hist-brewing: mum's ale

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Tue Jun 6 10:36:58 PDT 2000


    The recent discussion suprises me as i have only heard two
explanations of  the origin of "Mum's Ale" until today.  The most common
explanation known to me is La Pensee's recapitulation of  Pepy's 1644
claim that Mum's Ale originated in Braunschweig (Brunswick) before
gaining popularity in London.  This theory holds that Brew master
Christoph Mumme named his premier ale, introduced in 1492, after himself
.  The recipe made by Mumme is quite good and i'd tell everyone on the
list to make it and try it out.
    The alternate story i heard is from G.N. Lueterman' s "The Practical
Crafts of  Brewing, Malting and Milling" (1791)  which agrees with
Pepy's proposition that it originated in  Braunschweig but says that C.
Mumme only popularized it two generations after it became a popular farm
ale.  Lueterman maintains that it was a curative ale that imbueded one
with energy and vitality  hence the expression "Mumm Haben" which is
also cited by La Pensee.  The ale that Lueterman recommends is a sweet,
light bodied ale that's heavily spiced  and quite different then
C.Mumme's offering despite the similar grist bill.
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"Her character is threefold, her master the
same
Such fire resides within the name
For hero and vitki alike to claim
With three ways to call the flame

The word ALU which was carved into time
Her seed is to fetter, her horn the same

(taken from the poem "Holy Mead" by Ian Read)



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