Ancient societies brewed flavorful and healing meads, ales, and wines for millennia using only intuition, storytelling, and knowledge passed down through generations—no fancy, expensive equipment or degrees in chemistry needed. In Make Mead Like a Viking, homesteader, fermentation enthusiast, and self-described “Appalachian Yeti Viking” Jereme Zimmerman summons the bryggjemann of the ancient Norse to demonstrate how homebrewing mead—arguably the world’s oldest fermented alcoholic beverage—can be not only uncomplicated but fun.
Armed with wild-yeast-bearing totem sticks, readers will learn techniques for brewing sweet, semi-sweet, and dry meads, melomels (fruit meads), metheglins (spiced meads), Ethiopian t’ej, flower and herbal meads, braggots, honey beers, country wines, and even Viking grog, opening the Mead Hall doors to further experimentation in fermentation and flavor. In addition, aspiring Vikings will explore:
• The importance of local and unpasteurized honey for both flavor and health benefits;
• Why modern homebrewing practices, materials, and chemicals work but aren’t necessary;
• How to grow and harvest herbs and collect wild botanicals for use in healing, nutritious, and magical meads, beers, and wines;
• Hops’ recent monopoly as a primary brewing ingredient and how to use botanicals other than hops for flavoring and preserving mead, ancient ales, and gruits;
• The rituals, mysticism, and communion with nature that were integral components of ancient brewing and can be for modern homebrewers, as well;
• Recommendations for starting a mead circle to share your wild meads with other brewers as part of the growing mead-movement subculture; and more!
Whether you’ve been intimidated by modern homebrewing’s cost or seeming complexity in the past—and its focus on the use of unnatural chemicals—or are boldly looking to expand your current brewing and fermentation practices, Zimmerman’s welcoming style and spirit will usher you into exciting new territory. Grounded in history and mythology, but—like Odin’s ever-seeking eye—focusing continually on the future of self-sufficient food culture, Make Mead Like a Viking is a practical and entertaining guide for the ages.
Since the craft beer and homebrewing boom of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, beer lovers have enjoyed drinking and brewing a vast array of beer styles. However, most are brewed to accentuate a single ingredient—hops—and few contain the myriad herbs and spices that were standard in beer and gruit recipes from medieval times back to ancient people’s discovery that grain could be malted and fermented into beer.
Like his first book, Make Mead Like a Viking, Jereme Zimmerman’s Brew Beer Like a Yeti returns to ancient practices and ingredients and brings storytelling, mysticism, and folklore back to the brewing process, including a broad range of ales, gruits, bragots, and other styles that have undeservingly taken a backseat to the IPA. Recipes inspired by traditions around the globe include sahti, gotlandsdricka, oak bark and mushroom ale, wassail, pawpaw wheat, chicha de muko, and even Neolithic “stone” beers.
More importantly, under the guidance of “the world’s only peace-loving, green-living Appalachian Yeti Viking,” readers will learn about the many ways to go beyond the pale ale, utilizing alternatives to standard grains, hops, and commercial yeasts to defy the strictures of style and design their own brews.