I’ll be honest with you. I know a lot of folks who are just one more Chinese toy scare away from living off the grid and handmaking everything they need to survive, coming into town only to buy ammunition.
And I laugh at them (though not too hard, because I want a place to stay if stuff really does go to pot).
But then I saw this post all about how folks figured out that ancient Irish people were brewing beer and how they were doing it, and I’m about ready to start digging holes and throwing around hot rocks. I bet that will be useful nowledge after we run out of oil.
How cool is that?
I told y’all that one of the German strands of my family were distillers, didn’t I?
It’s like this: My great grandma, who I was named after (let’s call her Teckla, because that was her name) had two parents–as people tend to have–Hulda, who had come over from Sweden after her father (the beloved tax collector for the king–yes, I swear to god, in the family stories, he’s always the “beloved tax collector.” Make of that what you will, conservatives.) lost the family farm in a drunken poker game and my Great-great grandfather who came over from Germany, whose name escapes me, so let’s just call him “Pops.”
So, Pops is sent to Chicago to make business connections for the family business and instead is all “Woo hoo. I’m in America. Fuck this distillery crap, I’m going to be a meat delivery boy.” (And then I’m sure he and his friends were all ‘Meat delivery! Ha, ha, ha.’) Meanwhile, Hulda was working as a maid/cook for a family and… well, I think you see where this is going.
Anyway, the unanswered question out of all of this, aside from whehter I should gamble that the economy is getting worse, that we are becoming more like Soviet Russia, and that I should take up the family distilling trade is whether the family story about Pops being “German” is correct or if he was Belgian and, if so, is this my ancestral distillery? Or is that just a liquor store and I can’t tell because, like most Americans, I only know one language (though I’m pretty sure I could get a beer in any Slavic country)?
I’ll have to answer this in an email…
They’ve worked out recipes/techniques for making Sumerian barley, beer, too. If you want to go really old school.
You can own a pot still legally in Tennessee and make a limited amount of personal use distilled spirits much like the micro-homebrew revolution from the 1990’s.
It takes a lot of experimentation to make a decent homebrew and at somepoint your house will reek like a bar floor and something will blow up (caps on glass bottles).
I do have several liqueur recipes to make tastier kicked up versions from base alcohols though. 100proof Kahlua?
(shhh we Irish pass this stuff down and don’t tell you Slavs)
Saraclark, you always have the most important information!
Thanks for the link to our post. We are continuing our research and will be brewing again next summer – unfortunately our summer ingredients are all out of season now. We’ll be hosting a big party again next year and anyone is welcome – we’ll be brewing a significant amount then. And we’ve been asked to demonstrate at the World Archaeological Congress in Dublin next year. Maybe we’ll just give up archaeology and brew for a living!