Homebrewed History series returns for third ‘pint’


beer and bottle

March 24, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The third installment of the annual "Homebrewed History" series will take place April 2 at 2 p.m. at Slippery Rock University's Stone House Center for Public Humanities.

The theme for this year's event is "Beer and Medieval Europe," an educational program that will explore the important role beer brewing and consumption played in medieval European society.

Each event in the series focuses on a different historical culture with past topics having included: Ancient Greece and Colonial America/British Empire. Each event features demonstrations of the brewing process, samples of beers made from era-authentic recipes and SRU faculty speaking about the history behind the beers.

"The series has been a great success," said Aaron Cowan, SRU associate professor of history and coordinator of the Stone House Center for Public Humanities.

"Each event has drawn history buffs and the homebrewing crowd alike. Food and drink are tangible, engaging ways for people to interact with the past."

This year's event will focus on two brews based on authentic medieval recipes: English ale and a Belgian tripel.

Paula Rieder, SRU associate professor of history, will offer a presentation on how brewing evolved from being "women's work" in the home to a profit-driven enterprise dominated by men during the late medieval period.

"During the Middle Ages, ale was a very common beverage in England," said Rieder. "Because it didn't keep very long, it had to be brewed frequently. Consequently, brewing ale was a household task done by the women of the family."

Rieder added that while most women of the time brewed just for their family's consumption, occasionally, enough would be brewed to sell to neighbors. This was common practice until after the Black Death, when hops were introduced and English people began drinking beer instead of ale.

"As beer became the more common and more profitable drink," Rieder added, "it moved out of the household production and women were left out of brewing altogether."

Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased by visiting: www.stonehousecph.org. The Stone House Center for Public Humanities, which is owned and operated by SRU, is located at the intersection of routes 8, 258 and 173, just south of Slippery Rock.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu