Yule ale: a tradition older than Christmas

Skål for jul! Judith Gabriel Vinje Los Angeles Beer is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. And it just might be the root of the festival season known as jul (yule, jøl). In ancient days, all the peasants in Norway would travel to the local heathen temple, bringing along food and beer for a feast. Everyone was expected to take part in the drinking of ale. The first toast was to be made to Odin, then the other gods. Additional toasts were drunk to the memory of the departed. The tradition of brewing Christmas beer and drinking in honor of the old gods remained in the time following Christianization. There was once actually a law req
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The Norwegian American

Published since May 17, 1889 PO Box 30863 Seattle WA 98113 Tel: (206) 784-4617 • Email: naw@na-weekly.com

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