Olaf was born two millennia ago in Sweden. He was the official mead maker of Fjolne, son of Yngve Frö and king of the Swedes.
The mead Olaf made had a strong reputation of being much stronger and much better than ale. Olaf forbade that mead be served to the king that had not aged for at least four seasons. King Fjolne was proud of this mead and he often made a present of mead to neighboring rulers, be they old friends of his or potential allies. Such an occurrence is reported by Snorri Sturluson in Heimskringla, a history of the Norse kings (Samuel Laing was kind enough to translate to English.)
Once when Fjolne went to Frode in Sealand, a great feast was prepared for him, and invitations to it were sent all over the country. Frode had a large house, in which there was a great vessel many ells high, and put together of great pieces of timber; and this vessel stood in a lower room. Above it was a loft, in the floor of which was an opening through which liquor was poured into this vessel. The vessel was full of mead, which was excessively strong. In the evening Fjolne, with his attendants, was taken into the adjoining loft to sleep. In the night he went out to the gallery to seek a certain place, and he was very sleepy and exceedingly drunk. As he came back to his room he went along the gallery to the door of another left, went into it, and his foot slipping, he fell into the vessel of mead and was drowned.
Thereafter, Olaf decided to dedicate his life to rising awareness of mead, its making, tasting, history and hazards. In order to improve his skills, he went to Oxford (some sources say that it was Cambridge) for several years, focusing on enology, history and chemistry with a cloud of beekeeping. In England he lived off plunder and the sale of his mead. He was invited by a local nobleman and scholar to spend a season in his court and make mead for him. The berserconnoisseur was dubbed knight and he founded the club of the velvet hydrometer, which disappeared half a century later. When his studies were completed, the educated barbarian went back north to his homeland where he spread the word of mead.
From his two cultures, the Viking-dandy -- the first of his kind -- is a mead expert both on the battlefield and in the ballroom. He has both a first-hand and a theoretical knowledge of mead history, mead making as well as the consequences of mead on health.
Did you know?
Olaf is the author of the famous "Wasssssaaaiiil!", which was reused (slightly degenerated) two thousand years later.
My name is Mathieu Bouville. You can e-mail me your questions and comments. You can also e-mail me if you have problems with the site or find broken links. If there is a topic you would like to find in mead made complicated, let me know. If you have some information that I do not know of, I'd be happy to hear from you.