Brewsters, Alewives and Beer Witches: Women and Brewing in Medieval and Early Modern Culture
“She who has her thumb in the people’s beer mugs also has her hand on the levers of power”.
Throughout the Middle Ages women both produced and sold most of the ale drunk in England.
As such female brewers, or brewsters as they were known, occupied an ambivalent place in medieval society. They were simultaneously integral and essential providers for their communities – with ale providing the basic liquid sustenance during the period – but were also viewed as grotesque figures of mistrust and suspicion who were associated with witchcraft and satanic communion. Viewing medieval women through the lens of brewing allows us an insight into the gender dynamics that underpin social and economic power, as well as the principles that guide medieval religious culture. So join us for a talk and a tipple with beer available from local brewery GWB.
Lecture given by Lewis Prosser and Megan Jones
£5 per person