The Wildcrafting Brewer
Creating Unique Drinks and Boozy Concoctions from Nature's Ingredients
by Pascal Baudar
Pub Date 12 Feb 2018
Primitive beers, country wines, herbal meads, natural sodas, and more
The art of brewing doesn’t stop at the usual ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. In fact, the origins of brewing involve a whole galaxy of wild and cultivated plants, fruits, berries, and other natural materials, which were once used to make a whole spectrum of creative, fermented drinks.
Now fermentation fans and home brewers can rediscover these “primitive” drinks and their unique flavors in The Wildcrafting Brewer. Wild-plant expert and forager Pascal Baudar’s first book, The New Wildcrafted Cuisine, opened up a whole new world of possibilities for readers wishing to explore and capture the flavors of their local terroir. The Wildcrafting Brewer does the same for fermented drinks. Baudar reveals both the underlying philosophy and the practical techniques for making your own delicious concoctions, from simple wild sodas, to non-grape-based “country wines,” to primitive herbal beers, meads, and traditional ethnic ferments like tiswin and kvass.
The book opens with a retrospective of plant-based brewing and ancient beers. The author then goes on to describe both hot and cold brewing methods and provides lots of interesting recipes; mugwort beer, horehound beer, and manzanita cider are just a few of the many drinks represented. Baudar is quick to point out that these recipes serve mainly as a touchstone for readers, who can then use the information and techniques he provides to create their own brews, using their own local ingredients.
The Wildcrafting Brewer will attract herbalists, foragers, natural-foodies, and chefs alike with the author’s playful and relaxed philosophy. Readers will find themselves surprised by how easy making your own natural drinks can be, and will be inspired, again, by the abundance of nature all around them.
“Pascal Baudar takes wild fermentation to the next level with wild plants, wild yeasts, and wild bacteria. His methods are effective, and his creativity is infectious. With gorgeous photos and clear technical details, this book will be a source of great inspiration.”
—Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation
“Owning one of Pascal Baudar’s books is like possessing a key to the foraging kingdom—a key that opens the door to his unique approach to working with wild ingredients. Over the years, Baudar has developed an original culinary language of the land, working and exploring every element of terroir from salt and stones to insect sugars and plants. His methods are rigorously researched, and his piercing creativity and spirit of enquiry gives them life. The foraging world owes a great deal to Baudar’s original research and generous spirit of sharing.”
—Marie Viljoen, urban forager and author of 66 Square Feet
“Pascal Baudar has elevated the concept of terroir—that intricate symbiosis of Homo imbibens, native biota, microorganisms, and landscape—into the realm of extreme beverages, both fermented and unfermented. His book brings to life the innovative quest of the Palaeolithic shaman/healer/brewer.”
—Patrick E. McGovern, archaeologist and author of Ancient Brews and Uncorking the Past
“Pascal’s new book offers a wonderfully tangential and unrestrained approach to the world of home brewing by mixing foraging with wild booze alchemy and encouraging the reader to experiment, explore, and play. Whilst managing to make both topics fun and accessible, a comprehensive introduction leads to some delightfully simple recipes and plenty of great ideas, all complemented by beautiful photography.”
—John Rensten, founder of Forage London and author of The Edible City
“Pascal Baudar eliminates the boundaries set by modern homebrewing “rules” and encourages brewers to go wild with creativity. Not only does he present simple guidelines for making truly unique brews that blur the lines between wine, beer, mead, and soda, but he provides readers with knowledge on how to brew with ingredients they likely already have access to in their kitchens, gardens, yards, and wildlands.”
—Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking
“I wish I’d had The Wildcrafting Brewer years ago when I became obsessed with plant-forward, foraged, alcohol fermentation. Though often overlooked in contemporary brewing, Pascal Baudar focuses on the basics of foraging and alternative sugar sources. At once looking to indigenous history as well as reviving, or creating, innovative techniques, Pascal encourages people to get their hands dirty, fermenting with what is around them rather than worrying first about fancy tools.”
—Pete Halupka, Harvest Roots Ferments
“I admire the foraging practice Pascal Baudar shares in The Wildcrafting Brewer—hiking into nature and gathering what's prevalent to create a fermented mélange that carries the terroir of those moments he spent forest bathing, beachcombing, or urban scavenging. The season, the scents, the scenery—all imprinted into his bubbly brews. It inspires me to cleanse my aura with a sage cider cocktail and offer a libation of Achillea and Artemisia to the folks, like Baudar, who keep the spirited plant traditions going. This is a great reference book for both the herbalist’s kitchen and the botanist’s bar.”
—Jessyloo Rodrigues, herbalist and cocktail farmer