get behind me seitan! (darkmugen) wrote in geekbeer,
get behind me seitan!

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witches and beer, did you know?

I just had a conversation on The Northern Brewer Homebrew forum.
A guy jokingly told me I should were a pointy hat and add eye of newt and bats wings to my herbal ale recipes when I brew them. here's some stuff I told him.

Actually alewives the female brewers of england did have pointy hats. The ale stake was a broom or sick placed upright or over doors in front of alehouses to advertise fresh ale. It eventually was placed sticking out from the building which led to signs being hung from it which is still done today. Pointy hats, brooms, cauldrons, witches brews and a lot of other imagery now associated with Witches and Witchcraft is basically church propaganda. It comes to us in part from the middle ages and the protestant church's push to take over brewing medicine and subsequent persecution of brewsters(female brewers) and the herbal healing ales they brewed. These brewsters were often healers and herbalists as well as brewers. Beer was thought to be critical to good health and longevity. Throughout western history women presided over the making of beer and as far back as ancient Sumer were usually controlled by women. Brewsters eventually became accused of witchcraft and a tremendous amount of women were killed as the church and other male institutions got into the brewing and healing business.

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