Or at least they used to. Check out this post at Martyn Cornell’s blog. Cornell, of course, is the author of the excellent Amber Gold and Black, a history of British ales. What that means is: you’re reading someone (Cornell, not me) who actually knows what he’s talking about.
I think it’s pretty amazing that people used peas–and are still doing so, apparently, in those crazy craft brewing circles. Once again, there’s something to be learned from ‘how they used to do things’. If you will.
Nothing against the advances of science, though (careful, some unrelated but graphic photos). Better ingredients equals better beer: it’s pretty much that simple.