For this month's newsletter, our accounts and export manager, Kate has written an article celebrating women in brewing.
With the occurrence of International Women’s Day in March, it felt only right that our next topic discussed was the role of women in brewing.
It’s a little known fact that the original ‘brewsters’ of beer were almost always female. Whilst agriculture has always been seen as ‘man’s domain’, the preparation of food and drink has traditionally fallen to women in most societies since time immemorial. For centuries, women were the ones to make the beer/drink that sustained and nourished their menfolk. It was only with the introduction of hops from Europe which gave beer a longer shelf life and more flavour variety, and the negative images given to female brewers and ale wives in the 15th and 16th Centuries by men who feared being given short measures, that brewing became a more male dominated industry.
Thankfully, much has changed since those times, and the international and UK brewing industry is a lot better for it!
The current UK brewing industry is becoming a much more even playing field in terms of women brewers and the real ale revolution in the early 00’s followed by the craft beer evolution in recent years has done much to help this. Beer has lost its ‘masculine’ persona and many breweries now are embracing the fact that their beers are enjoyed by both male and female drinkers.
Notable figures in the brewing industry are women such as Claire Monk of Welbeck Abbey Brewery, Jaega Wise of Wild Card Brewery and Sara Barton of Brewsters Brewery who was the first woman to win the Brewer of the Year award by the British Guild of Beer Writers.
One thing that has become abundantly clear is that women who drink beer do not want to drink ‘women specific’ beer! Bottles coloured pink, or flavoured with fruit to mask bitterness is not acceptable. As this Czech brewer found!
Here at Wold Top we’ve never tried to brew beers specifically for women, our aim is just to brew well balanced, great tasting beer using the very best ingredients we can source/grow. Our beer may not be brewed by women, but our brewery is run by them! From co-founder Gill, to current co-director Kate, ably assisted by Jenni, Vicky, Anne, Chloe and Louize. Wold Top is powered by women!
Pictured above, Alex and I are the proud parents of two year old twins Beth and Tilly who may well be future women in brewing.