What the Vikings Drank?

Posted by Ms Elly on

What the Vikings Drank?

If we want to practice the drinking custom of the Vikings, first we should know what the Vikings really drink in the times. With the modern fabrication, the image of brutal and reckless Vikings has been deeply ingrained in our mindset. We imagine such savage warriors must have drunk their enemies' blood that was held in the skull of their foes. This might fit in with the image of the Vikings we know these days, but is it historically true?

Well, that is not simply the reality. The most common drink to the Vikings was fresh water, just like us today. The Vikings drank beer (ale) and mead as well. Sometimes but not often, the Vikings would drink wine. 

Image of Viking drinking Viking toast

In the Viking times, beer was the type of beverage that was brewed from the fermented grain. Meanwhile, mead was made from the fermentation of the fruits and honey. The majority of such alcoholic beverage was made by the Viking women. The fact was that the Vikings respected their women very much. So it was nothing strange that they entrusted the female with such an important task. 

It was a perfect idea to bring beer and mead on long seaborne journeys. And the Viking seafarers did bring such beverage with them. Because they were fermented, they could last for a long time. That was not to mention the nutrition in each Viking beverage. Beer and meed of the Vikings contained many needed calories for a Viking. 

Across the region, there were up to hundreds of different types of beer and mead produced. Even each village could have its own recipe of brewing their own mead and beer. Barrels have been found inside the sunken ships with the alcoholic residues. Additionally, different types of beer would be brewed for different types of occasion. For example, feasts would call for more potent beverage than daily consumption. 

Check out BaviPower blog post How to toast like a Viking and Viking Drinking Tradition

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