We Feasted like Vikings at Hammerheart Brewing
If you’ve ever been to Hammerheart, you know that it is the perfect setting for just such an event. Nestled in pine trees just north of the Twin Cities in Lino Lakes, the log-cabin architecture, ambient lighting and heavy metal inspired brews is exactly what I would want when attending such a feast!
The brewery had traded its usually whiskey barrel tables and chairs for long shared tables with log benches, adorned in burlap, pine leaves and candles.
Naturally, we started our meal with a brew. I chose the Von Winterherz Verhasst, a 7.1% abv smoked Hefeweizen. It was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend you give it a try!
The dinner had room for about 40 guests, all sitting at shared tables. We were some of the last people to arrive (thank you rush hour traffic) and sat down with two other lovely couples.
Before the meal started, we got an introduction to Daniel Serra by one of the head brewers, who gave us some history on his research and the type of meal we were about to enjoy.
The meal consisted of 5 to-die-for courses. I did my best to take notes as the meal progressed, but after while I just lost myself in the experience (and several more delicious beers)
We started the meal with smoked herring and kale porridge. Honestly, this first course alone would have been more than enough food for me personally, and I had to do my best to pace myself so I didn’t get too full!
Smoked, pickled and dried foods are very common in traditional Scandinavian meals because people had to learn was to preserve food for the long winters. It’s definitely no coincidence that many Minnesotan’s are of Scandinavian descent.
The next dish was a shared plate of sausages, also referred to as “Kettle Worms” and buttered turnips from the south of Sweden.
My absolute favorite dish of the night was the soup! I can’t even begin to describe how flavorful the broth was. The chef told stories before each new dish was brought out to the table and said that this soup would have been traditionally made from horse meat, but that was considered a truly Pagan meat and was eventually frowned upon. Don’t worry, this soup was made from elk, not horse. I honestly couldn’t get enough of it.
It was served with a flat bread, not unlike a pita, that was traditionally known as burial bread meant to be “eaten by the dead” on their journey to the afterlife.
The last two dishes of the night were a sausage stuffed chicken and a smoked lamb in leek sauce. By this point I was beyond stuffed, but it was still so delicious! And luckily the staff at Hammerheart gave us all some tin-foil so our left-over food didn’t go to waste.
I had a fantastic time feasting like a Viking! If you’re interested in learning more about the chef, he has some more events listed on his facebook page and his cookbook, An Early Meal is available on Amazon for $49.
If you’re interested in learning more about Hammerheart, I recommend this article from The Growler. Or just go check it out for yourself! Skol!