I love beer… oh and witch lore
Two of my favorite things in fact! I enjoy brewing ales, stouts, and shandies as well as drinking them so when I discovered a connection between alewives and accused witches of old, I had to delve deeper.
Turns out, there were a couple things at play here. One, people were afraid women with careers wouldn’t want children so some places even banned women between the ages of 14 and 40 from being alewives! Over time, men took over the biz while women with knowledge of how to mix herbs and brewing ales were accused of witchcraft.
Turns out, there were a couple things at play here. One, people were afraid women with careers wouldn’t want children so some places even banned women between the ages of 14 and 40 from being alewives! Over time, men took over the biz and women with knowledge of how to mix herbs and brewing, were suddenly accused of witchcraft.
Prior to the accusations and witch trials that killed thousands of innocent women, it fell on women to produce beer. There’s evidence that beer is one of the only things that got people through the dark ages. I know what you’re thinking. Beer, really? But drinking water was often polluted by waste when it was common to dump.
In the documentary, How Beer Saved the World, they even tested the theory by brewing beer with water from a duck pond. They tested the water before and after the brewing process and found that the process destroyed the micro-organisms and nasty stuff you can imagine is in duck poop.
AND, our whole image of a typical witch, all came from real life alewives. Cats kept the rodents
out of the wheat and barley and the cauldrons brewed beer. Naturally, I had to find a way to use this in my Tales from the Salem Grimoire series. You can find Raven, and alewife and Millicent’s descendant in LA Witch. Due to release in 2019.
What I found most interesting was the blatant use of the public’s hysteria to take over a position of power. Strong women were pushed out and even killed for wanting a career instead of babies. I think it’s important to look at current events through a calm and understanding eye. Assume people are good and trying to do what’s best. And allow them to make mistakes but we also need to pay attention. We need to make sure we aren’t starting a new witch hunt.
And for women out there looking at the career of their dreams and worrying you’ll have to choose between work and family. Or that you’ll be judged for not having kids. It doesn’t matter what other people think. This is your only life, do what you want with it.
As a little girl, I always wanted to be a mom. For a while, I thought that meant I couldn’t have a career. But I was wrong. I have an amazing career while being home for my kids. I found a way to have the best of both worlds. You can too. You just have to look for it. And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an unfiltered lemonade shandy with my name on it.