From Will Ferrell exclaiming, “Great Odin’s raven!” in Anchor Man to hit shows on the History Channel and Netflix and even an NFL football team, the obsession with Vikings is everywhere.
Nestled off Mira Mesa Road in Sorrento Valley, Longship Brewery brings that Nordic spirit to sunny San Diego. In their upcoming “Pint-Sized Lectures,” the brewery hosts Antonio Zaldivar, an assistant professor in the History department at California State University San Marcos, for a four-part series on the history, beer drinking, exploration and religion of the mighty Vikings.
The classes, which start on Jan. 25 and will run bi-weekly through May 3, will also include a March series set on San Diego Beer History, taught by Judith Downie, special collections and history librarian at CSUSM and curator of the Brewchive.
PACIFIC recently spoke with Longship owner Dan Jachimowicz about the inspiration for the Viking series, the inside scoop on their clever beer names, and the coolest Norse god in history.
PACIFIC: First things first, are you a Viking?
DAN JACHIMOWICZ: I am a Viking at heart. The Viking spirit is essentially the drive to explore and discover new possibilities. Longship strives to embody that spirit in our brewing style and beers, which makes myself and my staff all “Vikings at heart.”
What was the inspiration for the pint sized lecture series?
We love talking about beer, the little details that vary between the styles, the possibilities, and exciting new ingredients and creations. We have another passion, however, and that is history. I love history and was a history major at UC Irvine. I think there is so much that history has to teach us, and the Pint-Sized Lectures is a fun program that will allow us to share all of our passions.
How do you name your beers?
We try to have fun with our beer names. For example, Loki’s Wit is in reference to the trickster god, Loki, because it’s a Belgian Witbier with a little trick of being brewed with a hint of chiles. We also have two rotating stouts, Huginn and Muninn, our chocolate and vanilla stouts. They are named after Odin’s two ravens that he sends out into the world to gather information for him. And there is our doppelbock, the Ragnabock, a strong beer with a play on words for the Viking end of days, Ragnarok.
Which is better show: Vikings or The Last Kingdom?
I have actually not gotten around to watching the Last Kingdom. However, I do love Vikings! Most the characters are based on historical figures, but I mostly appreciate the little details that the History Channel introduced like the different technologies of that age, or even in sayings that they used. I only wish that they would clean themselves up. Vikings were, in actuality, very clean people.
Favorite beer style to drink?
Oh that’s tough! Lately, I have been leaning more towards a good old fashion IPA. Although, I am a bit particular about the balance in the hops and malt. To me an IPA should be hoppy without slapping you in the face, and should have enough of a malt backbone to not be one note, hence our Shieldwall IPA.
One fun fact about Vikings?
The term Viking actually refers to a profession held by a small population of Scandinavians. The Vikings were the professional raiders of the region, heading out to forcefully gain wealth for their land. For the most part the majority of people who are now collectively referred to as “Vikings” were simple farmers and craftsmen.
What did Vikings drink back in the day?
Vikings drank pretty much everything. While wine was considered the more elite drink, mostly because it had to be imported to the area and only the wealthy could afford it, they were avid brewers of beer and mead. Their beers were different from what we know today and often contained a lot of herbs and spices we don’t use now.
Favorite/coolest Norse god?
Oh, Odin for sure — he had it all. Not only was he the king of the gods, he was a war god, god of poetry, aided both the rulers and outlaws of the land, had his own hall (Valhalla) and army of the bravest fallen Vikings (the Valknut), wielded both spear and magic, multiple pets, and was the wisest of all the gods. He knew that wisdom was power to the point that he gave up an eye to learn everything about the world.
Pint-Sized Lectures run bi-weekly at 7 p.m. on Thursdays from Jan. 25 through May 3. Tickets are on sale for this event, but not necessary to attend; a $10 ticket includes two full pours and priority seating.
10320 Camino Santa Fe, Ste. C, Sorrento Valley, 858.246.7875, longshipbrewery.com