BVC - women and brewing -Reply

Chuck Graves Chuck.Graves at
Fri Apr 2 10:35:10 PST 1999


>>2) Since women in the Middle Ages were the primary >brewers -- why aren't 
>>more women in the SCA >interested in brewing?  What prompted this 
>>>disinterest?  Is brewing in the SCA truly a "MAN's" >Activity? (grin)
>I believe that beer is more of a "man's" drink now than in the Middle Ages 
>where everyone including children drank beer (or ale) with every meal 
>including breakfast (with the possible exception of the rich who drank 
>wine).  For that reason, brewers may be more likely to be male.
        That's true given beer but what about the wine and meads....  true
most of the woman in the Sca tend to lean more towards wines, liqueurs and 
meads.  There are less women brewers in Ansteorra than fingers on my 

  I would also venture that you should consider yet another aspect:  when 
  did brewing become more predominantly a guild activity?  Perhaps the 
  masculine angle comes from both general consumption (how many women 
  generally frequented the taverns?) and public production (how many women 
  were part of the brewing guilds?)
>The only women at such activities tend to be the significant others of male 
>homebrewers.  If we lived further north where fruits and berries were more 
>common, we may would see more women as vintners.
        Is that true?  I know Isabella or ork, who has been posting
recently on this list is from the Eastern area.   Are there more brewers in 
the Northern part of the US who are brewers.  Is Ansteorra, unusual for the 
amount of brewers.  Personally I don't think so since Isabella mentioned 
she was happy to talk to another female brewer (during Gulf War)  How many 
Brewers are in Ansteorra that are female?

  There seem to be more North and East of Ansteorra; however, these areas 
  are also more populace.  The general mix of men and women in brewing, 
  vintning, and mazing you see in Ansteorra is present from here to the 
  East Coast.  My principal experience is Atlantia and the East Kingdom.  
  It is also my experience from judging competitions at Pennsic.  

And these are brewers not cordiallers.... that would change the 

  Most definitely.  For my part, I believe you should always include 
  the cordiallers.  They are all brewing arts to me.  I know others 
  feel it is not brewing unless the active cultivation of yeast is each his own.  I also consider vinegars a part of the 
  brewing arts (of course, not usually the prouder aspect of our art).  
  In fact, the Interkingdom Brewers Guild recognizes the following 
  areas: 1) beers and ales; 2) wines, ciders, and cysers; 3) meads, 
  metheglins, and melomels; 4) cordials and liqueurs; 5) exotic drinks 
  (e.g., kumis and kefir); 6) vinegars and 7) distilled beverages (I 
  know, I know--an all-American no-no).

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