Margery Kempe and Her Failed Brewing Enterprise

Known as an Christian Mystic, Kempe is most famous for writing The Book of Margery Kempe, completed around 1438, wherein she described her life, her flaws, her discussions with God, and her pilgrimages. One such instance was of her brewing. According to her own account, she began to brew ‘out of pure covetousness and in […]

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Wari Brewing Women

Before the Inca, in the years 600-1000 CE the Wari empire dominated Peru and the Tiwanaku reigned in Bolivia. [1] [2] Both societies colonized Moquegua valley including the Cerro Baúl high mesa where the Wari erected monumental buildings, one of which, and arguably one of the most important,  was a massive brewery. And who was […]

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Pints and Protests: Women’s History Month

So.  I had this grand plan of writing about a woman, or group of women, a day for Women’s History Month. But then it decided to snow. And I got stuck in Heathrow…. For five days. Without any of my notes. Or resources. Or computer. That’ll teach me to leave my work at home. So […]

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Glühbier, Jólöl, and Ale Brewing Viking Women

Christmas is here! As I type this I am thinking of all the things I should be doing to get ready for the holiday. But ehh procrastination is a particularly well-honed skill of mine, cultivated during the many years of my PhD, and I like to fancy myself somewhat of an expert in, as Shit Academics Say, ‘preloading guilt contingent motivation’. So I was feeling particularly ambitious this year and decided to try my hand at making Glühbier, or mulled beer. It’s meant to be delicious, it’s a new project, and better yet, it is absolutely zero help in doing any of the things I should be doing. It was, in a word, perfect.

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Erfiøl: Beer and Burial in The Viking World

Various articles have been making the rounds of late about the apparent discovery of a female warrior grave in Birka, Sweden.[1] There is evidence, the researchers claim, that that woman interred was a ‘high ranking officer’ in the Viking Age and therefore extrapolate the idea that she was powerful because she had access to these masculine tools of violence.

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Witchcraft, Alewives, and Economics

I was finishing up a two week holiday in Bergen, Norway, when I decided to spend my last day checking out some of the historical sites in the city. The first on my list was Rosenkrantz tower, an imposing, largely Early Modern, but originally medieval, structure and one of a series of buildings on Bergenhus Fortress premises. The tours themselves were self-guided and this made me slightly nervous as I know that these older structures can be very confusing and its easy to get turned around. Especially with my exceedingly impressive penchant for getting lost in the simplest of locations. I had managed, just a week or so previous, to completely lose myself in the London Tube (Bank Station is now my sworn enemy).

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Hen Droppings and Rosary Beads: The Tunning of Elynour Rummyng

She breweth nappy ale, And maketh thereof pot-sale To travellers, to tinkers, To sweaters, to swinkers, And all good ale-drinkers, Sometime around 1517 John Skelton sat down and wrote one of the most well-known poems of the Early Modern era. A poet and priest, Skelton was accustomed to running in elite circles, from the royal […]

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