Category: History

Medieval brewing recipes are found in memoirs, cookbooks, household management manuals, all sorts of places

Medieval Brewing Recipes: Find the Sources

It’s amazing to me how many brewers ask me where to find medieval brewing recipes for beer, mead, whatever . Let’s start with some basics. When you’re looking for documentable [..]

Cover of The Goodman of Paris, showing a medieval man and his wife and a servant
label showing two rubber ducks and a redheaded goose on a river

What’s In A Beer Name?

Clever beer puns are all the rage, and bonus points if you can get the word “hop” sandwiched in there – Hops of Wrath, Hopsecutioner, Hoptimus Prime, Hoppy Ending, Tricerahops, [..]

eagle on top of a globe with an anchor behind; logo of USMC

Semper Fi. Why isn’t the Tun Tavern in this year’s Homebrewer conference?

First thing, let me put in a plug for the American Homebrewers Association conference June 27-29 in Philadelphia this summer.  The theme is “Brewing Up a Revolution.”   Just ’cause [..]

German postage stamp celebrating the Reinheitsgebot

Before the Reinheitsgebot, the Statuta Thaberna

Contrary to what you may believe, the Reinheitsgebot, the famous German beer purity law, was no trailblazer.  Almost thirty years earlier there was the Statuta Thaberna in Thuringia (see map).  [..]

beer judge certification program logo

Malt: Everything a Homebrewer Wants To Know

In my BJCP class the teacher, Les White, assigned a presentation on malt and malting to me.  We each signed up for our preferred topics, then Les assigned one topic to each student [..]

head and shoulders of Martyn Cornell
head and shoulders of Martyn Cornell
round pendant with three enamel ravens in 7th century Anglo-Saxon gold

Maybe, maybe not: Beer, Ale, Mead and Wine in Anglo-Saxon England

Beowulf, Bede, Aelfric’s Colloquy – in Anglo-Saxon, there are four words for fermented beverages, and lots and lots of descriptions of what happens when one drinks too much.  The four [..]

corner of the tenth-century manuscript of the Book of Taliesin in Middle Welsh

Taliesin on Mead

The Book of Taliesin is a late Middle Welsh version of the ales of Gwion Bach and Taliesin, mostly around the court of Maelgyn Gynedd.  It was written in the 1550s, the same [..]

Flag showing a maltese cross and half a shield of vertical lines

Brother Adams’ Lalvin D-21: what is terroir yeast?

The inestimable Brother Adam, standard-setting meadmaker, preferred Montpellier Lalvin d-21 yeast, and was unhappy when it became unavailable in smaller-than-commercial lots for a while.  I’ve never used D-21, and wondered [..]

clear mug with light beer and a lot of head

Historical fermented beverages

 JoAnna Carrozzino asked me to write a post about the kinds of period beer.  Historical fermented beverage types…funny you should ask…I just whipped off a couple of very quick paper topics to [..]