Alewives, Brewsters, and Gruits: A History of Women in Beer

February 5, 2020 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Heurich House
1307 New Hampshire Ave

The modern stereotype of a craft brewer as a bearded white man wearing a flannel, is the opposite of the historic truth – that for over 5,000 years, was the provenance of women and people of color.

The Sumerians (1800 BC), the earliest people to leave evidence of beer-drinking, revered a goddess of beer, Ninkasi, and the only woman on their list of Kings, Kubaba, earned her place through her brewing skill. From 500 AD onward, female Alewives or Brewsters made large quantities of beer for their families and sold the extra, bringing in income and sometimes setting up bars in their homes. As beer moved out of the home (1200-1500 AD) and began to be sold internationally, the shift from women to men occurred through the creation of brewers’ guilds. Overtime, like Christian Heurich’s mother in 19th century Germany, women’s role shifted to that of a tavern or inn keeper, which likely meant they were still brewing the beer.

What does female beer leadership look like in 2020? On Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 6-8pm, join the Heurich House Museum and Pizzeria Paradiso to dive deeper into the role women had in shaping the beer we drink today. Kimberly Bender, Executive Director the museum, will lead a conversation with Drew McCormick, Beer Director at Pizza Paradiso; Julie Verratti, Co-Owner of Denizens; Therea McCulla, Curator of the American Brewing History Initiative; and Bridgette Turner, Lead Brewer, 2 Silos Brewing



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