT 1999

>Historic Brewers,
>I was wondering if anyone knew of a reference to the historical use of
>fruit in beer or ale.  I have not found any references to this occurring pre
>17th century, although I don't have the research base that some on this
>list have available.   It is hard to believe that a medieval brewer wouldn't
>have thrown a bucket of berries into a strong ale.  Or is there some
>reason this may have been avoided?   I am aware that in Belgium there is
>a history of fruits in Lambic's and also the addition of fruit syrups to
>wheat beers in Germany. Does anyone know how far these practices
>date back?  How about more recent history?  Does anyone know of the
>use of fruit in beer in America pre-prohibition?  Is the advent of American
>style fruit beer (bland, sweet beer with srtong fruit flavor) primally
>accredited to the recent American homebrewer, or is there some historic
>tie there?
>Thanks for any info you can offer, this one has bugged me for a while,

Hello! Check http://beer.tcm.hut.fi/Misc/SumerianBeer.html for an ancient
Sumerian beer that uses date juice and grapes.  Sir Hugh Plat (1609) uses
roasted oranges in one version of his bottle-ale. Sir Kenelme Digby (1669)
uses raisins in his Cock-ale, as does Gelleroy (The London Cook, 1762).
There's also a recipe for Apple Cider Beer in Penn Family Recipes (c. 1674).


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

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