THE DEVIL’S IN THE DRAUGHT LINES – 1000 years of women in Britain’s beer history
Once our ancient ancestors discovered that by settling and cultivating grains they would have a regular and plentiful food source, it was only a matter of time before beer became a part of everyday life. And that beer was mainly made by women. For centuries, women brewers remained key participants in our beer trade, up to the Industrial Revolution when increased mechanisation, alongside Victorian societal constraints, conspired to push a lot of them out. From then on, commercial brewing was generally considered a male-led profession.
But things are changing. With the increase in new breweries, and a growing enthusiasm for beer, women are back at the helm at an ever-growing number of British brewers, large and small, reasserting their dominance in the industry.
This important book, meticulously researched by beer historian Dr Christina Wade, charts the rise and fall – and rise – of women in Britain’s brewing trade, and includes interviews with women working in today’s beer industries. It tells us the whole story, explaining the real reasons why women brewers became marginalised, while also debunking some tired old myths along the way.