BVC - women and brewing

Damaris of Greenhill damaris at
Sat Apr 3 03:55:27 PST 1999

N.D. Wederstrandt wrote:
> 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 think I would have to look at it myself and ask why do I like doing
it?  You know I first got interested in it, back in my college days when
I attended Abilene Christian.  At the time in history (or rather
'herstory' as the case may be)  Abilene, Texas was dry.  No drinking. 
AMOF, rules at the school strictly forbade alcohol consumption.  This
particular summer I was taking organic chemistry in summer school.  The
subject of ethanol synthesis came up.  I was intrigued by this and
purchased a book or two, (which I still have) and began to explore
recipe's.  I guess I did it for the whole rebellion against authority

As a brewer today, especially in today's middle ages, I look at myself
and I don't feel like an artist.  My approach and my feeling is that of
a scientist.  This is a natural process and as a scientist, (mundanely
as well) I like knowing 'why' things are.

As far as women brewers go, in the SCA, I would think that there would
be more than there is.  Clare, you mentioned yourself, myself, Sosha,
and Magdelena.  I know Mistress Eowyn has played around with it and also
Mistress Reginleif.  Mistress Meadhbh, has done some cordialing.  But
they are the only ones I know of besides the ones you mentioned.  I
would like to see more ladies try it. 

In the middle ages, and I'm not too sure of my facts on this so fill in
for me (its 5:41 am on Sat.  What can I say, I'm getting ready to
brew).  When the monasteries began to produce beer, ale, wine, and
spirits we saw the practice of women doing home brewing die off, isn't
that correct?  It seems to have been a man's domain ever since.  I
believe Liu Ch'ang mentioned that mundane homebrewing competitions are
primarily male.  I have seen women at Austin Brewing supply purchasing
materials but only a fraction of the men I've seen there.

BTW Clare, thanks for taking the time to provide these titles to the
list.  Also for throwing out some interesting questions.  I don't post
too much here, but this inspired some early morning ramblings.  

Happy brewing everyone.

Oh Dear Me! girl finals.(anagram of "Damaris of Greenhill")
Swindle sauna		(anagram of "Susan Wieland")
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