By Sam Skopp
Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) was host to a series of food and drink event last month: Santa Monica Eats. Sunday Nov. 11 saw the final morning in the series – “Wild Beer Brewing With Pascal Baudar.”
Raised in rural Belgium, Baudar learned to forage for wild plants from his family at a young age.
“Dealing with wild plants was a normal way of life,” said Baudar. “Like my grandma used to send me to get nettle and berries.”
He has since turned this experience into a professional career, and has been teaching edible plant workshops for 10 years, and specifically workshops on beer, like Saturday’s at the library, for 7 years. He has also written a book on cuisine with foraged ingredients, titled “The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir,” and will be releasing a book in 2018, “The Wildcrafted Brewer.”
Baudar was first approached by the library while hosting a similar workshop at a library in Altadena.
“I was talking about edible plants,” Baudar said. A representative from the library enjoyed his workshop and invited him to be part of this series of Santa Monica events.
As he began the workshop, Baudar started by going into his personal background and upbringing, before explaining the herbs he had on his table and then jumping into brewing techniques. The practically packed audience was a mix of people of all ages, all wanting to learn Baudar’s wild brewing style.
“The good news is you’re going to learn to make beer today,” said Baudar at the beginning of the workshop. “The bad news is you can’t drink it. It’s a library.”
For more information on upcoming events at the Santa Monica Public Library, visit smpl.org.