Besides the blood of their enemies, what other liquid do you think Viking warriors enjoyed? If you thought about water, you must be kidding. Although they liked spring water , their hydration was also ensured by alcohol.
And when they raised gold or silver craft beer horns in assemblies, it was an outburst of merriment that ensued. Besides, they believed that after their death, in Valhalla , they would spend their days fighting and their nights drinking and feasting. But the real question is what type of alcohol the Vikings consumed. We answer it.
Made from water, honey, yeast, fruits and medicinal or aromatic plants, mead is one of the first alcoholic drinks that man ever drank. The word itself comes from the ancient Greek húdôr (water) and méli (honey). Due to the mixing of honey with water, it was a fermented drink, with an alcohol content varying between 8 and 10% and therefore could be light, semi-dry, heavy, winey, sweet, heady, etc. .
That said, mead was mostly only used for special occasions. And since the amount of honey needed to make an amount to consume every day and at leisure is not easy to harvest, it was above all a drink of honor, a drink for important people in society.
It should also be noted that the Viking people also believed that mead was linked to Odin. Indeed, according to the story, the god Odin stole the sparkling mead of poetry, the source of inspiration. They therefore did not deprive themselves of it, given the strong influence that the drink had on their creativity.
Brave even in the face of death, Viking warriors did not just worship the gods. They also took beer very seriously. For them, beer was the symbol of war, victory and immortality. It therefore flowed freely during the banquets.
Some old pagan traditions held that beer had the ability to free the spirit of Viking warriors and connect them to their patron gods. This is also why among the Vikings, beer was mainly consumed on Thursday, the day dedicated to the god Thor, the most powerful of the warrior gods and the highest placed in the Viking pantheon.
On Thursdays, an offering of beer was poured at the foot of an oak tree as an offering to Thor, the spirits of the ancestors, and the spirits of the natural world.
Made from barley grains or other seeds cooked over a fire and then boiled, aromatic herbs, yeasts capable of alcoholizing the beer at nearly 9 or 10%, beers were widely consumed by Scandinavian warriors.
These immortal drinks, the Nordics had a very wide variety. While some were reserved for special festivals such as the Yule, hear the solstice festival that inspired Christmas, midsummer, others, on the other hand, were brewed to be consumed during special events such as births, funerals, etc.
Since mead was a drink of honor and not very accessible , beer remained the alcohol most abundantly consumed by the Vikings to celebrate victories, traditional festivals, their tutelary deities, etc.