Archeologists: Eric the Red Brewed Ale in Greenland Skip to content

Archeologists: Eric the Red Brewed Ale in Greenland

By Iceland Review

Archeologists from the Danish National Museum have now proven that Eric the Red, who founded the Icelandic settlement in Greenland at the end of the tenth century AD, and his contemporaries were able to brew ale*.


A barley field in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

There have long been speculations whether the climate in the southernmost part of Greenland was warm enough in the Viking Era for growing cereals for brewing ale, the staple beverage of Vikings, make porridge and bake bread, reports.

Now archeologists have found remains of burnt barley in a dunghill which dates back to the time of Eric the Red’s settlement in Greenland and is the first indication of cereal growing in the country’s southernmost part a millennium ago.

The Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten states that the archeologists are very proud of their discovery and now intend to move 300 kilos of the dunghill to Denmark for further research.

(Editor’s note: Was it Viking Beer or Polar Beer Eric the Red was brewing?)

Click here to read an earlier report about barley being grown in Greenland.


* An earlier version of this article used ‘mead’ instead of ‘ale’ (mead is actually made from fermented honey as pointed out by a reader).

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