Chinese Herbal Beer

Traditional eastern medicine advises us to regularly ingest natural products to optimize our health; western medicine works to treat our problems once they manifest. A great way to keep on top of your healthful herbal dosing is to put your meds in beer.

What follows are a couple of beer recipes that include Chinese herbal tinctures to optimize health. You can buy the tinctures online.

Er Chen or "Two Aged" Beer - The formula usually has the following herbs which regulate chi and harmonize digestion. Just the thing to have with lunch or dinner:

  • fu ling porio a tree growth

  • zhi gan cao or honey-fried licorice

  • Ban Xia or pinellia

  • Chen Pi or tangerine peel

Xiao Yao San or "Free and Easy Wanderer" Beer - This is a harmonizing formulation soothes the liver and alleviates stress making it fine to drink anytime you want to move that liver chi!

  • Chai Hu or buplureum

  • Dang Gui or angelica

  • Bai Shao Yao or peony

  • Bai Zhu or atractylodis

  • Fu Ling or poria

  • Zhi Gan Cao or licorice

  • Sheng Jiang or ginger

  • Bo He or mint

1 gallon water

1¼ cups (1 pound) lightly hopped malt syrup, pilsner or a brown ale is good

1 packet yeast: ale

7 teaspoons corn sugar

½ cup of Er Chen


¼ cup of Xiao Yao San

1. Heat the water till it simmers, then slowly stir in the malt syrup.

2. Pour the hot liquid into the primary fermenter and let it cool to room temperature.

3. Add the yeast, snap on the fermenter lid, and attach the airlock.

4. After 1 week, the beer will finish fermenting. Add 7 teaspoons of corn sugar and one of the herbal tinctures.

5. Bottle in Champagne-style bottles, beer bottles, or soda bottles.

6. Wait a minimum of 4 weeks to allow the corn sugar to carbonate the beer, the yeast to settle to the bottom, and the flavors to mix.

Serving Suggestion: Serve cold in a pint glass, makes a refreshing summer drink and pairs well with Asian food.