Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We'll Drink To That: Beer Was Invented By Women
Well! Turns out that every Rocky-tapping dude has women to thank for his brew. We invented the stuff, you know.
Historian Jane Peyton has been researching the history of beer, and she's found that up until about 200 years ago women were responsible for beer. Because beer was considered a food, it was women's work — and their skill in crafting ale was considered so special that in Mesopotamia and Sumeria, only women were allowed to brew the stuff or run taverns. Same goes in Norse society and ancient Finland (where women were considered to be a formal ingredient in its creation). In England "ale-wives" brewed beer at home and brought in significant income for their families; Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed a daily liquid breakfast and consumed ale at other points during the day.
It wasn't until the onset of the Industrial Revolution, when new ways of brewing removed women from the process, that beer became more of a "guy" thing. But every time he asks you to grab him a beer, remember that ancient societies considered beer to be a gift from a goddess. Even if she's now known as the St. Pauli's Girl.