Women Invented Beer — Really!

Beer has come a long way in its 5,000-year history. Today, women as brewery owners, brewers, beertenders, beer writers and beer consumers are rapidly chipping away at the perception of beer as a man’s drink. For centuries from beer’s inception, though, beer was intrinsically linked to women.

The first written beer recipe is considered to be the Hymn to Ninkasi, circa 1800 B.C. Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of beer, and the Sumerians were one of the first peoples who left us hard evidence of beer-drinking. Beer predates that recipe, though: Archaeologists have placed the first fermented beverage consumption at roughly 9,000 years ago and the first signs of beer, specifically, about 4,000 years later. Many believe beer propelled the shift from Paleolithic to Neolithic civilization when hunter-gatherers realized they’d have to settle in one place to reliably harvest grain.

Right from the start, brewing, a kitchen task, was women’s work.


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