Aegir's Clique: Partiers
In modern American-speak, you might call Aegir a frat boy. He sure does enjoy a good party. Dinner party, cocktail party, dance party—you name it, he'll throw it, and the gods will come from miles around to attend. One of his parties actually got so crazy that a guy got killed. Naturally, Aegir likes to hang with folks who love a good celebration as much as he does. When they're not partying at one of their hang-outs, you'll find these kids making plans (and beverages) for their next big bash.
The Greeks and Romans believed that you needed good wine for a good party, so their god of revelry is also their god of wine. Legend has it that Dionysus discovered how to make wine from grapes, then traveled the world teaching the art to humans. (Thanks, D!) Ingesting this wondrous beverage, Dionysus' followers erupted in revelry. This partying could have a dark side, though. When Dionysus became angry at Pentheus, for example, he caused the women of Thebes to erupt into a Bacchic frenzy and tear him limb from limb. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
The late Romans emphasized the values that were important to them by creating gods and goddesses to represent them. One of these goddesses was Laetitia, whose name means "delight," "happiness," or "joy." If a Roman emperor wanted to remind the people how much joy he brought them (gotta love that humility), he might issue a coin with her picture on it. He might also issue a coin with Laetitia's name on it to mark the "century games"—contests in the arena in which animals (and sometimes humans) fought to the death. Yeah, that doesn't sound like anything we'd want to commemorate either, but hey, when in Rome…
As the Greco-Romans revered the god of wine, the Sumerians revered the goddess of beer. They even sang a hymn in praise of her great gift. The Sumerians were one of the first cultures to figure out that wet barley and sugar combined to make a beverage with pleasant mood-altering effects. Their "Hymn to Ninkasi" isn't just praise of the goddess who makes beer. It's also a recipe that anyone can follow at home. Handy!