I guess I'm getting famous. Or something. I guest blog from time to time on one of Nan Hawthorne's blogs, Early Medieval Britain . Nan Hawthorne is a writer, and before I go any further, I would like to put in a shameless plug for her book An Involuntary King, which I reviewed several months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and want to simply say that I'd like to share my enjoyment with others "out there". If you go to her blog, and are interested in reading it yourselves, Gentle Readers, there will be information on how to order it. I've been meaning to do this for a long time.
In any case, Nan Hawthorne writes on a variety of medieval-themed subjects, and she is particularly interested, as the title of this particular blog suggests, in early medieval England. Basically, that is the time of the Anglo-Saxons, and since my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece is set in roughly the same period, I consult her blog rather regularly.
Not too long ago, I found an interesting little piece on one of the science news feeds I also regularly consult(mostly for human-evolution related things, but you never know what you'll find on a science-related news feed). It wasn't very long, but it described how some scientists in California had discovered some 45 million year old yeast, which apparently was still good, and some Northern California brewery brewed some ale with it. I uploaded a short piece several weeks back about this experiment on her blog, suspecting that it might be of interest to the readers of her blog. I didn't expect any response, though the methods used might have been fairly close to those used in Anglo-Saxon times. But lo and behold, Nan posted a very nice piece on how ale was actually brewed then. By the way, and just a quick note, the difference between beer and ale is, ale isn't brewed with hops, and beer is. In medieval times, before the widespread adoption of hops as flavoring, brewers, many of whom were women -- a perfectly respectable trade for the female half of the population at that time -- generally flavored their brew with a variety of flavorings. Bog myrtle as been mentioned. Also honey, or just about any flower or plant that wasn't poisonous. The quality tended to vary, of course, but the flavors so produced must have been quite interesting.
In any case, on top of having one of my "lupine" posts being mentioned by a Real Anthropologist, I'm thrilled! I'm getting famous, more or less. And I'm very happy about it!