Farmbrewing imposed by law
Although we are no longer imposed by law to brew, it's about time we made our own craft beer. Our goal is to make a brewery in the barn. But first: a brown ale to honor history.
When going for his morning swim in the fjords, Harald stopped to harvest some juniper.
We use the juniper (+ stones) to filter out the grains - separating the wort and the grains.
Pale ale, crystal and chocolate malt. Mmmm....
In the Middle Ages (Norway), beer was the dominant drink for everyday life.
This does not mean we did not have fresh drinking water and that all water had to be boiled before consumption - it simply means beer was the preferred beverage.
Also, the beer for everyday life consumption was light and low on alcohol.
Back in the day, all farmers (with a farm of a certain size) - was obliged by law to brew beer.
They were also obliged to drink to the gods during winter and summer solstice and spring and autumn equinox.
The law - Gulatingsloven - imposed strict penalties for those who did not brew beer.
If the farmer did't comply with the order to brew he had to pay a fine equal to half a cow to the bishop. If a farmer failed to brew beer three years in a row he could suffer harsh penalties. He could loose everything he owned - half to the king and half to the bishop.
He could also be banished for Norway - this is probably how Iceland was populated (haha).
When Christianity hit the fan, Olav Tryggvason saw the tradition of beer brewing as an excellent opportunity to take the pagan traditions and give them Christian content.
Olav said he dreamt of the saint for food and drink; St Martin of Tour.
The saint told him that "instead of drinking for the old gods, we should drink in honor of Mary and Jesus, the King and the Bishop".