The Spooky History of Witches and Home Brewed Beer
Beer was first brewed by women, before men became domesticated and learned to cook for themselves and others. It's a well known fact about the history of mankind that women were traditionally the ones to stay at home and cook, make clothing, and run the household while men would leave the home to hunt and provide food for the family, back in the early days of civilization.
What you may not be familiar with is the history of home brewed beer and it's connection to witches throughout history. You could guess that the heavily used term "witches brew" might have something to do with women brewing beer, just from revealing the hint that beer and witches are joined by a spooky history together, and you would be right. But it goes deeper than that.
In the history of early beer brewing, when women brewed beer for their home, they often had plenty of beer leftover to share with others. So they began selling their beer to their neighbors and everyone in their local community.
To advertise their beer was available, women often wore tall pointy hats to signify that they were a beer brewer and make it easy for the public to see that they had beer. This is where the witches hat we know today was conceived.
The brewers would also sweep their front step often throughout the day with a broom while wearing the hat, to show that they were open for business and the beer was available right now because they had "cleaned up for company". This is how the witches broom became so iconic.
Another way women advertised their beer was available was to brew in their large kettles outside, where the community could see and smell the beer brew, while also observing them in their tall pointy hat, to help draw customers in whilst letting them know the beer was available for the public to purchase. Hence, the vivid visuals we all know and love of the witches brew over the big, bubbling cauldron.
And finally, the fact that we tend to envision a female character as a witch alongside all of these unforgettable symbols of witchery, comes from the fantastical history of beer brewing and it's beginnings with women brewers paving the way. I'll drink to that! Cheers!!