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Wine Enthusiast Podcast: A Brief History of Women in Brewing

Illustration by Rachel Joan Wallis

Evidence suggests that humans have been brewing and drinking beer for at least 13,000 years. Whether or not you’re a staunch believer in the theory that it was beer, not bread, that prompted our early ancestors to transition from hunter-gathers to farmers, the beverage has clearly played a key role in mankind’s history.

Additionally, while brewing in the United States is largely a male-dominated field, women have been integral parts of the brewing process throughout history. From goddesses to tavern operators, we see evidence of women and brewing throughout the ages. We can see it in ancient religion, art and texts from around the world.

In this episode, the first in a three-part series on women in drinks history, we take a look at women’s role in brewing throughout the ages.

Digital Editor Kristen Richard, a wannabe history buff, and Travis Rupp, the Beer Archeologist and lecturer in classics, art history, anthropology and mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, talk about the magnificence of women’s history in brewing.

Be sure to check out this article for more on women’s role in brewing beer throughout history and this story on how beer influenced humanity worldwide. You can also read up on the underground spaces where drinking while female was a radical act, how eight women changed gin history or notable first women in wine history.