Tag Archives: beer drinking

Women beer-lovers host beer and cheese tasting

3 Oct

A group of beer-loving women is holding a beer and cheese tasting in central London next Wednesday, 8 October,  to encourage more women to discover the delights of our national drink.

Dea Latis – named after the Celtic goddess of beer and water – was established by a handful of women working in pubs and breweries, and hosts regular tastings to demonstrate beer’s versatility as a partner with different foods.  The beer and cheese tasting is being held on:

Date:               Wednesday 8th October

Time:              3.00 – 5.00 pm

Venue:            The Bishops Finger,  9-10 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9JR

Guests will be offered five different beer and cheese combinations, from goat’s cheese and fruit beer to traditional ale and cheddar. Hosting the event and explaining the beer and cheese matches is Annabel Smith, one of the country’s only female Beer Sommeliers.

Annabel says, “The hallmark of a great match of beer and cheese, or indeed any food and drink, is that they enhance each other’s taste.  Beer works especially well with cheese as its natural carbonation cuts through the fattiness of cheese – which is something wine can’t do.”

Tickets, including five beers, cheeses, expert talks and tea/coffee, cost £17 per person. Please visit our Eventbrite page to buy tickets:  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dea-latis-beer-and-cheese-tasting-tickets-12781994289?aff=es2&rank=0

Further information:    Ros Shiel, ros@shielporter.com

Lisa Harlow: lisa@lisaharlow.co.uk

Women: Beer is a libation for you to drink and brew too

6 Mar

Fellow Dea Latis enthusiast, beer sommelier, alcohol historian and blogger, Jane Peyton, has just had an article published in the Huffington Post and she has kindly allowed us to publish it here in time for International Women’s Day on 8th March – let’s say ‘cheers’ to that!

Here’s the irony – many women do not drink beer because they think it is masculine but of all alcoholic drinks beer has more female elements and connections than any other.  So, to celebrate International Women’s Day March 8, let’s raise a glass of something that our female ancestors invented.  Yes – women were the first brewers of beer.  For thousands of years women were the primary brewers and even today in parts of Africa and the South American rainforest where beer is made at home or on a communal village basis they still are.  In those societies men drink the beer but they have no role in its production.

No-one knows when beer was first brewed, or where but it was at least 9,000 years ago. Unconnected societies in the Amazon, Neolithic Chinese villages and settlements in the Middle East (what is now Iran and Iraq) brewed an alcoholic beverage made from whatever cereal was grown there. In the creation myths of many ancient cultures, beer was a gift to humanity from a woman or a goddess.   The major deities of beer are female – Ninkasi and Dea Latis are two of them. More practically, the yeast that ferments cereal or fruit sugars and creates alcohol reproduces asexually -its offspring are daughters, not sons.  And there is more.  Brewers use hops to contribute aromas, flavours, bitterness and as a natural preservative. It is the female part of the plant that is used in brewing, not the male. Hops are also a rich source of plant based female hormones (phytoestrogens) which is a partial reason why some beer drinking men have moobs and big bellies. Hops also act to suppress the male sexual drive and performance.  Brewers’ Droop exists!

Women who are put off beer believing they will grow a gut if they drink it should be aware of this fact.  Measure for measure beer has fewer calories than any other alcoholic drink.  A pint of typical pub beer at 4% alcohol by volume (ABV) is 190 calories.  A pint of wine (just more than 2 large glasses) is around 400 calories – more than twice the equivalent of the 4% ABV beer.  The calories in beer contain proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, no fat – and because they are fermented, those calories are four times more nutritious as beer than they are as barley in food.  It’s more likely to be a burger belly than a beer belly because unfortunately beer and salad do not go together as well as beer and pork scratchings.

Some women say they do not drink beer because it is bitter flavoured.  Women tend to be more sensitive to bitterness – most likely because of evolutionary factors.  Bitterness in nature is often a sign of danger so early nomadic societies where the women were out gathering food and test tasting it would avoid anything that was bitter.  Some beers are bitter, many are not.  Styles such as wheat beer, barley wine, imperial Russian stout often appeal to people who do not like bitterness.

