Category Archives: Resources

Resources for medieval brewers

St. Arnulf Ingredient Challenge Results A.S. 49 (2015)

Good Gentles,
The Company of St. Arnulf wishes to congratulate Lady Evelynn Merrymet on winning our inaugural Specialty Ingredient Challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage brewers who experiment with unusual period ingredients, and we were delighted to taste Lady Evelynn’s spiced rosehip cordial, which featured, among other ingredients, fennel and rosemary.
We hope this competition will continue for many years to come, and it is with pleasure that we announce the lists for the next two years. Once again, judging will take place at the Company’s tavern at Ymir. The rules will be as before: we put out a list of ingredients, and ask that brewers prepare a beverage which features any two or more things on the list. The list changes every year (though some things make return from previous lists if we’d like to see more of them). Documentation is welcomed but not required; as our primary goal is to encourage brewers to familiarize themselves with unusual period brewing ingredients, we welcome inventive applications and so do not require that the beverage entered be a historical one.

For 2016, the ingredient list will be as follows:
Citron Leaf
Sweet gale
As we know that makers of meads and cordials benefit from a sufficiently long time to age their product, we are also pleased to announce the list for 2017:
Bacterial fermentation
Sour orange
For the “bacterial fermentation” item, we still welcome beverages that are primarily fermented with yeast (whether Saccharomyces or other species), but to count this as one of the two ingredients used the action of bacteria must contribute to the flavor of the finished product.
We look forward to your entries in future iterations of this competition. Please forward the rules and ingredients lists anywhere you feel is appropriate.
 – Jaume de Monçó
Schenkewirt, Company of St. Arnulf

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Brewing Supplies for beer, mead, and wine

TRUSTED Suppliers Within Atlantia

AleCraft Brewing Supply, LLC (Perry Craine) Located in Bel Air, Maryland, in Harford County on the north side of Baltimore. Free classes, pretty good supply list. Right next to a bakery.

Alternative Beverage   Charlotte, NC.  (Baron Edward)  “These guys are based out of the Charlotte area, good selection of items you may need but I hesitate to give them good scores for helping new brewers. My suggestion is to learn somewhere else, they don’t seem to have time to talk to anyone who doesn’t know much.”

Asheville Brewers   Asheville, NC. (Baron Edward) “Based out of Asheville, NC, this company has provided me with helpful and very satisfactory service.  The one drawback is that they don’t seem to be very internet savvy; howver they now have online ordering available.”

Bee Folks, Mount Airy, MD. Excellent selection of varietal honeys, good prices if you buy in quantity (bulk order with your fellow brewers!). Also bee-related products like wax candles and mead kits. These folks have a booth at Pennsic and the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

DIY Brewhouse, Elgin, SC (near Columbia, SC). (T’omas Tryggvason) Supplies for beer, wine, and cheese making., Ashland, OH, but order online only. (T’omas Tryggvason) Pasteurized and raw honey, apple cider vinegar, beeswax products, soaps and lotions.

Flying Barrel, Frederick, MD.  Homebrew and winemaking supplies.  Very helpful staff with great brewing classroom.

Got Mead  (Baron Edward) Website/discussion board.  “It’s everything you could ever want to know about mead and brewing with honey. If you specifically want to brew only with honey, this is the place to check out.”

Gunter’s Honey, Berryville, VA.  (Lady Maria Chiara Dafini) Wholesaler, not available for direct retail, but good prices available if you buy larger quantities (5 lbs or more). You can find their honey at Whole Foods and Amazon.

Jay’s Brewing, Manassas, VA. (Lady Rúna) Kits, cheesemaking, brewing hardware.

Maryland Homebrew Warehouse  Columbia, MD. Classes, supplies, kits, it really is warehouse-sized, and everyone on staff is knowledgeable and very helpful.

My Local Home Brew Shop  Falls Church, VA. (Lady Maria Chiara Dafini) “…next to Sears. across Leesburg Pke from the Seveon Corners mall…comprehensive supplier for wine and beer items (no cheese though)…less wholegrain oriented than Jay’s in Manassas…wider selection of overall supplies.  Free customer loyalty program   6201 Leesburg Pike.

Nepenthe Homebrew Baltimore City, MD (Lady  whose SCA name I am blanking on and will ask) In the Woodberry/Hampden area. Supplies for wine, beer, cheese. Kettles set up for classes can be rented.

Xtreme Brewing  Laurel, Millsboro, and Lewes, DE (Lord Hrothgar)  Beer and wine supplies.  3 stores in Delaware currently, the closest to Spiaggia Levantina is about 10 minutes away in Laurel DE. Lord Hrothgar says “I’ve now been using them for some time and find them to be really friendly and very reasonably priced.”

