What Did The Vikings Really Drink? And Where To Get Yours
Norsemen and Viking lovers that love to drink crafted viking ale and honey mead will connect with this article. The Vikings drank a concoction of fermented barley, hops, yeast, water and sometimes honey. The most common beverage was called “mead” and many modern barbarians have forgotten about it.
THE STORY OF BEER AND MEAD IN VIKING AGE 8th-10th CENTURY
It's true that the Vikings, like any other culture in history, had their fair share of drinks. What is less known though and what we might not have learned from our textbooks growing up are all the different types of drink they drank besides water! Ale was brewed so often on Viking farming communities as a way to store surplus grain over winter for use during spring planting because it could be preserved longer than fresh grains when stored at higher alcoholic levels.
Beer is any beverage brewed from the fermentation of grain, but mead is also fermented with honey and fruits and has a much sweeter taste. The Norsemen drank these alcoholic beverages during Europe's Early Medieval Period (775-1050 A.D.). Written records show that beer was commonly drunk throughout Europe as well as in Viking Age Scandinavia—some were mixed together to create hybrid drinks like braggot or aleberry!
Mead made with honey or sugar was also popular among Viking adults who wanted an alternative to Viking beer (ale) which would taste much more bitter after fermenting for months at those high alcohol levels. Finally there were some occasions such as weddings where wine may have been served but this occurred very infrequently due its expensive nature
The Viking’s alcohol was also used for medicinal purposes to cure their ailments like cramps and worms in the stomach. These beverages are still being made today but they are not as potent because of regulation laws on alcohol production by the government.
MORE ABOUT VIKING ALCOHOL
It is believed by some that the first domesticated grains didn't make their way to Scandinavia until much later in history. There's still documented evidence, though, of mead being consumed with early age Norsemen- so it has been theorized that mead preceded beer as the beverage of choice for Viking culture.
Vikings still did love their beer! In fact, brewing was a crucial part of Norse culture. The Hávamál and other Norse works of literature still mention viking ale as an integral aspect to Viking society in the 8th century. You can learn more about how the Vikings toasted one another.
WHO BREWED THE VIKING ALE?
The women of the Viking society have a special place in Norse culture. They were highly respected, and they were entrusted with brewing ale for their family's consumption! Essentially, it was up to them whether or not you got your daily dose of beer. By cooking food and brewing this delicious beverage, these Nordic ladies had all sorts of control over her home life. In addition to making sure that everyone drank enough water each day (and enjoyed some flavor!), there is evidence suggesting that many brewers would also sell small portions as well - especially if she needed money on occasion!
As long as they had some mead, ale and beer to keep them alive during their lengthy journeys at sea, the Vikings were all set. Fermented beverages are an easy way for raiding warriors like these guys on board a ship to stay hydrated without having to stop every now and then for fresh water.
Beer, mead and ale gave early Europeans much needed calories for energy. They were so beneficial that it became a common saying at the time to "Bring your dinner of ALE."
WHICH VIKING BEERS WERE COMMON DURING THE VIKING AGE?
It sounds like there would have been a whole lot of different beers and mead brewed across the region. The fermentation process, as well as brewing technique, might vary from village to village with each having its own unique way which could make it hard for any outsider to tell them apart!
One might start thinking that there were brewing competitions and rivalries because we see historians mention them alongside archaeological evidence: Sahti was brewed during Viking Age times in parts of Finland. What's even cooler? That these ancient traditions live on with modern day breweries hosting both casual tasting events like at Helsinki’
In the past, a lot of information (on what exactly was in their beers) was lost during wars or natural disasters. Thankfully we have preserved samples in barrels that were forgotten about and accidentally sunken to be discovered many centuries later! In these ships, scientists found residues from what once used to be drinks like beer- which is now more commonly known as ale. The beverage would contain hops -a plant with fragrant flowers that are dried for use-, malted barley (hulled malt), malted rye (barley grains soaked in water until sprouted) and juniper berries- antioxidant rich plants often used around holidays because they smell festive too!.
DIFFERENT ALES, MEADS, AND BEERS FOR DIFFERENT OCCASIONS
Throughout the viking era, there were different brews for various social occasions. For example, a post-battle feast would require more potent beer than average everyday beverages. There is evidence that Viking women and men drank ales of varying strengths at times too!
Throughout their time as warriors and rulers over much of what we now consider Scandanavia from 793 to 1066 AD (now known simply as Vikings), people in Scandinavian regions developed an appreciation for many types of alcohol - not just mead or ale brewed solely by females like they had done before then. The alcoholic drinks themselves varied depending on when it was consumed: drinking habits changed according to who you were with; whether someone had recently returned home after battle or gone out hunting instead.
IN CLOSING - HOW DRUNK WERE THE VIKINGS?
The Vikings were not always alcoholics, contrary to popular belief. In fact, most beers in the Viking era had less alcohol content than they do today; it is unlikely that the Norse people would have been binge drinking all of time when there was a strong understanding and respect for drunkenness and intoxication. The Hávamál (or "Sayings of the High One") often contained warnings about these topics:
"The more talkative one becomes with ale / then never can he keep his thoughts silent."
MEAD IS HARD TO FIND BUT YOU CAN GET YOURS
For those who wish to celebrate their Scandinavian roots with Viking culture, AleHorn has a wide variety of products for sale. We're proudest of our Viking drinking horns and mead flavors!
For the passionate Scandinavians out there, we at AleHorn have everything you need for celebrating your heritage in style.
Come and see our various flavors of mead here today!
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