About AleHorn

About AleHorn 2017-07-07T08:41:49+00:00
meadmakr pic

The boys from Meadmakr with their Large AleHorn

Skål, friends!

AleHorn is a drinking horn company that produces fine handcrafted items for modern barbarians.

When AleHorn first started, many people still thought of drinking horns as costume pieces that you might buy at a Renaissance faire. While we do love Renaissance faires (a lot), we thought it was time to bring drinking horns to a wider audience.

Friends who received the first AleHorns as gifts came from many different walks of life. We gave them to housewives, surfers, weight lifters, writers, history buffs, people with beards and others without. The one thing all of them had in common is that the AleHorn put a smile on their face and quickly became their favorite drinking vessel.

While sitting around the fire drinking out of a horn is a lot of fun, many also exulted how the horns made them feel more connected to the past, and we quickly realized that it wasn’t just the renaissance faire crowd that was interested historical rediscovery.

Hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago, horns were found in nearly every home and were an important part of the joyous rituals of drinking. As history went on, they became relics. Our mission is to bring back the hearty drinking horn tradition while providing a fun drinking experience that’s accessible to everyone.

Handcrafted Horn Products

Our horn products are made using 100% ethically sourced bovine horn. Our Viking drinking horns and horn tankards have been carefully designed based on input from our friends and customers, and are a beautiful, authentically crafted pieces that are all 100% unique. Because they come from nature, there is no way any horn will ever be like any other.

We offer a wide variety of products including custom engraved pieces:

The Drinking Horn by AleHorn

AleHorn creates each hand made drinking horn from 100% real horn.  Unique by nature, each horn is unlike any other and a perfect pairing with your mead, craft beer, or favorite beverage.  Each drinking horn is one of a kind with its own look, feel, and character.

Our designs take on the modern drinking horn take inspiration from a combination of history and fantasy. They typically come in three different styles: tankards in the style of Game of Thrones, the natural horn shape of traditional Viking drinking horns, and the curved tumbler style that hearkens a cozy fireside feast like those you might find in Middle Earth. Many variations of these have been adapted for the modern style of drinking, including a drinking horn shot glass.  We also offer an ever growing selection of accessories and other products.

We make drinking horns, but that’s not all –

Our specialty is the “Game of Thrones” style drinking horn tankard which features an inverted horn capped with an acrylic base, and a handle which is formed by bending the top of the horn over the side to create something more akin to a mug or handled goblet.  It is a slight deviation from the natural horn shape, but still 100% natural and will sit flat on your table without a stand.  We also specialize in traditional “Viking style” drinking horns in various sizes, as well as shot glasses, cups, soundng horns and other horn related items. All horns are formed, sealed and finished by hand for maximum life and durability.  They are perfect for any Game of Thrones, Viking, beer, mead, or beverage enthusiast.

Mankind could make alcohol long before we could make glass, so naturally we used what we could come by as vessels for our ancient fermented drinks like mead, ale, and wine. Not being ones to waste any part of an animal we had worked so hard to hunt or rear, we eventually figured out how to use tools to hollow out the horns of bovines to use as drinking horns, and the rest is history.

We know for sure that drinking horns have been around for 2,600 years, but it’s likely they’ve been around for even longer than that. In all that time, drinking horns have gone from practical drinking vessels to meaningful and symbolic reminders of the hallowed past. They’ve been made of horn, metal, and glass by civilizations all over the world.

Read more about Drinking Horn History

Horns have two sections – the core and the outer horn. The thickness of the horn section that’s left when the core is removed varies from animal to animal, and is one of variables that makes each horn unique. To remove the core, most horn-makers boil the horn until it is soft. The inside is made of marrow, and its removal is often messy and difficult. Another method is to leave it in a warm, dry spot until the core separates from the horn naturally. Either way the core must be removed before being processed further.

Once the horns are separated, they are cleaned and polished to specification. Some of our horns demand a high polish and smooth look, while others are less refined and have a more natural look. It is purely a matter of taste how much to polish.

For our Game of Thrones style tankards, the horns are then heated again and then the lower part of the horn (closest to the tip) is partially removed to form a “tail”. This part is then folded down, and when cooled, will create the handle.

After polishing and forming, the horns are then sealed and finished, and (optionally) engraved before being used.

Read more about How Drinking Horns are made

It seems that drinking horn culture has come full circle as horns have gone from cups to decorations and back again. The modern popularity of drinking horns has many factors to thank, including the characters from some of our favorite shows including:

  • Vikings
  • Game of Thrones
  • Tolkien works
AleHorn Drinking Horns