What is braggot? Have you ever heard of it? At the most basic explanation, it is yet another alcoholic beverage made as a combination of mead and beer. Some people also add herbs or spices to give it extra flavor. Braggot has been recorded at time of the Vikings, and it was used as a beverage to celebrate special occasions. These days, braggot is becoming more and more popular, and there are many different varieties available.
As mentioned earlier, braggot is a mead made with a not-so-small amount of beer. Specifically, the ingredients that comprise both drinks are fermented together - a combination of water, honey, and malt, and, non-traditionally, hops for that signature beer bitterness. With mead, specifically metheglin, being a very popular drink in Wales along with beer, it is no surprise braggot is not also quite popular there, but also gaining popularity in the US
How to make braggot?
Braggot is what happens when honey meets beer - an almost literal golden child. Sadly, Brewsy does not offer beer yeast or beermaking kits of any kind, however, wine yeast can be used such as the one found in Brewsy bags.
It starts with mashing the malt of choice at 65C then once the wort has been created, it is brought to a boil. You do not want to the honey at the boiling phase as it will kill the lovely honey tastes for which braggot is known. You will want to add the honey once it is cooling down before fermentation to still allow it to dissolve and become homogenous with the wort. A step-feed option can also be employed with the honey during fermentation. Braggot tends to take longer to ferment than other alcoholic drinks.
Why is it called braggot?
Throughout its history, braggot has also gone by different names such as bragget, bracket, and bragawd, for example. While the second syllable, -got, may be a bit obscure, it still overall gets the name from the Welsh word brag meaning malt which is apt considering that it is a beer which is traditionally made from malt. In Welsh, it is known as bragod.
What is the history of braggot?
While specifics can be eluding, braggot's history is similar to beer in which it is disputed. There are known recipes for this libation dating back to the 1500's as it seemed to be popular in many areas of Europe during the medieval and post-Renaissance periods. However, there are references indicating that braggot may originally be a Celtic drink from the 12th century. Europeans truly have an affinity for alcoholic beverages, but it is greatly appreciated.
If you have never taken a stab at making braggot but have made mead in the past, perhaps it is high time to go on a little adventure and create a bitter, sweet, golden drink worthy of viking praise.