"Beech wood is an excellent firewood, easily split and burning for many hours with bright but calm flames. Slats of Beech wood are washed in caustic soda to leach out any flavor or aroma characteristics and are spread around the bottom of fermentation tanks for Budweiser beer. This provides a complex surface on which the yeast can settle, so that it doesn't pile up too deep, thus preventing yeast autolysis (essentially death of the yeast cells) which would contribute off-flavors to the beer. Beech logs are burned to dry the malts used in some German smoked beers, giving the beers their typical flavour. Beech is also used to smoke Westphalian ham, various sausages, and some cheeses.
Some drums are made from beech, which has a tone between those of maple and birch, the two most popular drum woods.
The textile modal is a kind of rayon often made wholly from the reconstituted cellulose of pulped beech wood.
The European species Fagus sylvatica yields a utility timber that is tough but dimensionally unstable. It weighs about 720 kg per cubic metre and is widely used for furniture framing and carcass construction, flooring and engineering purposes, in plywood and in household items like plates, but rarely as a decorative wood. The timber can be used to build chalets, houses and log cabins.
Beech wood is used for the stocks of military rifles when traditionally preferred woods such as walnut are scarce or unavailable or as a lower-cost alternative.
The fruit of the beech tree is known as beechnuts or mast and is found in small burrs that drop from the tree in autumn. It is small, roughly triangular and edible, with a bitter, astringent taste. They have a high enough fat content that they can be pressed for edible oil. Fresh from the tree, beech leaves are a fine salad vegetable, as sweet as a mild cabbage though much softer in texture. The young leaves can be steeped in gin for several weeks, the liquor strained off and sweetened to give a light green/yellow liqueur called beechleaf noyau.
Beech wood tablets were a common writing material in Germanic societies before the development of paper. The Old English bōc and Old Norse bók both have the primary sense of “beech” but also a secondary sense of “book”, and it is from bōc that the modern word derives. In modern German, the word for “book” is Buch, with Buche meaning “beech tree”. In modern Dutch, the word for “book” is boek, with beuk meaning “beech tree”. In Swedish, these words are the same, bok meaning both “beech tree” and “book”. Similarly, in Russian, the word for beech is бук (buk), while that for letter (as in a letter of the alphabet) is буква (bukva).
The pigment bistre was made from beech wood soot."