Dandelion Spruce Tip Beer

Adapted from Pascal Baudar’s The Wildcrafting Brewer.

Not much maple syrup flavour remains after fermenting. This beer tastes a lot like a straightforward ale—dandelion is quite bitter. Experiment with sugars. I’ve substituted syrup for molasses, which resulted it a more porter-like beer. 

I like to add something slightly floral like spruce tips or yarrow or chamomile to offset the dandelion.

Pick dandelions just before the flowers open—though you can add a few flowers to the recipe, too.

So far I’ve found I haven’t had to prime before bottling as fresh dandelion residue continues to ferment once bottled.

This ferments to about 3.8 – 5% ABV.

To learn more about the basics of home brewing, equipment, and terminology, check out Charlie Papazian’s The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing.

Makes about 1 gallon of beer.

Wild Yeast

Before you make your beer, you’ll have to make a wild yeast. Learn how on the Wild Yeast page.


  • 1 gallon de-chlorinated water
  • 1 lb maple syrup
  • 1/2 lb fresh dandelion greens
  • 14 g dandelion root, toasted/dried 
  • 6 g dried spruce tips
  • 1/2-3/4 cup wild yeast

Brew the Beer

  1. Clean dandelions. Separate leaves from roots.
  2. Chop dandelion roots. Roast in oven at 300˚F, stirring often, until the root is dark and crispy (about 15-20 minutes or so).
  3. Combine ingredients in a big pot—reserve 2 g of spruce tips. 
  4. Bring to a boil. Boil for 25 min. At 25 min, add remaining spruce tips. Boil for 5 more minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and cool wort to 21˚C (70˚F).
  6. Strain. Pitch wild yeast.
  7. Pour into fermenting vessel and add an airlock. Ferment in a warm place (15-27˚C) until bubbling subsides significantly (about 10 days after active fermenting starts).
  8. Bottle. Enjoy after 1-3 weeks.