Viking Age Brew: Reviving the Sahti

Nordic brewing traditions are making a real comeback right now, from Kveik yeast beers to Mead, and now Sahti. A new book called “Viking Age Brew” focuses on the ancient beverage of Sahti and author Mika Laitinen is touring the pacific northwest with some key events and tastings including one with The Ale Apothecary in Portland. Ale Apothecary is one of the few breweries in the country that is producing a traditional Sahti, a farmhouse style made with juniper branches and other locally sourced ingredients from the locations they were brewed thousands of years ago.

Book Description:

Bringing beer history to life, Viking Age Brew takes readers on a lavishly illustrated tour of rustic brewhouses fueled by wood and passion. Sahti is a Nordic farmhouse ale that is still crafted in accordance with ancient traditions dating back to the Viking Age. It is often thought of as an oddity among beer styles, but this book demonstrates that a thousand years ago such ales were the norm in northern Europe, before the modern-style hopped beer we drink today reached the masses. Viking Age Brew is the first English-language book to describe the tradition, history, and hands-on brewing of this ale. Whether you are a brewing novice or an experienced brewer, this book will unlock the doors to brewing ancient ales from medieval times and the Viking Age.


Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 6–8 PM

Nordic Museum, Seattle, Washington

Join Mika Laitinen, author of Viking Age Brew, and Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking and Brew Beer Like a Yeti for a discussion on the history, tradition, and technique of brewing Nordic ales. The authors will each discuss their individual approach to researching and experimenting with Nordic farmhouse brewing. Additionally, they will provide an overview of beer history and beer styles in the Nordic regions and their methods for researching the information in their books. A Q&A session for brewers and non-brewers alike will follow.

Brew Like a Viking Workshop

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Hosted by F.H. Steinbart in Portland, Oregon

Learn to brew Sahti and other Nordic Farmhouse ales with traditional ingredients and techniques. You’ll also hear why these kinds of traditional ales offer a fascinating view of brewing in the Middle Ages and the Viking Age.

Ale Apothecary Sahti Tasting

Saturday, July 27, 2019, at 1–4 PM
Belmont Station, Portland, Oregon

Join beer writers Mika Laitinen and Jereme Zimmerman over a rare pint of sahti style farmhouse ale. While you are savoring the ale, Mika and Jereme talk what makes these kinds of ancient yet alive Nordic farmhouse beer traditions so special.

Thursday, August 1, 2019, at 6:30–7:30 PM
Skål Beer Hall, Seattle, Washington

Learn about what the Vikings drank while enjoying beer and mead Viking style at the Skål Beer Hall!

Join Mika Laitinen, author of Viking Age Brew, and Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking and Brew Beer Like a Yeti as they discuss their research into what the Vikings drank. The authors will discuss what they have learned about the ales and meads Viking-era people made and drank, as well as their attempts at recreating these drinks at home. Zimmerman and Laitinen are possibly a bit too full of Viking and Nordic lore and are happy to entertain your questions about Viking life, Norse stories, and the food and drink the Vikings would have enjoyed.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

Discussion