I am thinking of my dream pub again. Something more interesting than the faux Irish pub at the mini-mall.You know, having a Munich beer hall nearby might be all well and good - but am I going to go all the time? This story reminds me that in my dreams I want a Viking beer hall in my neighbourhood like this one:
The hall, 48 metres long and seven metres across, overlooks the site of a Viking palace unearthed in 1986 in what is an historic area of Denmark. ‘We are sure we have found a royal building of some sort,’ said Tom Christensen, curator of Roskilde Museum at the time. ‘The odd thing about the site is that it is littered with bits and pieces of exquisite golden jewelery, glass and bronze broaches, high quality artifacts, such as drinking glasses and ceramics, which all seem to have been deliberately smashed in some ritual... Maybe it was some sort of beer hall or a sacred site where cult or religious activities were carried out. The building’s post holes are over a metre deep, so it must have been an impressive construction,’ said Christensen.
Egil drained every cup that came to him, drinking for Aulvir likewise. Then Bard went to the queen and told her there was a man there who put shame on them, for, howsoever much he drank, he still said he was thirsty. The queen and Bard then mixed the drink with poison, and bare it in. Bard consecrated the cup, then gave it to the ale-maid. She carried it to Egil, and bade him drink. Egil then drew his knife and pricked the palm of his hand. He took the horn, scratched runes thereon, and smeared blood in them.
Well, OK... even if my name is related to "berserker" those were not particularly pleasant times. But, still, there is a lot to be said of the drinking hall. The taverns of my youth were long tabled and benched affairs. But they would have been all the sweeter had they had the hides and beams of Norway's Ægir Brewery shown above or, as Knut discovered, the dead bear art of Kroa at Spitzbergen. Why can't we face a globalized future that includes modern takes on Viking beer halls? Is this too much to ask?