Barley’s Angels is a growing collection of individual chapters around the world that work with craft beer focused breweries, brewpubs, restaurants, alehouses and other public beer establishments to advance the female consumer craft beer enthusiast, resulting in increased patronage and revenue from women, while encouraging education and interest in beer among this often under-recognized demographic group.
WHAT WE ARE NOT
Barley’s Angels is not just a social, beer-drinking club for women. Barley’s Angels respect beer and brewing, have a thirst for education, enjoy beer responsibly and act appropriately at all times.
The following is adapted from an article written by Barley’s Angels Co-Founder, Lisa Morrison, for Beer Northwest magazine:
In many cultures, beer is often thought of as a man’s drink, thanks to big-dollar advertising for decades that has insinuated that if a man drinks that particular (big) brewery’s wares, he will be funnier, stronger, richer, and sexier.
But before those flickering images began to appear on televisions; before words were heard on radios; before the first printing press was invented; and, some say, even before petroglyphs appeared on ancient man’s walls, beer belonged to women.
The late Alan D. Eames, a cultural anthropologist whose explorations into the meaning of beer took him to some of the least-traveled places on Earth, said that ancient legends from many cultures tell how a goddess took pity on mankind by giving us a gift after famine, disease, war, death and all other horrors were unleashed on the world.
In the often-told Greek version of the tale, Pandora finds at the bottom of her box a gift that can spare mankind: Hope. In another version of the same tale, though, a tribal African Pandora repeats the ill-fated move. But instead of hope, the gift to save mankind at the bottom of this box is a gourd of beer. This cup of bliss was given by the goddess to her daughters to relieve her suffering children — a soothing sip to bring joy and warmth, provide nourishment (beer is liquid bread, after all) and inspire storytelling (the passing of traditions), song and dance.
According to Eames, the African tribal Pandora’s story is not an anomaly: In the mythologies of all ancient societies, beer was a gift to women from goddesses, never a gift to men or from male deities.
As beer became more prevalent, its intoxicating properties were considered to be the work of deities. In ancient civilizations, women who brewed were held in higher esteem. Many brewers (there was no need to differentiate between genders because all brewers were women at this time) were considered High Priestesses because they could capture the deities in their cups. A few sips of this deity and cares would magically disappear …
Ladies, it’s time we got our malty mojo back.
Obviously, women don’t need a club or group to enjoy a good beer, but the power of women together can transcend beyond the usual into a force that borders on the magical. When we combine our strengths and our imaginations and encourage each other to explore new and exciting beers with us in a supportive environment, we learn more, we create more — and we have more fun. That’s what Barley’s Angels is all about!