Posted on 2019-05-21
While some mums are crafty with drawings, paintings, home decorating, baking, and DIY around the house, our favourite craft-y mums are the ones who love a good craft beer. That’s right, you don’t have to be a man to be a beer geek. At Tighes Hill Cellars, we have some wonderful female customers who visit in search of craft beer sensations all the time. As we have recently celebrated Mother’s Day, we thought May was a great time to explore the history of women and beer brewing.
We are big fans of the beers from Two Birds, the first female owned brewery in Australia. They are trailblazers in a male-dominated industry, however, historical records reveal that women were heavily involved in ancient brewing. That’s right! In the past, women were the ones who would traditionally brew beer for their families and then sell the surplus to help provide. Archaeological studies have shown beer brewing was practically an extension on baking duties, thereby falling on mum to fulfil.
In ancient Egypt, women were the predominant brewers, using ingredients like corn, oats, wheat and honey. Interesting fact, there were many cultures (such as Egyptian) with deities, goddesses and protectors associated with guarding brewers, who were all female and frequently connected with fertility.
In Tanzania, women have always been the primary brewers and remain in that role today. They sell their drinks to supplement their income.
Mayan civilisations also relied on women brewers. Beer brewing records dating back to 1600 BCE show that brewing using cacao beans was common practice. Cacao beans were actually used for beer production before they were used to make cocoa!
Women were also primary producers in German and Roman societies, serving ale made from fermented honey until monasteries took over the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
Finnish women made a brew called ‘Sahti’ in their villages for a thousand years from hops, juniper twigs, barley and rye grains. The ingredients were malted and then smoked in a sauna.
Even in America, women were still the primary brewers during the colonisation of the United States. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that beer was considered as a lucrative business opportunity, and then men began to dominate the practice.
So, women (and mothers in particular) have a rich history in beer production. We love all mothers, but it’s definitely awesome when you come across a craft-y one. Craft beer, fine wine and artisan spirits make the best gifts, and if you didn’t spoil mum enough over Mother’s Day this year, come and see us in-store, or shop online here. Remember, you’re probably the reason she drinks J.