top of page
  • Scribbled by... TIffany

Day 3: Brewsters, Witches and Vikings Oh My...

As we cruise nicely into March 3rd or Day 3 of #womeninbeerhistorymonth I am happily overwhelmed about how easily I will be able to fill 31 days with women in beer from centuries ago to modern day... it fills my heart.

These points were taken from an article written by Tara Nurin and published for Craft Beer & Brewing.

-Early Northern Europeans worshipped their beer goddesses as ancient Middle Easterners did, and before the second millennium CE, most European women drank and brewed beer. From migratory Germanic women who brewed in forest clearings to avoid Holy Roman invaders to the English alewives who maintained their traditions until the Industrial Revolution, European women fed their husbands and children low-alcohol, nutrient-rich homebrew that proved more sanitary than water.

-In Baltic and Slavic mythology, a goddess named Raugutiene provides heavenly protection over beer. Finnish legend recounts that a woman named Kalevatar brought beer to earth by mixing honey with bear saliva. And while Norse folklore indirectly credits a man for beer, the late beer anthropologist Alan Eames wrote in 1993 that real Norsemen (a.k.a. Vikings) allowed only women to brew the “aul” that fueled their conquests. In an article published in Yankee Brew News, Eames noted, “Viking women drank ale, flagon for flagon, along with the men.”

-German nunneries provided a rare shelter for single women to blossom as brewsters and botanists, with St. Hildegard of Bingen distinguishing herself as the first person to publicly recommend hops as a healing, bittering, and preserving agent some 500 years before mainstream society took heed.

-Prohibition proved devastating to quality beer and the beer business by producing sixty subsequent years of consolidated, industrial-scale brewing. The tightly defined gender roles of the ’50s and Mad Men-era marketers created an image of beer as a drink for men, made by commercial breweries where women were valued only as promotional vehicles. But what may prove surprising is that even after Prohibition, women never ceased brewing. Not entirely, anyway.

As i continue my journey of learning all aspects of Beer including the history I love how many names I recognize from the history books that are being used nowadays for breweries or clever beer names. I now know where they came up with that hard to pronounce name ;)

bottom of page