Using Painted Sage (Salvia viridis) for Beermaking
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Simon
Posted on: November 16, 2000

I’ve grown Salvia viridis that I got from you and I would like to have more info or references about it’s use has an additive to home made brews, as mentioned in your catalog.

The reference comes from Mrs. M. Grieve’s classic 1933 herbal, "A Modern Herbal". She uses the older botanical name, Salvia horminum, while we use the recent name, Salvia viridis.

"Another south European species, an annual, S. Horminum, the RED-TOPPED SAGE, has its whorls of flowers terminated by clusters of small purple or red leaves, being for this peculiarity often grown in gardens as an ornamental plant. The leaves and seed of this species, put into the vat, while fermenting, greatly increase the inebriating quality of the liquor. An infusion of the leaves has been considered a good gargle for sore gums, and powdered makes a good snuff."

We have never tried it beer so we cannot verify Grieve’s claim. However, Grieve’s information has proved to be very reliable over the years.

Grieve’s herbal can be accessed from the Richters website at and then click on the link to Richters InfoCentre and then Classic Herbals Online.

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