… or anyone interested in beer, brewing, and associated lore. I doubt the whole book will be of interest, but these few pages I typed out are probably at least a little bit interesting if you’re a brewer:
From Roles of the Northern Goddess by Hida Ellis Davidson. London: Routledge, 1998.
(from the Chapter titled “Mistress of the Household” (Pg 138-141):
Yet another important use of water by the women was for brewing ale, the usual drink for all ages at a time when water was often suspect. Its association with a goddess may be seen in ancient Egypt, where beer transformed the goddess Hathor from a wild lioness about to destroy humankind into a benevolent deity (Blecker 1973: 50). She is addressed in a hym as ‘Mistress of Both Lands, Mistress of Bread, who made beer with what her heart created and her hands prepared’, and described as ‘the Lady of Drunkenness, rich in feasts’ (W.J. Darby et. al 1977: 529). The effects of fermented cereals may have been discovered accidentally by women baking bread, and it was women who did the brewing in Ancient Egypt, as may be seen from tomb paintings. The Egyptian method was to work the malt into a dough to convert the starch into maltose, and the women are shown kneading, sieving, and brewing (W.J. Darby et. al 1977: 531). Although the rich drank wine, beer was the general drink in Egypt, and formed an essential part of offerings to the gods.