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Madame Beer – a beerography

If beer were a human being, it would be a woman. This may perhaps sound harsh for many male beer-lovers, (me included) but the facts brook no contradiction. Just a quick look at the constituents suffices to prove it. Only the cones of female hop plants produce aromatic substances and lupulin. The former create the tangy taste, and the latter the easily digestible effect – male cones, by contrast, can do neither.

But that’s not all. Male hops are regularly uprooted on the farms, so as to prevent the female plants from being fertilised. Fertilised cones, you see, mean weak head formation in the finished beer – an unmitigated disaster. Admittedly: for us men, this is a sobering thought, in the truest sense of the word.

But it’s not only the botanists or the hop farmers who will confirm that there’s a fundamental link between femininity and beer. Historians too, have something to say on this subject. Among the ancient Sumerians, who 5,000 years ago were already distinguishing between twenty different kinds of beer, it was primarily women who refined the art of brewing – at least, that’s what it says on some of the ancient tablets from this era. True story!

In late antiquity, beer was then the exclusive domain of women. Used as household remedies and medicines for all conceivable illnesses, the housewives experimented to find the best mixture. At regular beer get-togethers, neighbours tried each other’s beers and exchanged recipes – today’s pub regulars meeting up on a Saturday night come across as total amateurs by comparison.

A few hundred years later: the Middle Ages. You might think that here it was only monks who were e stationed at the brewing vats. Franziskaner, Paulaner, Augustiner and so on – all of the familiar names. But in the nunneries, too, there was plenty of brewing going on. This enabled the nuns to earn a bit of money on the side. Historical sources show that as from the 12th century at the latest beer was being brewed in Regensburg’s Obermünster Convent. The abbesses themselves supervised the brewing process. So beer was a top-level remit in nunneries.

But it was not only among the Catholic sisters that beer was brewed by God’s will, so to speak. Martin Luther’s wife also ran a brewery of her own, and thus boosted the household income of the great reformer. A vital contribution to ecumenical concord.

And today? It would appear that things are moving now: brewing workshops exclusively for women are being, beer brands created that are produced only by female brewers. The increasing diversity of the beers on offer (Craft Beer and Co) contributes welcome diversity in the shape of new aromas, and is often particularly appreciated by the ladies. This can be observed in our company as well: in the run-up to Christmas, two of our female blog authors (Angelika and Julia) tested some beer calendars and came up with results that will cause any man to seriously doubt his knowledge of beer. And the fact that most of the articles on our craft beer blog are penned by female authors speaks volumes. So beer is a woman – and at Krones there are quite a few of them.

But that’s enough stereotypes for now – this male-female thing, of course, is just as inapplicable to beer as to many other things. With beer, you see, one thing is paramount: enjoyment. After all, (almost) all of us just love the way it tastes.


If you’re interested in some female brewing experiments, we’ve listed some articles below 🙂

We’re the masters of the seven beers!

Brewing kvass – Trying it at home

A magical brewing experiment

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Jimmy M.A. Evelyn at 21. February 2016

Let's not get beer into the issues of gender, it's a great product made for enjoyment, let's keep it so.

Stephanie Tschautscher at 22. February 2016

You're totally right! That's in the sense of the author (see last paragraph). Have a nice day :)

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