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Housewives made Beer

Updated: May 23, 2023

Beer is a man's drink, right? It certainly is, but did you know that historically brewing was done by women? Yes, even in Franconia, Germany, a region considered to be the birthplace of beer, brewing was considered women's work for most of beer history.

As you know, Göller Brewery is situated in Franconia, near some archeological digs revealed some of the most ancient brewing in the world. The Kulmbach findings (in Franconia) show beer being made 3,000 years ago by hausfrauen (housewives), as it was until monks and nuns took over the practice in the Middle Ages. The type of beer brewed by these housewives was pretty thick ale, made from half-baked bread soaking in water. Basically, housewives made beer because this beverage was a part of daily domestic life, like cooking and cleaning. We don't think it was super high quality stuff, not like the beer you get from Göller 3,000 years later, but it was nourishing, and the men loved it! Here is another surprise. Did you know that something similar happened in the United States in the early days? Small farms in Kansas could not depend on beer from a local pub, so they often made it themselves. And who made it? You guessed it: housewives! This painting from the 1940's, by rural artist Doris Lee, reveals a Kansas farm at harvest time. The men sit down for lunch while the women bring out the home brews.

I like to think that our company, Ancient Craft Imports, based in Paxico, Kansas, carries on this ancient tradition of beer begun in Franconia 3,000 years ago. Brauerei Göller is still today a family-run business, with every family member involved. Likewise Ancient Craft Imports strives to keep the Toenjes family working together to bring ancient craft beer to America.

Have you tasted history in a bottle yet?

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