Medieval herbs

In the Middle Ages the river Leie divided the city of Ghent into two parts. On the right bank the brewers used typical beer ingredients like hops. The brewers on the left bank, which was ruled by the French, added a mixture of herbs or Gruut to their beers.

Landlords collected a tax from the brewers based on the amount of spice (Gruuts) used in the beer. Our brewery combines present day brewing techniques with centuries old tradition.

The beer is unique and especially healthy because of the use of spices instead of hop. Hop was in the 13th century used as an alternative herb in the brewing process. The former beer was mostly flavored with herbs, called “Gruyt or Gruut”.

The composition of the herbs was different from region to region and only the ruler knew the mixture, and asked taxes on it. Nowadays they ask taxes on the percentage of alcohol and the volume of beer, in the Middle Ages was it on the Gruut herbs.