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4.7 out of 5 stars18
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 May 2010
This book is a real winner. I love brewing country wines and beers and this book is packed full of recipes for indigenous trees and plants. I've started some birch sap sparkling wine and a sycamore sap sparkling wine (adapted from the Maple recipe) and plan a few others.

Being long haired, beardy and with a healthy habit of sitting out by open fires in the woods, it's easy to be empathetic with the author and his connection to nature based beliefs. He immerses into the lives and brewing techniques of indigenous people all over the World, past and present, which adds yet another dimension to the interest value of this book. This is a man who works with respect and with immense researching skills.

It's not worth knocking off a star for this tiny point, but I would have been happier with metric measurements in the recipes. Saying that - The conversions are fairly easy.

Happy brewing and foraging.
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on 5 December 2009
this book is brilliant, it containes recepies, history behind the herps and a explenation to why they are or arent a part of brewing to day
as a brewer that likes to brew beer and wine out of the ordinary this book is a bibel that makes life alot easier, so instead of making alot of experiments to get the right taste and fermentation, just look it up in "Sacred and Herbal Healing beers"Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation
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on 19 June 2013
So pleased with this book. The history behind brewing and the different cultures of brewing are fascinating. And there are loads of recipes, old & new to try. The health benefits/information about all the different herbs is invaluable and the psychotropic section is particularly interesting! I love the way he strips brewing back to its bare bones, as it historically was and should be. You really need minimal equipment and ingredients. He gave me the confidence to start simply and experiment, without the need for all those horrible chemicals and expensive additives.

Fantastic!
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on 6 May 2013
I have been using Stephen Buhner's book to brew from on and off for ten years or so. I think there are three reasons that it's great. These are:

1. The recipes are the main reason you buy a book like this. Do they work? Yes. Also, they are grouped together (by plant / tree) so you can adapt and build on them if you wish. Another reviewer has said they wish metric quantities were given. I cook and brew using measures like 'a handful' and 'an apronful' so I'm less bothered. Horses for courses...

2. The historical, sociological, and esoteric background to the brews is well set out and written with erudition and passion in equal measure. This man loves his beer and is interesting (he is a herbalist by trade).

3. It's a really entertaining (at times 'laugh out loud') read too, full of unexpected quirky connections.

So all in all I'd say this book's the business.

Heddwas /|\
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on 24 November 2011
Extensive guide to brewing with different herbs. The book is full of citations, poetry and references, which makes it an interesting read that will last for hours, not mentioning the recipes allowing to investigate the potential of many herbs, also found in Europe.
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on 7 August 2009
There was much to admire in this work, but it is ill-organised. Meads should be a separate title where his depth of knowledge could be complimented by more mead or honey-based recipes.

Some of the ales are not ales; do not seem tested and too many go through the same perfunctory procedure.

Last negative remark: Spanish is liquorice, an ingredient which he could not trace

On the plus side, some fine brews, some excellent research and lots of ideas have been garnered for worts, some already tried.

Much to admire in this work.
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on 23 October 2013
Bought this book on a whim and really didn't expect it to be of such quality. The term "beer" is used loosely as a general term for what seem to be any alcoholic beverage below wine strength as a general rule. Contains folklore, histories, and information on each of the herbs and brews in the book, and well referenced too! Absolutely fantastic. It doesn't have a place on my shelf simply because it's always in use. Well worth it!
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on 5 July 2012
While the author takes a rather dim view of brewing with hops this is a facinating look at the world of old ales predating the introduction of hops. A facinating review of the possible and well worth a space in your brewing library.
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on 11 January 2014
I bought this book for my son who is an enthusiastic amateur brewer who is starting to experiment with brewing using herbs. A quick pick had me hooked on the recipes and info on the herbs and plants; he absolutely loves it!
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on 20 January 2015
Recipes: Good
History: Good
Well written?: Yes
Scientific?: [citation needed]

Worth buying, good recipes and such, although he may lose people with some of the pseudo fantastical stuff.
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