Gale is an aromatic shrub from wet, peaty and nutrient-poor areas. There are both male and female and that can actually change sex! Female gale ?? and not female hop ?? was once the main beer herb in northwestern Europe. After a century ban on their use in beer, this plant regains the attention it deserves. And not only in connection with beer.
Pepper Brabant, Brabant Drenthe myrtle and tea are popular names for gale. They point to the aromatic resin glands and the medicinal use of this plant, the scent reminiscent of laurel leaves. These names also give or had an idea of where to find this shrub. The old people's names and post Porst - which would refer specifically to use as a spice beer - are facing sites. Examples include Postel and Posterholt. Both located in the Kempen sandy region between Flanders and the Netherlands. The origin of the name remains gale so far shrouded in mystery. Gale came and also occurs elsewhere. Even on the other side of the Atlantic ocean. But never too far inland, where treaties are not the continental climate. In many places in the lowlands are the myrtle bushes disappeared due to drainage and agriculture.
A combination of archival studies and archeology has elucidated that female gale ?? and not hop ?? during most of the Middle Ages was the most important beer herb in northwestern Europe. In Flanders and Brabant was the old gale then the staple of gruit, a blend that both the taste and the preservation of the beer had insurance. The precise composition of this mixture has so far remained a closely guarded secret. A famous medieval fan of gruut- or gale beer was Hildegard of Bingen who did not failed to show her disapproval of hops. Why she did that exactly is unfortunately not clear.
The noble family Gruuthuse refers to medieval warehouses that were stored in harvested wild myrtle branches with blossoms or -vruchtjes to sell. Who says Gruuthuse, another refers to a site. In this case, the region south of Bruges, where gale today is a rare appearance. The name gruut clearly related to gruit, which used to house a considerable tax was levied.
During the thirteenth century, as gale beer spice supplanted by female hops. Hopped beers would keep better and therefore are better suited for transportation. It is also a fact that quite a few dingy rumors have done the rounds about gale. A revised edition of the posthumous and herbal by Dodoens from 1644 states that: "the fruit selve with eenighen dranck inghenomen the herssenen is schadelijck." Further it states that gale beer "the head overseer appalled unto the seer mensche haest droncken maeckt." Elsewhere Dodoens has, however, that the use of myrtle in wine provides a sweet taste, the strengthening of the stomach and avoiding ... brain damage. Some sources maintain it at an economic power struggle in which the monopoly of gale was replaced by a monopoly of hops. Whatever it may, gale centuries was banned in favor of the trade in hops.
Only since the 1990s, the use of gale at our restored. Including as a component of Gageleer. Gageleer is a regional beer blond high fermentation that next hop also gale from the nature reserve De Liereman in Turnhout has been added. The recipe comes from homebrewer Louis Meulders Beerse, another town in the province of Antwerp Kempen. A trick in this recipe is the use of an alcoholic extract of gale blossoms instead of just the blossoms itself adding to the brew. This would benefit the taste. In 2009, brewing engineer Annick De Splenterde the cradle of the Ghent City Brewery Gruut. However, the composition of the herbal mixture is jealously kept secret and it is not even quite sure if there are gale in it.
Who during the summer in one of the sprawling Scottish moors has rondgestruind, has more than likely to do once already had with "midges." Which are those particularly annoying little gnats that even your tent can slip when you least expect it. The reasons why the Scots have an insect repellent spray on the market based on an extract of myrtle and other aromatic herbs such as lavender. Gale is called in English "bog myrtle", which translates as bog-myrtle, reminiscent of the folk name Brabantse myrtle in the lowlands. Just like us gale is also used in Scotland as beer spice today, as in the production of the heather ale Fraoch Heather Ale. In traditional Scottish cuisine gale fruits have a place under the name "bayberry." Bay is the English word for laurel and we already saw that the aroma of gale here somewhat reminiscent. Distilled "essential oil" of gale - say the strong scent of it, which is diluted in almond oil for example - would prove useful again in skin problems like acne.