In most countries the brewing industry is dominated by men. But there is nothing in the job of brewing that precludes women from doing it. Brewing is like cooking, but with bigger vessels and more washing up.  So any woman who enjoys devising or following recipes will find brewing satisfying indeed and the resulting beer makes people cheerful, and in moderation, is healthful.

On March 8th an international beer brewing celebration will take place when professional female brewers around the world all brew the same beer recipe on the same day.  Profits from the sale of Unite Pale Ale will be donated to charity.  The idea was the brainchild of Sophie de Ronde, head brewer at Brentwood Brewing Company in Essex and she persuaded dozens of her British counterparts and women in the USA, Italy Canada, Ireland, Israel, Australia and New Zealand to join in on the International Women’s Collaboration Brew as a way of enthusing women everywhere to drink beer or consider a career in brewing.

So lasses who are not already beer drinkers or brewers – come on let’s be having you!  Beer is a gender neutral drink that is a gift from nature to all humans. It is the world’s favourite alcoholic drink and women were central to beer from the beginning. Let’s be proud and acknowledge the role of women in something that brings so much joy, goodness and happy times.

Beer and chocolate tasting: 25th March, London

4 Mar

Date:               Tuesday 25th March

Time:              2.00 – 4.00 pm

Venue:            The Clarence, 53 Whitehall, London SW1A 2HP

We’re delighted to be staging our fifth annual Dea Latis Beer & Chocolate tasting. This time, we’re holding it central London and we hope many of you will be able to join us to taste two of our favourite things in life!

Once again, we’ll be tasting a number of chocolates with beers specially chosen to complement them, with guidance from beer sommelier Annabel Smith and other experts.

So whether you’re a lover of beer, or chocolate, or both, please join us for this enjoyable and informative event. Tickets, including beers, chocolates, expert talks and tea/coffee, cost £17 per person. Please visit our Eventbrite page to buy tickets:


If you have recently signed up to become a Dea Latis corporate member, discounted entry is available, please email lisa@lisaharlow.co.uk to put your name on the list.

Beer and Choc

A Dream Come Brew

26 Jan

Have you ever dreamed of brewing your own beer in a proper brewery as opposed to a bucket in the airing cupboard?  I have.  Many times.  Then last year I met Sara Barton, founder of Brewsters Brewery at the launch of Project Venus’s brewing collaboration – Venus Jade.  I confessed my aspiration and Sara responded with an emphatic ‘Do it!’

the-dream-team1Turns out that I was not the only DeaLatis member harbouring the brewing fantasy because when I mentioned it to Marverine Cole (@BeerBeauty) and Shea Luke (@RealAleGirlShea) they also had that ambition. We discussed our ideal recipe and decided on a dark spicy winter ale. So on a very auspicious date 21/1/12 (it’s a palindrome) the three of us accepted Sara’s invitation to ‘do it’ and we travelled up to Brewsters Brewery in Grantham and did it!

And as I write this, a wonderful yeast that smells of green apples is bubbling away and turning our 30 barrel brew into delicious beer.  What an incredible thought. But who knew what hard physical work it is to brew beer?  Hauling the malts around, hoisting buckets up high, pouring the contents into mash tuns and coppers, and then the cleaning afterwards.  Oh the cleaning – raking out the mash tun, poking around in the hot copper to extract the thousands of whole hops, washing out vessels and leaving the brewery as we found it.  But what satisfaction!And what fun.  All three of us virgin brewers felt as though we were in the best toy shop imaginable – and one in which lunch was served with Brewsters Pale Ale, and Brewsters’ brand new Black IPA (called Cruella) decanted straight from the conditioning tanks.  Heaven.

In a couple of weeks Brewsters will cask and bottle condition the beer for sale through their ‘Wicked Women’ range. We’re waiting to mention the beer’s name until the launch party in late February or early March – most likely at London’s Tap East with its incredible range of beers (thanks Glyn!) so hopefully you’ll come and taste the difference.

Huge thanks to Sara, Sean, and Richard at Brewsters for making our dream come brew.  I’m even more in love with beer than I was before and my maiden voyage on the brew boat has made me even more obsessed with brewing.  We’ve done a winter brew, but there are three more seasons in a year.  So how’s about it BrewsterSara, Beer Beauty, and RealAleGirlShea?

By Jane Peyton, Principal of the School of Booze

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