We often forget about the importance beer played in the foundation of the country we love so much. In the 1800′s, beer was a huge component to the daily diet for the majority of most Americans including children. As a matter of fact, families kept sacred cookbooks that contained family beer recipes alongside food recipes that often date back hundreds of years. Until modern sanitation methods surfaced, it was safer to drink beer than water. If you were going boil water, why not make beer. People were a different poor back then. When a family needed nutrition, it was up to them to find a means to get by. Beer played a crucial role in survival and social life. If you didn’t have money to eat well…you drank well because it was cheap to brew items that could be fermented.
Beer consisted of locally acquired ingredients. Hop pellets, specialty grains, lab controlled yeasts, and artificial flavorings did not exist. An open fire with an iron pot is how you rolled. If you wanted a cheap beer, items were collected and often mixed with molasses.
Anyways, I was recently given permission by the Cincinnati library to view one of the rarest books in Cincinnati dating back to 1840. White’s New Cook Book is a collection of family remedies, recipes, and blueprints distributed to the residents of the growing Cincinnati area. Check out these awesome old time beer recipes. Try one! However, I promise they will not match our current selections.
Check these photos out: