The History and Use of Chalk Beer

Chalk , also known as “choc beer,” is a unique and historical alcoholic drink with origins traced back to the Choctaw Indians in what is now Southeastern Oklahoma. The name “choc” is believed to have been derived from the word chalk, as it was made from a mixture of wild plants found in the region.

The exact composition of choc beer varied among the Choctaws, but the most commonly used recipe included barley, , tobacco, fishberries, and a small amount of . This combination of ingredients resulted in a potent and flavorful .

One of the key ingredients in choc beer is calcium carbonate, also known as chalk. This compound serves multiple purposes in the process. Firstly, it is used to increase the Residual Alkalinity in the brewing . This is important for brewing dark beers, as they require a certain level of CO32- concentration, ideally at least 150 ppm. Chalk helps to achieve this concentration and create the desired flavor profile.

Additionally, chalk is used to raise the mash pH. The pH level of the mash, which is a mixture of malted grains and water, plays a crucial role in the brewing process. It affects the enzymatic activity and ultimately determines the quality of the beer. By adding chalk to the mash, brewers can adjust the pH level to ensure optimal conditions for the enzymes to break down the starches into fermentable sugars.

Chalk can be added either directly to the mash or to the brewing water. The exact amount of chalk required depends on the specific brewing recipe and desired characteristics of the beer. Brewers carefully calculate and measure the additions to achieve the desired results.

When choc beer is well-fermented, it tends to have a dry finish. This means that the has effectively consumed the sugars in the beer, resulting in a crisp and clean taste. However, this dryness can sometimes be accompanied by a chalky feeling in the mouth. This chalkiness can be attributed to astringency from polyphenols in hops or tannins found in fruits and grain husks.

On the other hand, if the choc beer is on the sweeter side, it may leave a sticky feeling in the mouth. This sweetness can be a result of residual sugars that were not fully fermented by the yeast. The balance between sweetness and dryness is crucial in achieving a well-rounded and enjoyable beer.

Chalk beer, or choc beer, is a fascinating and historical beverage with its roots in the Choctaw Indian culture. The use of chalk, or calcium carbonate, in the brewing process helps to increase the Residual Alkalinity in the water and raise the mash pH. These factors contribute to the unique flavor profile and characteristics of choc beer. Whether you prefer a dry or sweet choc beer, the presence of chalk can play a role in the overall mouthfeel and taste experience.

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What Is A Drink Called Chalk?

A drink called “chalk,” also known as “choc beer” or “choc,” refers to an alcoholic beverage that is believed to have originated from the Choctaw Indians in what is now Southeastern Oklahoma. This drink is made from wild plants that were abundant in the region. Here are some key points to understand about chalk:

1. Origin and History: Chalk is said to have been first created by the Choctaw Indians, who used wild plants found in their surroundings to make this alcoholic beverage. It is believed to have a long history in the region, with roots dating back to the indigenous cultures of the area.

2. Composition: The exact composition of chalk can vary, as it is often made using a combination of different ingredients. However, the primary components are typically wild plants that were available in the Choctaw Indians' natural environment. The specific plants used may vary, but they are usually foraged from the local area.

3. Flavor and Characteristics: Chalk is known for its distinct flavor profile, which can vary depending on the plants used in its production. It is often described as having a unique, earthy taste, with hints of bitterness or sweetness depending on the ingredients. The flavor can be influenced by factors such as the preparation method and fermentation process.

4. Preparation and Making: The process of making chalk involves harvesting the wild plants, which are then processed and fermented to create the alcoholic beverage. The exact method and techniques used may vary among different communities or individuals, as it is often passed down through generations and adapted over time.

5. Cultural Significance: Chalk holds cultural significance among the Choctaw Indians and is considered a traditional drink that has been part of their heritage for generations. It is often associated with celebrations, gatherings, and cultural events. However, it is important to note that the consumption and production of chalk may vary among different communities and individuals within the Choctaw culture.

Chalk, also known as choc beer or choc, is an alcoholic beverage believed to have originated from the Choctaw Indians in Southeastern Oklahoma. It is made using wild plants found in the region and holds cultural significance within the Choctaw culture. The exact composition, flavor, and preparation methods can vary, but it is a unique drink with a long history in the area.

What Is Choc Beer Made Of?

Choc beer, a traditional beverage, was typically made using a combination of various ingredients. The most commonly used recipe consisted of the following components:

1. Barley: Barley is a cereal grain that forms the base of the beer. It provides the necessary starches that ferment and convert into alcohol during the brewing process.

2. Hops: Hops are flowers that add bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer. They also act as a natural preservative, helping to extend the shelf life of the beverage.

3. Tobacco: Tobacco leaves were included in the recipe, adding a distinct and unique flavor to the choc beer. The use of tobacco in brewing is not commonly found in beer production.

4. Fishberries: Fishberries, also known as fish peppers or fish pepperspice, were a key ingredient in choc beer. These berries possess paralyzing properties, and Choctaws used them to disable fish. The inclusion of fishberries in the beer likely contributed to its potency and potentially provided additional flavor.

5. Alcohol: A small amount of alcohol, likely in the form of a distilled spirit, was added to the choc beer. This would have increased the overall alcohol content of the beverage.

It is worth noting that the exact proportions of these ingredients may have varied depending on the specific recipe and personal preferences. The combination of barley, hops, tobacco, fishberries, and a touch of alcohol created a unique and potent drink known as choc beer.


Chalk beer, also known as choc beer, is a type of dark beer that has a unique history and composition. It is believed to have originated from a drink made by the Choctaw Indians in what is now Southeastern Oklahoma. The name “choc” is derived from the word “chalk,” which refers to the use of Calcium Carbonate in the brewing process.

Chalk beer is specifically used in the brewing of dark beers, which require a certain concentration of CO32-. This addition of Calcium Carbonate helps increase the Residual Alkalinity in the brewing water and raises the pH level of the mash. This is crucial in achieving the desired characteristics and flavors in the final beer product.

The composition of chalk beer can vary, but the most commonly used ingredients include barley, hops, tobacco, and fishberries. The inclusion of a small amount of alcohol further enhances the potency of the beverage. It is worth noting that fishberries were also used by the Choctaw Indians as a paralyzing agent for disabling fish, indicating the potentially strong effects of “choc” beer.

The mouthfeel of chalk beer can vary depending on the brewing process and ingredients used. A well-attenuated chalk beer will have a dry finish, possibly leaving a chalky feeling in the mouth. This can be attributed to astringency from polyphenols in hops or tannins found in fruits and grain husks. On the other hand, if the beer is sweet, it may leave a sticky sensation in the mouth.

Chalk beer offers a unique brewing experience and delivers distinct flavors and mouthfeel. Its history and composition make it an intriguing choice for beer enthusiasts looking to explore different styles and flavors.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.