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Meet the modern-day BEER MAKERS

For hundreds of years, making beer was considered women’s work. How it became male territory (along with beer drinking) is a story for another time, but the good news is that change is brewing. Emma Sturgess meets three women who are reshaping the industry

people.

W hat do Jane Austen, St Brigid of Kildare and Sumerian goddess Ninkasi have in common? One way or another (Brigid did a nifty trick with her bathwater), they all made beer.

For centuries, putting a drink on the table was women’s work. Most medieval English ale was brewed and sold by women. By 1600 things had shifted, and female ‘brewsters’ had largely been replaced by men. That didn’t stop domestic brewers like Jane Austen making ‘small beer’ for household consumption, but it left a commercial legacy that was hard to shift. Today, however, there are around 1,700 breweries in the UK and the industry is peopled by powerful women, from Brigid Simmonds, head of the British Beer and Pub Association, to Melissa Cole, author of Let Me Tell You About Beer (Pavilion Books).

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) says there’s been a substantial rise in female real ale drinkers, while the UK and Ireland now have 26 beer sommeliers who are women. It’s not enough to advise us all on a pint quite yet, but it’s a start. Meet three of the trendsetters – and try their recipes.

THE ACCIDENTAL BREWSTER

EMILY SCOTT, ST TUDY INN, CORNWALL

She never expected to pull a pint, never mind brew one. But in 2015 chef Emily Scott became the licensee of the St Tudy Inn, near Wadebridge. She knew that she’d have to nurture drinkers as well as diners. “I’m the least likely landlady,” she says, “but one of the best places to be is behind your own bar. The drinking side is so important.”

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About delicious. Magazine

February’s chill needs warming delicious. cheer: you'll find it in month’s feature-packed issue: American pancakes 3-ways; definitive Sunday roasts (lamb & chicken); cooking with clams; recipes with citrus zing; the best TV chill-out snacks; 3-in-1 beef stew; wholesome baking with Jordan Bourke; Chetna Makan’s feelgood brunch; the power of pulses; lighter comfort food; queen of puddings; DIY English muffins; Som Saa's Thai curry and much, much more… What are you waiting for?