During Medieval England Woman Dominated The Brewing Industry

Samuel Reason | December 11th, 2018

During the 18th century if you happened to travel around England, then you will have come across an Alewife, there were several notorious ones such as Mother Louse. In fact, during this era, woman dominated the whole of the brewing industry. Also known as a Brewer or a Brewster, this historical term Alewife was used for all woman who made ale for commercial use.

cvltnation.com

The term was first seen recorded in 1393 and simply meant a woman who kept ale in her home, and it is now commonly used as a translation when the document is talking about any woman who brewed or sold ale since the beginning of time.

It is strange that in modern times the profession has indeed been taken over completely by males, but the origin of the brewing profession goes as far back as ancient Greece and was in most cases performed by women. In fact, women brewed the majority of ale for both domestic and commercial use in the whole of England. This was before the great plague which caused the black death, after this period then males started to take over the trade.

During medieval times, without any modern refrigerating, ale would go sour after a few days. This mean consumption was very high, historians believe it was in the realm of a gallon per person per day. Because in England, it was the most affordable and clean beverage readily available. In most cases, due to the brewing, ale was safer to drink than water.

Historians believe the female domination of the trade, would have been down to it being a craft that could be learned and passed down by family knowledge. It did not require any need of going to a school and becoming a specialist, which was still very difficult to do at the time. And as a trade in medieval Europe, if you were known Alewife, then it could be a very lucrative and successful career for you! Essentially because it was a very stable profession: everyone wanted to drink ale!

Next Article
  • First Toothbrush Was Actually A Chewbrush

    Some think of toothbrushes as being man’s best friend and that this award is not actually occupied by dogs. In modern times, people have indeed voted that toothbrush is one of the greatest inventions that we cannot live without. In surveys, it beats microwaves, automobiles, and television - but it is interesting to look at...

    Read More
  • Oldest Organism On Earth Only Reproduce Every 10,000 Years

    Researchers who have been working with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have discovered new bacteria, fungi, and viruses living a mile under the ocean floor that are thought to be millions of years old. The incredible discovery shines some light on how old species on Earth really are, with...

    Read More
  • One Rickshaw Driver Was Able To Help Educate Hundreds Of Poor Children

    A famous rickshaw driver by the name of Mr. Bai Fang Li is a folklore legend in his home region, having helped hundreds of poor children afford education during his lifetime. Most people believe in relaxation when getting older, especially as they retire, but not Mr. Li who continued his donation lifestyle until the very...

    Read More
  • The Vine That Is A Master Mimic

    When it comes to changing into something else or camouflaging, the world is filled with organisms that can do this. The Chameleon is, of course, the most famous one, that can alter its color and blend in with its background. And in the insect world, you will find butterflies that mimic toxic insect or sticks...

    Read More
  • The Secret Ingredient To Victorian Leather Was Dog Poop

    Back in time, dog poop was an extremely valuable resource for leather makers. Every coat, handbag, briefcase or any sort of leather goods was created by using dog poop to an extent. So as you can imagine some entrepreneurs around the city of London found a way to benefit from this ever-growing need for dog...

    Read More
  • The Invention Of Artificial Sweetener Was By Accident

    Constantin Fahlberg was a famous Russian chemist who by accident discovered an artificial sweetener by the name of saccharin, this allowed him to become extremely wealthy by mass producing it for the public Here is his story. The artificial sweetener was known as the new coal tar sugar, and despite...

    Read More
  • Extreme Ironing Is A Real Sport

    Yes, you heard it right, extreme ironing is a real and practiced extreme sport around the world. It is known as a tough sport to get good at because it is one of the only outdoor sports that combines both the dangers and excitement of an extreme sport, with the well known and loved the...

    Read More
  • The Famous MI5 Double Cross System From World War II

    Espionage and spying really went to a whole new level during World War II and continued to become an important part of modern warfare during the Cold War. The British Security Service or as known by their cover title the MI5 used an amazing double cross system that caused every single German spy to be...

    Read More