A woman’s dilemma: You walk into a bar/social gathering/party. The time has come to quench your thirst. What you really want is the sparkly bitterness of a good craft beer flowing from bottle to mouth, but a thought crosses your mind: Beer is not a socially acceptable beverage for a lady to be drinking. You settle for the tart acidity of a glass of Sauvignon Merlot (or whatever they call it). Your cheeks flush far too quickly, you are getting thirstier by the sip and quite frankly, you are not enjoying your drink.
You know what? Screw socially acceptable, screw being told what you must drink based on your gender. I have never claimed to be a lady and even if I were, I am of age and sound mind (most of the time) and am capable of making decisions with regards to my choice of intoxication. It seems that more and more women are agreeing with me on this point. We have started drinking beer openly instead of just indulging behind the doors of our own homes.
Women and beer have been synonymous with each other dating all the way back to pre Incan times where female brewers in Peru were used chosen based on their beauty or nobility. In fact, this article outlines how important women were in the development of beer:
“According to beer historian Alan Eames, the religious myths of ancient societies credit the creation of beer to women. For the Pharaonic Egyptians, the goddess Hathor invented beer. She was worshiped throughout the dynastic ages as the “queen of drunkness and dance and the inventress of beer”. For the ancient Fins, however, ale was created by three women: Osmotor, Kapo, and Kalevatar. While trying to prepare for a wedding feast, Kalevatar combined saliva from a bear with wild honey, added it to beer, and created the gift of ale . In England in the 1700s, about 78% of licensed brewers were women. Things changed in medieval times, when monasteries began brewing beer on a larger scale for passing travelers. Gradually, women became less and less involved in brewing. The industrial revolution transferred brewing from the home to the marketplace. Men began claiming local taverns as their domain, and women began drinking less beer. Alewives were replaced by male brewers, and brewers have tended to be male ever since.”
So there you have it! Next time you feel obligated to spend your money on a sugary cocktail or spirit and soda instead of your choice brew, remember, if it wasn’t for us, Homer Simpson might drool over Martinis instead of Duff, Castles would be made only of stone and not hops and our men would be braaing with a cold G&Ts in their hands.