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Remembering Horehound Beer

Okay, it’s time to get a little bit sentimental. Long term fans of Bundy Brewed Drinks may remember there was a time when the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks range included Horehound Beer.

Despite the fact Horehound Beer has not been in production for many years, it is still talked about fondly by those who enjoyed this brew.

Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to this drink of yesteryear.

Horehound Beer might seem like an unusual name for a drink but it is actually derived from the main ingredient used to make this brew.

What is horehound?

Horehound is… a plant. More specifically, horehound is a flowering variety of the mint family.

It is considered a native or naturalised plant across Europe, Asia, the Americas, and northern Africa. Horehounds can also be found growing wildly in Australia and New Zealand but are considered a noxious species in these countries.

It was historically consumed for medicinal and therapeutic purposes even as far back as BC times. In the early 1900’s, Horehound started to be used to make lollies and candies.

The horehound herb has also been used to make cordials and up until the 20th century was reasonably popular with home brewers making their own horehound ales and brews.

When Bundaberg Brewed Drinks was producing Horehound Beer it was made as a non-alcoholic soft drink brewed using traditional methods.

What is Horehound Beer?

As part of the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks range, Horehound Beer was a soft drink and great alternative to alcohol. Like all of our drinks, it was traditionally brewed from real ingredients for a full flavour.

Our version of Horehound Beer was naturally brewed from horehound hops and herbs. It was packaged in our famous traditional stubby bottles with a rip cap.

What does Horehound Beer taste like?

If you have tried Horehound Beer then you will probably remember the distinct taste. You may also appreciate how difficult it is to describe that taste to other people.

If you never did get a chance to taste Horehound Beer the taste is so unique that it can’t really be compared to a common flavour. Some people describe it like a sweet beer, quite hoppy, dry and bitter… but also sweet at the same time.

Perhaps the closest flavour available in the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks range today would be Sarsaparilla. Hmm, that said though, it tastes very different to Sarsaparilla. So that’s probably not a great comparison but it’s the closest comparison we can make from our range of drinks.

The flavour is sweet, but much more bitter and herby than commonly found soft drinks. Trying to offer a written description of the taste is a bit tricky. If you did try the Horehound Beer back in the day we would love to hear how you would describe the taste by sharing your thoughts in the comments section under this article.

Some of the historical bottles and packaging of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

Some of the historical labels from the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks range (Horehound Beer shown in middle of top row)

Are there any plans to bring back Horehound Beer?

At this stage there are no plans to bring Horehound Beer back into production. While we are aware this drink had (and still has) many passionate fans, it’s not the right time for us to be brewing this drink.

Though, we never say never.

Although we don’t make Horehound Beer anymore we are very proud of all our drinks that bring back fond memories for so many people.

What are your memories of Horehound Beer? Let us know in the comments.

