Gruit is a collective name for herbs that were used to flavour medieval beer. Gale was most commonly used. It mainly grows in swampy places. These unexplored lands belonged to the landlord. The landlord leased the right of gruit. For Elburg the right was leased to Pelgrim van Putten. Around 1350 it was discovered that the use of hops not only made the beer taste better but one could also keep it longer. Hops were imported from southern regions.
To make an impression, Pelgrim van Putten built a stone gruit house around 1400 to trade beer herbs and to collect money for all the beer that was brewed in Elburg. There are all kinds of indications that beer was also brewed in the Gruithuis itself. After a few years the house was sold over the years is has had all sorts of different purposes; longest as a city farm.