Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Pea-Shell Beer

Pea-Shell Beer

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 17, 2012

Pea-Shell Beer

Fill a boiler with green shells of peas, pour on water until it rises half an inch above the shells, and simmer for three hours. Strain off the liquor and add a decoction of hops or wood-sage, so as to render it pleasantly bitter; then ferment in the usual manner.

–Millennial Star, 21 July 1860, 463



  1. Nope. Won’t be seeing that any time soon in an LDS Magazine. Is it bad I now want to Google this recipe to see if it’s real though?…

    Comment by Stan — April 17, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  2. This was a much-reproduced recipe in the 1800s. The first instance, with wording almost exactly the same as this, seems to be from a publication called The Monthly Gazette of Health, Vol. IV For the Year 1819, by Richard Reece, M.D.

    Comment by Amy T — April 17, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  3. Too funny! I wonder what the “ferment in usual manner” is?

    Comment by gretchen — April 17, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  4. pleasantly bitter

    Does not compute. Maybe this is why no form of beer presents any temptation to me.

    Comment by Last Lemming — April 17, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  5. We’re talking fresh pea pods here, after the peas are removed, right?

    Comment by The Other Clark — April 17, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  6. …ferment in the usual manner.

    That would seem to imply a familiarity on the part of the readers with fermentation of other, ahem, refreshments. Ignoring the ironic homonym of the title, I wonder what other items may have been fermented in the usual manner. Certainly there seemed to be no shortage of potatoes, or perhaps even sugar beets.

    Comment by kevinf — April 17, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  7. Some of my forebears brought this fine tradition with them across the plains, and ensured its survival well into the 20th century. Can’t speak to the exact recipe, though.

    Comment by Matt — April 18, 2012 @ 10:11 am

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