By Diane Sepanski
Move over, men: The trailblazers of beer-brewing are back.
For most of its history, beer was women’s work, brewed in home kitchens and sold by alewives – in fact, the oldest known beer recipe pays homage to Ninkasi, the Sumerian beer goddess. Lately,
a froth of female brewers is recouping that heritage, skewed male during the Industrial Revolution, with flavorful results.
At Albuquerque’s Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. – the only Native woman-owned brewery in the U.S. – Shyla Sheppard employs local ingredients such as blue corn and guajillo chilies to produce lagers, stouts, and sours that taste of the desert.
Its slogan, “About Damn Time,” double-nods to River Watch Brewery’s status as Augusta, Georgia’s first local brewhouse since Prohibition and the mother-daughter team, Brey and Anne Sloan, who helm it, crafting everything from hopped-up IPAs to tripels.
Master brewer Kaori Oshita has pioneered Japanese craft beer at Osaka’s Minoh Brewing, winning World Beer Awards for nine years running.
In Bavaria, Mallersdorf Abbey’s Sister Doris Engelhard may just be the movement’s grandmother: She’s been serving God by brewing beer since 1975.
Top photo: A beer flight from River Watch Brewery.