By Madhulika Dash
Beer – an archetypal man's drink, isn’t it? But tell that to a master Brewster and you are likely to get surprised. Beer, says seasoned brew specialist, Pratekk Chturvedi, “Isn’t a man’s drink at all. In fact, much against the machoism it has been associated with, beer’s early years (till teenager at least) were spent in the woman’s domain, where it was designed, sampled, reviewed and popularized.”
Unbelievable but true! Beer, says the alchemist, “Not only were brewed by woman, they had the license to sell it too. In fact, two of the oldest fresh beer – namely, the bride ale, and the groaning – were made specially to celebrate events in a woman’s life. While Bride Ale was made by the woman folk in the bride’s family, groaning was to celebrate new motherhood.”
Ancient Rome, Egypt and later the European monasteries authorized only the nuns to brew beer, distribute it and even review it before it was sent to the market. Little wonder that Romans considered Hathor, the God of Beer (and Crops), the most important celestial being of all.
Fascinatingly, little has changed in ages – even as beer shifted to the man’s domain. Beer, especially the freshly brewed kinds, say the expert, “doesn’t only follow the traditional rules set by the early brewers, but also needs the same cajoling, nurturing and understanding as a woman in a relationship. In that sense, beer is a lot like its original masters - woman.”
This Woman’s Day, we get you five interesting freshly brewed beer – each an ode to that single endearing quality that makes you one.