Leave Comment

  • Paul NorwoodDecember 5, 2020, 7:12 amBring back the HOREHOUND BEER... PLEASE. Even if you only make it once a year for Christmas.
  • George BermanDecember 11, 2020, 7:05 pmhI I have been talking to my mates over the last couple of days asking if anyone can remember another none alcohol beer back in the old days, as I have forgot the name, they all came up with Root beer, Ginger beer, and Sasaparilla, they remembered that there was another one but could not remember the name. We are all 75 years old and drank it as kids. Your discription of the taste is as good as it gets! I hope that it returns somewhere along the line, untill then Bundaberg Sasapirilla, will be the alternate. Do you make Root Beer? Thanks, George Berman
  • George BermanDecember 11, 2020, 7:14 pmOh and Yes, Keep the Spiced Ginger Beer Flowing. Top Stuff
  • Jason WienertDecember 11, 2020, 9:10 pmBring back Horehound Your ginger beer is to sweet
  • Betty MumfordDecember 17, 2020, 11:58 amI remember drinking Horehound as kid on the farm when soft drinks trucks called around the farms. My family all loved it. I would love to buy some. Any chance of being brewed one more time around for us oldies and perhaps a new generation may enjoy it as much I did.
  • KayDecember 24, 2020, 10:17 amI loved horehound beer as a child. It was a Christmas drink for us kids in QLD. I have bought sarsaparilla for this Christmas though. Another favourite as a child. Luckily available in NSW.
  • Steve 1RARDecember 29, 2020, 9:20 pmI served in the Army and we often deployed to the Battle School in Tully. On the rare nights we were in camp, diggers were allowed a couple beers. I drank Horehound and loved it. Got excited in 89 when I found it at the Supermarket in Singleton. Sadly, never seen it since ...
  • Glen MaleJanuary 2, 2021, 7:05 pmI loved Horehound! Describing the taste is like explaining the colour blue to a blind person. Perhaps a trial would prove profitable to a new generation who have never tasted it.
  • RussJanuary 9, 2021, 9:29 pmPlease spoil us again
  • Andrew McgownJanuary 10, 2021, 6:04 pmLove you to bring back Horehound remember it as a kid It tastes like the xxxx summer with lime little bit of sweetness
  • Gerard CarnesJanuary 11, 2021, 10:23 pmPlease please pleeeeeeeeeease make a batch of horehound again! I recall it being a super refreshing drink on a hot NQ day. Slightly bitter, whilst refreshing and mortise.
  • Horehound fanJanuary 15, 2021, 4:30 pmHorehound means Christmas. Please bring it back.
  • IanJanuary 24, 2021, 12:37 pmWe use to get horehound along with other flavours from the Perkins home delivered soft drink service in Brisbane in the 60s - I loved it.
  • Russ DonlenJanuary 25, 2021, 9:13 pmOur nation would love to taste Horehound once again
  • Russ DonlenJanuary 29, 2021, 9:30 pmI'll know I've made it to heaven when Burt Hinkler hands me a Horehound
  • Kevin DoakFebruary 5, 2021, 5:06 amHi I do remember horehound, from when I was a kid in NorthWest Queensland. I'm pretty sure there was a local maker (back in the days when there were two (!) local soft drinks factories in the town) - almost unbelievable now. It did have a distinctive flavour that I liked a lot. It was a bit like beer, or really a beer shandy. But because it was slightly bitter and "herby", I think it had a more "quenching" effect when you were thirsty - it wasn't just sweet like a normal soft drink. Ah, the good old days eh? It's sadly missed - well, by me, anyway. I was starting to think I had imagined it, it's so long ago since I had some!
  • Glenn PetersFebruary 8, 2021, 7:16 amI left North Queensland in the late sixties, and have been looking for Horehound ever since. Sad to hear it is no longer produced. Very distinctive flavour, impossible to do justice in words, and difficult to find a comparison. I would certainly buy a case or two if it came back!
  • Carl MuschFebruary 14, 2021, 2:51 pmPlease bring it back. It was great.
    • Carl MuschFebruary 14, 2021, 2:52 pmHorehound Beer I mean.
  • Doug AbelFebruary 17, 2021, 9:03 pmHI , i like countless others remember buying and drinking Horehound and Hop Beer of years past if you were to begin production once again do some clever marketing with a possible name change ect a great opportunity is right there would be a huge shame to miss in the mean time if you were to send me the recipe and method i would gratefully brew my own [ i know i am being a bit cheeky ] CHEERS DOUG
  • Phil SaundersFebruary 26, 2021, 6:46 pmThere is a market out there for Horehound, maybe just as a special limited offering like your popular Spiced Gingerbeer.
  • Brian CooperFebruary 28, 2021, 5:51 pmI would love to see Horehound return
  • Kathy ScottMarch 8, 2021, 10:41 pmI use to drink this as a kid the hops was very good for asthmetics
  • RaifeMarch 14, 2021, 9:24 pmBring it back. Seriously. Do it. I’ll buy 1000 cases now.
  • John ChapmanMarch 25, 2021, 8:36 pmAs kid back in early fifties I like the taste of it and wish you make it again
  • Christopher ThornApril 15, 2021, 10:27 amI spent time living in Bundaberg in the 1970’s as a seven year old. I can still recall the refreshing taste of horehound at special events such as the Barolin primary school picnic and at the Fairymead pony club canteen. We used to bring a case back to Melbourne which we made last a year and or friends loved the exotic taste. It was simply the best soft drink ! There was nothing else like it. Now is the time to bring back an Iconic memory ....
  • Christopher ThornApril 15, 2021, 10:38 amWhen did you stop production of Horehound ?
  • Rob BlydeApril 17, 2021, 9:51 amHOREHOUND BEER Ingredients are: 4-lb. horehound herb, 18-lb. sugar, 1½-lb. licorice extract, 1½-lb. treacle, 4-oz. quassia chips, 10-oz. crushed ginger, 2-oz. coriander seeds, 2-oz. capaicine, 4-oz. caramel, 2-oz. tartaric acid, ¼-pint brewer's yeast. Suspend the horehound, ginger, coriander and quassia in a muslin bag in a copper and boil in about 15 gallons of water for half-an-hour, Add sugar and than other ingredients. Strain off into fermenting vat, Strain sufficient water through herbs to bring up to 24-gallons. When at 80-deg. F. break up yeast in a basin of brew and stir into the bulk. Allow to ferment for about 24 hours, skim off top and filter. Fine down with one pint ale finings. From old paper clipping ,
  • HamishApril 18, 2021, 3:39 pmHi. As the spice Ginger beer is Christmas. Maybe the Horehound beer could be a Father's day drink in September, a sugar free option if possible just for fun.
  • Andrew O'DempseyMay 11, 2021, 8:10 amPlease bring back Horehound beer. Please please please
  • Adrian YoungerMay 26, 2021, 7:35 pmMy dad was a non drinker, his drink was always Bundaberg Horehound beer, so as kids we always shared a Horehound beer with the old man, later on when Horehound disappeared, he switched to Ginger Beer. I like Horehound better, would like to see it’s return to the Bundaberg range
  • MattMay 27, 2021, 7:57 pmMy absolute favourite soft drink of all time! You definitely need to make this brew again, whatever it takes!