hist-brewing: Interesting to meet both of you here!

Abby, Ellen and Alan elal at pei.sympatico.ca
Sat Oct 14 09:55:27 PDT 2000

Both of you sent comfirmation of "MacLeod" status in response to my
heather Ale question so I thought I'd introduce you to each other.   

First, on MacLeod, we are Celt, Pict and Norse all in one.   The "Mac"
may be the Gaelic for "son of" but the Leod is actually "Ljot" from the
Norse which has something to being a beserker in battle - a man/bear.  
My father is pictish black while I am ruddy, blonde and freckled.  Just
about covers all three bases there.   We got kicked out of Norway in
around 1200 for refusing Christainity and being a bad lot generally.  We
only began speaking Gaelic in around 1650 I understand when before that
it would have been Norse, pretty much Icelandic.  We are also greatly
inclusive being the protectors of many smaller clan or septs.  
Protectors most importantly of the MacCrimmons, the piping clan.  We
have our chief still in our castle and held a parliament every few years
like the Icelandic and Isle of Man people's gatherings.   We are related
to the faerie folk through a wedding in the middle ages the gifts of
which from the faeries are still in the castle - I think flag and a horn
and a sword I believe.  You cannot be related to MacLeod without being
MacLeod.   I may have some of these details off as I am writing from
memory but you get the drift.

As for ales, the mead influence has got me in my brewing as I put at
least 500 g into each batch.  I think it adds smoothness amongst the
black malts.  Other than whisky and iron brew, I'd be very intersted to
uncover old Scots recipies.   I know from my mother rowan berries were
commonly used in country wines and drinks.  We call them Northern Ash
here and have loads of them.   Right now I am bubbling along a batch of
brown ale to which I added 2 cups of wild blueberries and 8 of
juneberries , an eastern Canadian version of saskatoons.   Should be
ready for early December supping. I would expect that these kind of
drinks would have been more common, especially in household use, than
the German style hops, yeast and malt laws which were laws of commerce
and the town and would not apply to private rural life.  After all,
whisky is just distilled old fashioned unhopped ale.

Alan in PEI

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