Putting the ale in female: Men have women to thank for making beer popular
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:29 PM on 31st March 2010
It was women in their role as homemakers who drove the beverage's popularity as a home brew in the Middle Ages. (Posed by model)
It may be, ahem, beerly believable for fans of a pint but it seems men have women to thank for their favourite tipple.
Jane Peyton, an author and historian, says the fairer sex are behind the popularity of beer, and have been involved in its production since brewing began between 7,000 and 9,000 years before Christ.
And in Britain, it was women in their role as homemakers who drove the beverage's popularity as a home brew in the Middle Ages.
Back then, drinking ale was more common than water for most people, even children, because water was often contaminated.
Only over the past 500 years have men started to muscle in on the act, when commercial breweries began to be set up and the product was taken out of the home.
Mrs Peyton said: 'For thousands of years women brewed beer. It was part of the daily diet and therefore part of a woman's domestic chores to produce.
'I can imagine it will come as a shock to many men, but they've got women to thank for their beer.
'It is only in comparatively recent times that men became involved in the brewing process.'
Known as brewsters, women brewed the vast majority of ale drunk in Britain until the 14th century.
In Britain today, only 13 per cent of women choose beer over other drinks, compared with 40 per cent on the Continent.
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