> > > > >

Birch Beer

Birch Beer is a non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage made from birch bark and birch sap.

It's brewed, like (real) root beer is, and has a head on it when poured, so some think it's just a type of root beer, but in fact both are a type of "small beer."

Birch Beer brands that are still being made are usually made from oil distilled from the sap. One brand, Boylan's, has been made since 1891 in New York State. Its ingredients are birch oil, carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel colour, citric acid, sodium benzoate and yucca extract.

Birch Beer has a brown colour, and a wintergreen taste from the birch. Many don't like it because of the wintergreen taste, which reminds them of candy or chewing gums. It also has a vanilla flavour.

The Sweet Birch tree (Betula lenta) can also be tapped to make syrup, like sugar maple trees. Its sap flows a month after maple sap does. See Birch Syrup.

History Notes

Birch Beer was originally made at home by Americans, commercial brands began in the late 1800s.

Pioneers boiled 4 parts birch sap to 1 part honey for 10 minutes. They then poured this over chopped birch twigs, let cool, then strained, added yeast and a piece of toasted rye bread, let ferment for about a week covered. The mixture was then bottled and capped. It was stored for three months before drinking.

Stronger versions could also be made.

Please share this information with your friends. They may love it.

See also:

Carbonated Beverages

Birch Beer; Carbonated Beverages; Carbonic Acid; Egg Cream; Ginger Beer; Ice Cream Float; Ice Cream Soda; Italian Sodas; Phosphates; Pop; Root Beer; Soda


You may also like:

Looking for home canning information?
Visit our satellite site dedicated to home canning, HealthyCanning.com for recipes and well-researched articles on all aspects of home canning.

Bon mots

"I devoured hot-dogs in Baltimore 'way back in 1886, and they were then very far from newfangled...They contained precisely the same rubber, indigestible pseudo-sausages that millions of Americans now eat, and they leaked the same flabby, puerile mustard. Their single point of difference lay in the fact that their covers were honest German Wecke made of wheat-flour baked to crispiness, and not the soggy rolls prevailing today, of ground acorns, plaster-of-Paris, flecks of bath-sponge, and atmospheric air all compact."

-- Henry Louis Mencken (American writer. 12 September 1880 – 29 January 1956)

Myth of the Day

Marinades Read more >