Talrain 6
CH-6043 Adligenswil

Tel. 0041 41 410 50 68
Fax 0041 41 410 62 59



  Beer is the most widely drunk alcoholic beverage by humanity in the whole of human history. The first beer ever known was brewed over ten thousand years ago.

In ancient times beer was enlivened with the power of certain herbs. Beer had magic, it possessed the soul of a god or a goddess. It contained the power of holy herbs and was produced by the mystical transformation of nature. It was food, drink and sacrament in one.

This secret history of beer not only aims to demonstrate the advantages of the old beers and the meaning of beer rituals but also to show beer in a new light.



More than just
Hops and Malt


by Christian Rätsch










9 x  7 1/8 in.

23 x 27 cm

224 pages

Over 200 full colour illustrations




The fruits of the earth

What is beer? - What was beer?

The seed: Cereal

The secret: The added ingredients

The bear's spittle: Yeast

The birth of the world: Water

Divine beverages

The hop era

The German Law on Purity

Monks and monastic beer

The wrong beer saint

Beer witches and witches' beer

The hemp era

Hi-brew,  a new start

Psychedelic beers of the future





Born in 1957, Christian Rätsch received his doctorate in Early American Studies. For many years, he has been involved in research into ethnomedicine and religion of the "Lacandones", completing his studies with a paper on the learning of magic incantations (Berlin 1985). Further trips for research purposes followed - to South America, The Seychelles, Nepal and South-East Asia. He is the athor of several books, and the publisher of the series "Ethnomedizin und Bewusstseinsfoschung" and a lecturer in ethnology at the University of Bremen.