Chances are the beer you’re drinking right now was made by a male brewer. I mean it’s statistically more likely than the chances it was brewed by a brewster, and old term for a female brewer. The beer I’m drinking was made by a female, but you’re going to have read this whole post to find out why that’s significant.
Things are a bit different than they were in the dark ages, when women ruled the breweries of the world with iron fists and accumulated beer knowledge passed down woman to woman since someone accidentally knocked some grain in to some water and then somehow drank the rank byproduct only to discover that it made for a light head and a happy disposition.
Men took over brewing when it became commercially viable, or, more likely, when women really started raking in the dough.
It’s sad really. For thousands of years women ran breweries, likely developed the use of hops in beer, carefully nurtured recipes from mother to daughter and probably saved the third of the medieval world who survived the plagues. (I’m generalizing here, so don’t knock me for inaccuracies)
Today it is a fine group of men who labor to give us great beer, but fortunately we’re starting to see a resurgence of brewsters kicking kettles, watching the wort and bettering the beer.
A wonderful friend of mine, Jen Kent, from Thompson’s Brewery and Public House in Salem, Oregon, is one of them. We designated her brew goddess a long time ago in an article I can’t find online anymore. Jay Brooks paid her a fine compliment here, if you’d like to read more about her.
Jen is one of only a handful of women in the Northwest to take the reigns of a brewery. And she’s done it with much aplomb. She has a great food prep background, which really allowed her to organize and get the cooking process that is what brewing is.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve noticed that there are not as many brewsters in Montana, something that could be owing to the fact that there are not as many breweries here, but I don’t think so.
I know Colleen Bitters is an assistant brewer at Kettlehouse Brewing Co., but I’d like to find out if there are more up and coming female brewsters in this state. If you know of one, please comment with their names and respective breweries.
So in honor of Jen, Colleen and Sara Barton, who brewed the beer, I’m consuming a Brewster’s Brewing Co. Mata Hari.
Named after the original spy who shagged me, a World War I exotic dancer/spy who was executed by firing squad in 1917, this tasty British beer conjures up light and airy days free from the heaviness of winter, but not yet sultry and sweet like summer.
Bottle conditioned to a fine copper finish, this beer is a great example of the world-wide microbrewed beer revolution. Hoppy to a fault but not overdone, the fuggles, Northdown and progress hops combine for an herbal, spicy characteristic that sort of changes to lash the tongue throughout the experience. The malt backbone is pronounced, but this beer is decidedly light on mouthfeel. The unique hop aroma and bitterness keep this beer going to the end because a slight grassy sweetness from the malt seems to balance it out.