 Trusted Suppliers Outside of Atlantia

It’s worth comparison shopping between these, but they’re all reliable suppliers with good prices and a good selection.

Austin Homebrew  Austin, TX.  Beer, wine and meadmaking supplies and equipment.

E.C.Kraus  (Lady Rúna)  Online home Wine and Beer Making Supplies.

Midwest Supplies   Minneapolis, MN  Very, very internet savvy. These folks have a lot going on.

Northern Brewer  Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN  Great prices, wide variety.

Williams Brewing  San Leandro, CA.  Very web savvy, often have web-only deals.



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Class Resources

Medieval illustration showing a master teaching scholars

Medieval copy of a book by Gautier de Metz, “L’image du Monde”, 1464

Atlantian brewers have shared their knowledge with each other in many a Kingdom University and Collegium.  Here are a few of the written resources developed for various classes.  If you have some materials you think would benefit your fellow brewers, please send them to the webminister!

Beer Flavor Adjectives. Exercise your palate with this list of possible flavors.   Mistress Sorcha Crowe

Beginner’s Mead Making    Baron Edward Shirebrooke

Brewing William Harrison’s Beer: Lessons learned in redacting and brewing an authentic English Medieval Beer    Brother Brian Crawford of Woodside Priory

Documentation and Competition as a Brewer   Brother Brian Crawford of Woodside Priory

Documentation and Redaction for: William Harrison’s Beer, As made known to us in The Description of England   Brother Brian Crawford of Woodside Priory


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Exotic Herbs and Spices

Our medieval recipes call for some interesting ingredients. Galingale? Grains of paradise? Here are some helpful vendors who will a) know what they are and b) probably have them for sale.
Asian markets often have our ingredients. If you don’t live near one, reach out to a fellow SCAdian who does.
Nota bene: investigate your recipe’s ingredient list carefully. Some medieval recipes include poisonous herbs! We don’t know whether they didn’t use them in sufficient quantity to kill anyone or what. Be safe, be sensible, replace those with something similar but not toxic.

Sands of Thyme on Etsy. Very helpful and knowledgeable. Occasionally appears at SCA events.

Mountain Rose Herbs: An Herbs, Health, and Harmony company. Bulk organic herbs, spices, and essential oils.
The Spice House: Merchants of Exquisite Spices, Herbs, and Seasonings
Penzey’s Spices stores in several states. Rather expensive.

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We hold these truths about shopping for honey:

  • It’s heavy and expensive to ship
  • It should only travel in food-safe plastic in case you drop it.
  • The golden goose is getting real honey at $3 a pound, but the only reasonable way to do that these days is to buy in bulk. Honey is 12 lbs per gallon. You can go in with friends to buy a 60 lb. pail – that’s only 5 gallons.

The Bee Folks in Mt. Airy, MD.  If you do not live close by, check with friends in Highland Foorde, Storvik, or Bright Hills to see if they could pick up your order and bring it to you at an event. The Bee Folks also have a booth at Pennsic.

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books from Sir John Soanes MuseumSecondary Sources: Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. Generally, they are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. However, what some define as a secondary source, others define as a tertiary source. Context is everything.
from accessed 9/15/2014

Where possible we have linked to free sources: Project Gutenberg, Google Scholar, anywhere we can find a free version that you could read or possibly download.  For a couple we have only found partial  free versions, or free versions only through JSTOR, which is an academic paid-subscription database.  If you are a university student, or work at a university, you probably have access. If you’re not, find someone who is and ask very nicely…

If you don’t have any other book on SCA-period recipes, get this one:
A Sip Through Time: A collection of old brewing recipes.  Cindy Renfrow. 1994, 1997. Published by the author, Sussex, New Jersey, 1994.” ISBN 0-9628598-3-4

Primary sources: Primary sources are original materials. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.
from accessed 9/15/2014

A couple of the books below were published after 1600.  It is generally accepted that the recipes themselves were collected and date before 1600.

Some places to find great primary sources on brewing: Google Books, Googls Scholar, Gutenberg Project, your local University library – and other medievally-minded brewers!

Some basic period-appropriate books we all reference:
Curye on Inglysch (Middle English recipes) (Early English Text Society Supplementary Series). Hieatt, Constance B., and Sharon Butler.   Early English Text Society. Second Series 8. London: Oxford UP, 1985.  JSTOR allows you to read online for free but charges for downloads.

The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened:  Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wie, &c. Together with Excellent Directions for Cookery As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c.    Digbie, Sir Kenelme (1669).  H. Brome, London.  Reproduced by the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works, 1967. Available through Project Gutenberg, which has .html, Kindle, .ePub, plain text, and other versions.

