Sunday, 16 December 2018

ailill mac máta

A pair of prodigal County Roscommon residents, interesting in plying their craft brewing experiences in their homeland isolated and fermented a special troglodytic wild yeast from a paleolithic archaeological site and cave complex to provide a point of departure to explore the influence and the background of the story of Queen Medb, also tied to this land.
Not to be confused with Queen Mab, Shakespeare’s invented fairy monarch though perhaps informed by the semi-legendary figure, her name shares its etymology—appropriately—with mead as she who intoxicates and according to ancient sources, Medb was born in the same cave, Oweynagat, held also to be a portal to the Underworld. The warrior queen, as all females in the egalitarian world of the Celts, was liberated and independent and not defined by her gender, unlike most women in other contemporary Western European cultures. The brewster (see also) worked with experts in microbiology to detect the undomesticated varieties of catalyst and bravely—since the divide between the world of the living and the world of the dead is most porous at that time of year—went spelunking in Oweynagat on Samhain to collect the yeast. Read more about the quest for the ingredients of this special ale and discover more strange brews at the link up top.