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In Their Own Words

April 20, 1734

New Form of Beer

From Ebenezer, Lutheran minister Johann Martin Boltzius recorded in his journal of a new drink the Salzburgers had learned to make:

“Since there is no beer to be had in this country, the Salzburgers have learned from the Englishmen how to cook a half-beer which they prepare from time to time for themselves. They take a few pieces of sassafras, a little syrup, and instead of hops, some green pine-tops, which are boiled in a kettle of water. Those who want to make it better add a little Indian corn to it too. The inhabitants of this land praise this beer as being very good for the health; conversely, they consider water harmful, implying that it responsible for dysentery. For ourselves, we prefer water and feel quite well drinking it, although occasionally we mix it with a little wine… .”

Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger: Volume I, 1733-1734 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), p. 77.