MILTON, Del — Heathens and mead often go hand in hand, but as of yet, no modern Heathen in the U.S. has made brewing mead a career. In Spring 2016, all of that changes. Jon Talkington is opening The Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton/Lewes, Delaware.
In an interview with The Wild Hunt, Talkington said that brewing mead and finding his way to Heathenry have also gone hand in hand. He said, “I made my first batch of mead in high school, a Finnish style lemon mead made with honey, sugar, raisins and baker’s yeast. During this same same I was looking into Asatru and reading many books on the Norse, Germanic and Slavic myths. Many of those myths had mead mentioned in them which sparked my interest of the ancient beverage.”
Shortly after, Talkington began regularly brewing mead and entering competitions. He even won a few awards. Later he went to work for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery where he worked for over 10 years as a professional beer brewer.
For those same ten years, he dreamed about opening his own meadery. As he explained, the knowledge he has picked up working for a professional craft brewery has prepared him for when opportunity struck. He said, “It was 2 years ago now that my close friend, fellow Heathen, and business partner Robert Walker was asking me why I don’t open a meadery. I told him I wanted to but I need someone to help me.”
That conversation was the start of their business partnership. While Talkington has the brewing skills, Walker has the business knowledge.
Talkington said The Brimming Horn is a meadery with a lifestyle and religion attached to it. Most of the meads will be named after Northern European Gods and Goddesses. The logo for the meadery is an overflowing drinking horn, which is passed among Heathens – ancient and modern – to drink, toast, boast, oath, and bond people together.
“Mead making for us is all about tradition, honoring our ancestors and creating community,” said Talkington. He added, “As my religion is one of tradition and following the old ways my career choice had a lot to do with that. I’m bring something old back to the modern world. A taste of history if you will.”