Many people do not know where the craft brewing industry really began. Most search within their local region without considering that this industry was created many centuries ago in far distant countries! The truth of the matter is that our favorite beers were actually created by women. Yes, we said it. Craft breweries were once controlled by women throughout the world and the quality control was outstanding!
While the “industry” itself would not have been termed as such for a very long time, the craft itself developed thousands of years ago. In fact, legal codes dating back over 4,000 years to ancient Egypt have been found and Egyptian hieroglyphics show hints of the craft dating to over 5,000 years ago. How awesome is that?! What’s more, this craft was actually handled by women within the household. Yes, men, the women were creating that delicious brew you love thousands of years ago and there were even Babylonian laws stating the beer could NOT be watered down! Note to big business, we historically dislike watered-down beer!
You heard me, King Hammurabi himself refused to allow beer to be watered down. I suppose we really should expect that out of a king though right? However, if his standards were high, why shouldn’t ours be the same? Oh wait, they are and they have been for centuries!
While you may think that it makes no sense for women to have had such a strong hand in the brewing industry, there was actually a lot of sense in this choice. During that time, men were expected to work outside of the home, just as they are now. This meant that all of the needs within the home had to be met by the women. That included meals, brewing, clothing, and childcare as well as many other tasks.
In a time when quality was far more important than quantity, brewing was handled the same as any other task. Just as clothing needed to be of great quality to survive day-to-day wear, quality beer was necessary in order to make it last. And guess what folks, the ABV was much higher than today as well. This resulted in brews that were enjoyed in smaller amounts but had stronger effects.
Of course not. Although women are historically known for controlling the brewing industry, it does not mean they were the only ones capable of creating quality beer. After all, the monks did a pretty bang up job of it too and they certainly were not women. However, women did have a strong influence on the craft brewing industry for thousands of years and they are starting to show their talents again today!
Foundations such as the Pink Boots Society have popped up over time, showing that women are, yet again, showing their great talents in the craft brewing industry. We’re proud of this fact, as we love to see history repeat itself in such an outstanding way. From the long ago practices in Babylonia to the high standards they hold today, women are still going strong in this industry and we hope to see them flourish for years to come.