Saint Brigid and Her Miracle Ale

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration for a person who has certainly become synonymous with this country. People have arrived in Dublin from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the parade and, of course, to enjoy a few pints of local beer. But there’s another famous Irish saint whose stories have […]

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Incan Women and Chicha Brewing

In the 15th century during the reign of the Inca, elite women continued to dominate the chicha brewing trade and also widely consumed the beverage.  For more information of what chicha is please see the previous post on Wari brewing women. Chicha was a ‘fundamental part of the exchanges between ruler and ruled’ according to […]

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The Egyptian Goddess Hathor

These days there are a seemingly infinite number of beer styles and additives. Pineapple, oysters, heather, whiskey, and chocolate are just a few of the things popping up in your pints. Brewers are continually pushing the boundaries of what defines a beer and the materials they use- including harvesting yeast from beards. But these aren’t […]

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Gillian and the Brewsters of Exeter

In medieval England, while the brewing trade was dominated largely by women, especially in rural areas, those who maintained and enforced regulations were male. In particular the position of aletaster, that is a person who evaluated women’s brews and made sure they were keeping to regulations, was wholly male dominated – I have not found […]

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Ninkasi

Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of beer. Known as ‘the lady who fills the mouth’ an ancient tablet dating to around 1800 BCE contained a hymn to the goddess. [1]   According to scholars like Ian Hornsby, brewing in Mesopotamian society was the only trade presided over by a goddess of some type.[2]  Residing on Mount Sâbu (‘the […]

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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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