By Judith M. Bennett
Girls brewed and offered many of the ale under the influence of alcohol in medieval England, yet after 1350, males slowly took over the exchange. by means of 1600, such a lot brewers in London - in addition to in lots of cities and villages - have been male, now not woman. Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England investigates this transition, asking how, whilst, and why brewing ceased to be a women's exchange and have become a alternate of guys. Drawing on a wide selection of assets - similar to literary and creative fabrics, court docket documents, debts, and administrative orders - Judith Bennett vividly describes how brewsters (that is, girl brewers) slowly left the alternate. She tells a narrative of business progress, gild formation, altering applied sciences, leading edge laws, and at last, enduring principles that associated brewsters with drunkenness and disease. reading this example of likely dramatic switch in women's prestige, Bennett argues that it incorporated major components of continuity. girls will possibly not have brewed in 1600 as usually as they'd in 1300, yet they nonetheless labored predominantly in low-status, low-skilled, and poorly remunerated initiatives. utilizing the reviews of brewsters to rewrite the heritage of women's paintings throughout the upward push of capitalism, Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England deals a telling tale of the patience of patriarchy in a time of dramatic fiscal switch.
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Extra resources for Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600
23 Indeed, even 100 years after the Black Death, many brewers produced at most a few dozen gallons of ale at a time. 24 Once brewed, ale was marketed in fairly rudimentary ways. Local selling was the rule, for ale — souring quickly and enduring badly the jostling, juggling, and changes in temperature of transport by ship, horse, or cart—was a poor candidate for long-distance trade. 25 Direct marketing was also the rule. 26 Most brewers sold their ale directly to neighbors, either in domo or extra domo, that is, either for consumption in the brewer's house or for consumption off the premises.
Ordinary folk certainly did not drink ale in the quantities enjoyed by those more privileged, and their ale was less strong and palatable. 7 In aggregate terms, production of ale was already immense by the early fourteenth century. 8 At this time, brewing was a fairly straightforward process that required widely known skills and widely available tools. Some brewers purchased malt, but others began by malting their grain. Barley, which would become the favored brewing grain of the sixteenth century, was by no means preferred in the early fourteenth century; many brewers used more oats than barley, and wheat and dredge (a combination of oats and barley) were also sometimes malted.
But it would be a mistake to underestimate its importance. Our most direct evidence of domestic brewing comes from elite households. In 1333-34, the household of Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, brewed about 8 quarters of barley and dredge each week, each quarter yielding about 60 gallons of ale. Brewing varied by the season of the year, with vast amounts produced in December (when more than 3,^00 gallons were brewed) and quite restricted production in February (only 8 i o gallons). The members of the Clare household drank strong ale throughout the year, imbibing with particular gusto during the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year.