BREAKING THE HOPS HEGEMONY: BREWING CLOSE TO HOME WITH FAR OUR PLANTS
Are you intimidated by beer brewing? Or have you worked your way through the usual beer supply store suspects, and are ready for something more than an IPA, lager, or stout? Let’s get wild.
Using Stephen Buhner’s Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers as our primary text, we’ll examine a variety of historical recipes, reaching back to a time before the Reinheitsgebot, the oft-lauded “Bavarian Purity Law of 1516”, made hops the sole acceptable bittering/preserving agent in Germany, and in effect, the world. Before that, untold numbers of plants were brewed with, some of them energizing, or even psychoactive, in contrast to hops’ strong depressant qualities. We’ll also examine the ways that prior to the Christianization of Europe, there was significant overlap (in the form of brewing) between nutrition, medicine, spirituality, and pleasure. We’ll practice with a few trial recipes using exclusively wild yeast, so we’ll be leaving something to the wind (literally), but everyone will go home with something to enjoy, and the knowledge to use their backyard (or local herbalist) to connect with their beer-loving, non-professional forebears.
*One full-tuition scholarship is available for this class. If you are interested in a scholarship or work-study position, please see our scholarship & work-study page and email this class’s facilitator here .
Nate Luce studied art at Bennington College, and is currently writing his thesis for a Master’s in Religion from the Harvard Extension School. He was raised in a New Age household, learning his first Transcendental Meditation mantra at age eight, and attending both weekly Episcopal services and yearly retreats with the Indian guru Mata Amritanandamayi (“Amma”) from an early age. He has worked and studied for a year at the Omega Institute, and has taught meditation in the United States and Vietnam. Nate was part of a two-person show at BUOY Gallery in Kittery, ME in the fall of 2017. He currently lives on Martha’s Vineyard, where he coordinates the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.