View Full Version : The Drinks of the Early Germans

Saturday, January 7th, 2006, 12:38 AM
The early German thirst was legendary and the adjuncts to
drinking, the horns, glass vessels, bronze containers and silver
goblets, are familiar components of Germanic grave furniture
throughout the [pre-migration] period.

What was actually consumed is not as well established as it
might be. The drinking of Roman wine is often assumed but is not
supported by the archeological evidence. Although silver and bronze
drinking sets were imported from the Roman world, there is little
indication that wine crossed the Roman frontiers in any quantity.
Roman wine amphorae are very scarce in Germania, in contrast to
their import into the earlier Celtic Europe, and other indications of
wine consumption are slight.

The principle drink of northern Europe was that based on fomented
grain. A beer-like drink has been identified by chemical analysis of
residues in drinking-horns found in Denmark. The abundance of barley
among the cultivated grains of the north may be partly explained by
its use in the making of beer. There were other forms of drink, based
on fruit juices, also identified in drinking-horns. A horn found at
Skydstrup in Denmark contained traces of a drink based on honey,
the mead later popular in several parts of Germanic Europe. But it
was beer, above all, that flowed at German feasts, and the size of
some of the vessels that held it tells its own story. Some hold several
gallons; even one drinking-horn might contain 2 or 3 gallons.

The Early Germans by Malcolm Todd; 1995;
ISBN 0631163972 p.79

Death and the Sun
Saturday, January 7th, 2006, 05:52 PM

Btw, despite the wine snobs' insistence, recent findings suggest that beer is a much earlier invention than wine.

Saturday, January 7th, 2006, 09:50 PM
The cultivation of barley and (wild) emmer, the main commodities of the early beer, is scientifically proven back to ~7000 bc. The Sumerians made graphical representations on small clayboards (now you can find them in the Louvre) which are interpreted as first documentions of the brewing process...

The first image of an human drinking beer was found near Khafaje (Irak) and it´s dated 3400 bc. The first written documents about the brewing process are from the "Gemdes-Nasr" periode (~2700 bc).

In the codex of Hammurapi mentioned also the mongering of beer and the distribution of beer.

In the finnish Kalewala 400 verses are about beer and only 200 verses about the creation of the World (:fi: :beer1: )...

Saturday, January 7th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Unfortunately old Tacitus only forgot to mention that the Germanics were nuts about coffee. :coffee: ;)

Saturday, January 7th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Therefore it´s rather mysterious that they made so bad tasting "Kaffä"...;)