Delightes for Ladies   Plat, Sir Hugh.  Humfrey Lowens, London, 1602.  London:  Crosby Lockwood & Sons, Ltd., 1948. Available through Gutenberg, text directly from Elizabethan manuscript.

The Domostroi:  Rules for Russian Households In The Time Of Ivan the Terrible.   Pouncy, Carolyn Johnston (1995).    Cornell University Press, New York. Google has it in several editions, so this link is to the search page so you can make your own choice.

The English Housewife   Markham, Gervase,  1615.  Best, Michael R., ed.  McGill-Queen’ s University Press, 1986, 1998, 2003; ISBN10 0773511032,
ISBN13 9780773511033 Linked to Google Books.

The English Husbandman The First Part: Contayning the Knowledge of the true Nature of euery Soyle within this Kingdome: how to Plow it; and the manner of the Plough, and other Instruments   Produced by Louise Pryor, Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at  Multiple versions on Project Gutenberg. Has chapter on managing a hop garden.

The Jewel House of Art and Nature, Containing Divers Rare and Profitable Inventions, Together with Sundry New Experiments in the Art of Husbandry : with Divers Chimical Conclusions Concerning the Art of Distillation, and the Rare Practises and Uses Thereof.   Plat, Sir Hugh. Manuscript available through Google Scholar.

Le Ménagier de Paris, or The Goodwife’s Guide.  Trans. Greco, Gina L. and Rose, Christine M.  Cornell University Press; First Edition  2009.  ISBN-10: 0801474744; ISBN-13: 978-0801474743 . You have to have JSTOR access – usually via a university – you can check with friends who are students or work at one.

Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery   Hess, Karen, ed.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1981, 1995; ISBN10 0231049315, ISBN13 9780231049313. This is a partial view only, it doesn’t include all the pages.

Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. Hieatt, Constance; Hosington, Brenda; and Butler, Sharon (2004). University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. You have to have a JSTOR account, usually via a university – you can check with friends who students or work at one.

(In a bit of shameless self-promotion, there are longer lists at Sorcha’s own brewing blog. Go to and search on “Books for Brewers”, where there are lists for primary and secondary sources, modern brewing books and books on honey and beekeeping. Or, go directly to (primary) or (secondary)

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Inter Kingdom Brewers Guild (IKBG)

The Inter Kingdom Brewers Guild is not your average SCAdian brewers guild.  For one thing, it crosses boundaries, with aspirations to represent every kingdom in the SCA. For another, they don’t do A&S – IKBG is brewers getting together to share brews and knowledge.  Even when they have competitions, IKBG’s focus is on “the beverage itself and its drinkability”. They focus on how good a brew tastes, how well it’s made.  IKBG means no disrespect, it’s just filling a different niche from A&S’ historical authenticity.  We brewers have choices.

IKBG does maintain a database of those who have entered their competitions.  As of 9/2014, there are 48 Atlantians listed.  A lot of familiar names on that list…

The IKBG would be included on Atlantia’s Guild website even if Master Terafan, who hosts the website, weren’t himself one of Atlantia’s foundation brewers.  His website also has a number of really good brewing recipes, helpful documentation suggestions, and all sorts of other mostly-14th-century goodies.

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Kingdom Guilds in the Knowne World

SCA Corporate device - laurel wreath on a shieldSurprisingly few of the nineteen kingdoms in the Knowne World have structured brewers’ guilds, but there are some, and it’s interesting to see how they do things. If you know how to contact any that aren’t listed here, please contact the webminister with your info asap.

If you’re interested, here’s where you can learn more:

(The Kingdom of…)
Both of these web addresses work: and
Brewers Guild BadgeAethelmearc’s Brewers Guild has regional representatives as well.

An Tir
More active on Facebook:

There is definitely brewing activity at Estrella War. Contact Atenveldt’s Minister of Arts and Sciences to learn more, or try

Brewers Guild BadgeCaid
There is definitely brewing activity during the Great Western War – the Multi-Kingdom Brewing Contest in 2013, for example.

These happy meistersingers must have beer to go with their song. Their brewers’ mailing list is at However, many of the various SCAdian lists are evolving off Yahoo…

Guild of Brewers and Vintners:

East Kingdom Brewers Guildthe East
There’s a Yahoo group linked on their website, and they also have a Facebook page
Gleann Abhann
Brewers-Vintners-Cordialmakers Guild

Mash rake guild badgeLochac
Brewers, Vintners, and Imbibers Guild:

the West
There is also this, definitely West Kingdom, but a different list: – “A group for The Gild of Our Lady and Saint Titus the Bastard, the Worshipful Company of Brewers and Brewsters of the Kingdom of the West.” Seems to be a different St. Titus than the mundane one. There’s a story here somewhere…

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