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Call for Articles (23 May 2016)

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Brewing in the ages

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4 months 6 days ago #181 by Vito
Vito created the topic: Brewing in the ages
Now as most know beer making and wine making has been around as long as pottery. Make a pot put grapes in there you get wine. make a pot, put in grain it sprouts add water...really bad form of beer. Which kinda makes you wonder who thought up mead...okay I have some bees...

Anyway there was a great article last week on beer in Northern Europe culture. They produced ale and mead and grew grapes and made wine. Yes Norse and that area made wine. However the term beer was mistranslated; what they were producing was cider. Yep a sweet, fruit based drink...cider.

"It should be noted that while the modern words "beer" and "ale" are today almost interchangeable, there is good evidence that shows that the two drinks were very different in early Northern Europe. It is clear from Old English and Old Norse sources that ale (Old English ealu, Old Norse öl) was produced from malted grain. However, literary analysis shows that Old English beor and Old Norse björr are terms used for sweet alcoholic beverages. Until the last ten years or so, philologists thought that beor and björr were derived from the word for barley, and it is only recently that it was realized that the term almost certainly referred to cider (whether from apples or pears) during the Viking Age (Hagen pp. 205-206; Roesdahl, p. 120). English translations of the sagas will translate both öl and björr interchangeably as beer or ale, and so are not a good guide to the actual terminology being used in the original Old Norse text. To sow further confusion, in the Eddaic poem Alvíssmál verses 34 and 35, a variety of Old Norse terms related to fermented beverages appear and are implied to be synonyms:"

Something else which was interesting is that until the Romans began to plant their on vineyards their drink was beer. Wherever the Legions went they planted vines to feed the legions. Most wine was cut with water, herbs and honey or pitch. Very few wine were good enough to drink "straight".

Just some food for thought...or drink for mind lubrication,

Vito Trevisan
Vintner and Brewer of House Ageir
Citadel of the Southern pass

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