Can hops be substituted by an easy available product? I am from India I was not able to find hops in local markets can anybody help me out?


7 Answers 7


Generally, a beer created without the use of hops is called a 'gruit' or 'grut'. 'Gruit' (or 'grut') can also be the term used for the mixture of spices working as a bittering agent in the beer.

Some herbs commonly used in gruit:

  • sweet gale
  • mugwort
  • yarrow
  • ivy
  • horehound
  • heather
  • juniper
  • ginger
  • aniseed
  • carraway

and really, anything else a gruit producer thought would taste good in their brew.

Gruit fell out of common usage in the last century or two, but is seeing a bit of a revival these days, so there are lots of resources available if you google around a bit. One that I've read quite abit on is the Gruit Ale and Unhopped beers website.


Beer can be made with hops substitutes, but be aware it won't taste like any beer you've ever had before.


Stinging nettles used to be used in Britain to provide bittering and anti-bacterial properties in beer brewing before hops were widely available / cultured.


Hops have only been used in beer since ca. the 13th century, where brewers used to use locally grown herbs and spices to offset the sweetness.

You could try for example brewing a witbier and leaving out the hops, and using only coriander and sour orange to bitter.


It is difficult to answer this question given that we don't know what is available in your local markets. One bittering agent substitute for hops that has been used historically is spruce.

Take a look a the Wikipedia article on Spruce Beer


You obviously have access to the Internet. You can buy hops online (sorry that this doesnt technically answer the question, but may solve Eaga's problem).


I am also from India and fortunately hops and malts are now available in India at one of the online store brewof dot com.

I have wondered for long about if I could make beer without hops mainly due to non availability, how ever if you could indeed stabilize the beer with some thing apart from hops, would it still be called beer?

  • This might be better left as a comment to the question as it isn't really an answer to the original poster.
    – brewchez
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 12:38

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