Who’s making them? It’s not as popular as brewing regular beer, but people like Brittany Breitenbach, aka the Botanical Brewess, are giving it a try. Breitenbach lives in a cozy house in the center of Missoula that smells of spice and herbs and resembles an apothecary. In the kitchen, she’s set out a collection of brown bottles with handwritten labels for tasting. These beers and wines are fermented with herbs she grows, foraged berries and a few less common items she sourced from local shops or online.
How they taste: For the most part, you wouldn’t drink a pint of these brews anymore than you’d drink a pint of Jägermeister. But for sipping? Many of them are really good. Favorites: The dandelion ale, which is clear, light and sweet; the molasses ginger ale, which is super carbonated and, according to the Brewess, good for an upset stomach; the ebulon, a brew made with elderberries and allspice that tastes like the holidays and is supposed to be good for the immune system.
How to get them: If you’re not friends with a brewess of your own, you can take Breitenbach’s class at Green Path Herb School. She’ll discuss the basics of herbal brews and give you some hands-on experience. “More importantly, we’ll learn about the magic that is yeast, the sacredness of plant medicine and fermentation,” she says. “Brewing is more than just a social drink, it’s an alchemic process that’s been around for thousands of years. It’s delicious—and it gives you a buzz.”
Where to go: Green Path Herb School, 180 S. 3rd St. W., Ste 2. Thu., Nov. 9, from 6 to 8 PM. $20. Sign up through Facebook @Green.Path.Herb.School.