Beer Legend Index

There are many mythical characters and legends associated with beer & brewing, and often more euphemistically barley. here is a collection of a few of them.

A highlighted name means you can click on it for more information.

Who When Where Notes
Alphito   Greek myth AKA Hag of the Mill, the White Barley Goddess of Argos, goddess of barley flour
Alphito-Baitule Luisa     Alphito-Baitule Luisa, White Barley Goddess
Anna Perenna     Anna Perenna, the Good Mother, goddess of plenty, for whom barley cakes were baked
Apollo   Greek myth God of Science and art. Sometimes associated with Mead.
Aridela     AKA The Very Manifest One
Arriande   Sumerian myth High Fruitful Mother of Barley
Bes    Egyptian myth This deity originated in the Sudan and is represented as a grotesque, bearded dwarf with a crown and a sword. There is no clear gender distinction for Bes, but, as primary god/goddess of women in labor, his/her fondness for beer established a spiritual association for brewing second only to that of the goddess Hathor.
Bragi    Norse myth Keeper of the Mead of Inspiration. God of Eloquence and Wisdom.
Ceres   Roman myth  Goddess of Agriculture. Appropriate for beverages, especially beer.
Cerridwen     Goddess of the Cauldron and Grain.
Demeter   Greek myth  The Barley Mother, goddess of agriculture and fruitful soil, who was worshipped orgiastically.
Deo     The Barley Mother of Arcadia
Gambrinus    Bavarian myth Inventor of beer and patron saint of brewers.
Gunnloed    Norse myth Goddess of Mead & Human Understanding
Hathor    Egyptian myth Goddess of drunkenness (and cow goddess). The god Re sent Hathor to destroy humanity, believing that it was plotting aganist him. However, Re changed his mind and flooded the fields with beer, dyed red to look like blood. Hathor stopped to drink the beer, and, having become intoxicated, never carried out her deadly mission.
Jehovah   Jewish myth  Protector of the barley. Passover was originally a barley harvest festival.
Kull Gossaih    Indian myth Goddess of grain
Nidaba    Mesopot-amian myth Barley goddess
Ninkasi   Sumerian myth  Ninkasi was a goddess worshipped in Ancient Sumeria. She has been associated with the brewing of beer, and the oldest known recipe for beer is a hymn to her.
Oegir    Norse myth Beer Brewer of Asgard.
Osiris   Egyptian myth  God of Cereals and Common People, especially linked with beer.
Shoney   Scottish myth  God of Ale.
St. Arnou AD580 - 640 Metz (France) St. Arnou's name is often spelled St. Arnould or St. Arnolds. Also, he is often confused with Saint Arnou De Oudenaarde. He is the official patron saint of hop pickers. According to legend, he ended a plague when he submerged his crucifix into a brew kettle and persuaded people to drink only beer from that "blessed" kettle.
St Arnou De Oudenaarde AD 1100  Belgium Sometimes called Saint Arnouldus. He is said to have appealed to God for cold beer during a battle in Flanders in the 11th century. He was also said to be able to multiply beer into vast quantities through blessings and prayer.
St. Brigid AD439 - 521 Ireland Saint Brigid of Ireland was a generous, beer-loving woman and the abbess of Kildare. She worked in a leper colony, which one day found itself without beer. "For when the lepers she nursed implored her for beer, and there was none to be had, she changed their bathwater into an excellent beer, by the sheer strength of her blessing and faith in god and dealt it out to the thirsty in plenty."
St. Columbanus circa AD612    An Irish monk and missionary in the 6th-7th century.
St. Florian  circa AD700   A dubious Beer Saint whose saintly beer act involved saving Nurenberg, Germany, from burning down in a great fire in the 8th century. How? With beer and no he didn't drink it first.
St. Hildegard  AD 1098 - 1179   Saint Hildegard, a Benedictine Nun, was the abbess of Diessenberg and a well known herbalist. Her writings include the earliest known reference to using hops in beer. She wrote in part: "[Hops], when put in beer, stops putrification and lends longer durability."