From the HBD Archive
From: "Dennis R. Sherman" <>
Subject: book review - Norwegian brewing
Date: 1992-07-16 11:56:33 GMT

A brief book review:

Odd Nordland. _Brewing and Beer Traditions in Norway_.
Oslo-Bergen-Tromso: Universitetsforlaget, 1969.

This book is a fascinating account of the social anthropology of
homebrewing in Norway, with some reference to neighboring countries.
The data come primarily from several surveys dating from 1925 to 1957.
These surveys amassed a huge collection of folk wisdom and practice in
home brewing, and are supplemented by a large number of interviews by
the author with elderly men and women who brewed at home and/or
remember their parents and grandparents brewing at home. I think it
fair to say the book gives a very good overview of the state of
homebrewing in Norway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many
of the practices of the Norwegian homebrewers are documentable to much
earlier in history, and Nordland does spend some time dealing with
historical changes in brewing, particularly the change from ale made
with gruit to ale made with hops.
The brewing practices examined are, for the most part, clearly
those of people brewing not as a hobby, but to provide themselves with
a staple beverage. Nordland goes into some depth about the various
special brews that might be made specifically for weddings or funerals
or holidays, although anyone looking for recipes must be prepared to
formulate their own after careful reading.
I recommend this book as interesting reading for anyone interested
in the history of brewing, or in the interactions of people in a
society for whom home brewed beverages were a normal way of life,
rather than a hobby.

* Dennis R. Sherman Triangle Research Libraries Network *
* Univ. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill *

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