Women’s Day Campaign

Monday, August 8th, 2016

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Without women, we would not have had beer.

While many of you may know that the story of beer is one that goes back thousands of years, you might not know that this story is only known because of a woman’s touch. Yes, the brew we call beer might not have stood the test of time if it wasn’t for women.

Since the beginning of beer, women have been instrumental in brewing it. In fact, women have been the driving force behind much of the world’s beer production. It all started with the ‘hunters and gatherers’ – While men were out hunting, women would gather the ingredients that they needed for food and drink.

“Beer was food and food preparation was the domain of females. Ale was traditionally made in the home and brewed for the family. It was part of the daily diet for everyone – children included. It provided nutrition and was a safe source of drinking water. Anything left over was usually sold, often providing a valuable income for households.”

Jane Peyton, alcohol historian and author of Beer O’Clock: Craft, Cask and Culture.

Women carried the torch of brewing for many years. Recipes and brewing secrets were passed on from generation to generation. Without their input and refining, beer might have been lost altogether.

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When did things change?

At first, brewing beer was seen as more of a domestic chore as it would be brewed for the household. Over time, people started to realise that their brew could be profitable. This took the production of beer from the home into factories and out of the control of women (mainly because at that time, in many places, women were not seen as equal and did not have the right to own their own businesses). Beer production became largely a male thing.

Did you know that the word bridal even comes from bride-ale? This was a special ale that a bride would brew and sell at their wedding to help pay for costs.


Women are bringing it back

Throughout the world women are starting to take beer back, choosing to drink it and getting involved in the industry. This is great news because beer should never be just a guy thing. It is a taste that should transcend genders. In fact, women’s empowerment and gender diversity are key to a sustainable future for beer and SABMiller.

Did you know that women make better taste testers than men because they have twice as many taste buds?

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Thank you to all the women who are making a difference in the beer industry. Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at who these women are, and how they are making a difference, so keep your eyes peeled.

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