This week marked our third annual trek to the ever exciting Fargo/Moorhead area for the Midwest Scandinavian and Viking Festival at the Hjemkomst Center. One of the many benefits of marrying an armorer and blacksmith! In addition to spending the day around a beautiful stave church, epic weapons and bearded warriors, the weekend also brings with it some amazingly tasty beer provided by Hammerheart Brewing Company. Thus, we are mixing it up this week.
Instead of sharing a cocktail recipe, I’m going to feature my favorite beer from the fest: Hrungnirs Hjerte (pronounced Hruyn-yers Hyar-ta… or at least, I think that’s close. Translating Norwegian to English phonetics is not exactly my forte. Someone please correct me if you know better.).
Hrungnirs Hjerte is a Schwarzbier (black) ale that is surprisingly perfect to drink on an almost 90 degree day. I tend to be very seasonal with my beer in particular, and rarely go so dark when it’s hot. What makes this beer not only drinkable but savory in the heat is the combination of a smooth, creamy texture and a beautifully subdued heaviness. Flavor wise, it’s dark chocolate with a side of coffee and a small hint of smoke on the finish… kind of like a summer s’more ridden bonfire… or a Viking Village with a cook fire 🙂
Another perk of this event is getting to spend some time with the brains behind the brewery who are always willing to educate patrons on the history behind the namesakes of their ales. This weekend I learned that Hrungnir was a jotunn, or giant, in Norse mythology who had a heart (or Hjerte in Norse… see what they did there?!) made of stone. With that came legend that any warrior who had a Hrungnirs Hjerte (or valknut, the symbol with three interlocking triangles) tattooed on their body would die a terrible death.
Pretty badass for your average Saturday, huh?