Witches Say Beer’s O.K., but Lose the Fire and Stake

on 25/10/10 at 10:44 am


She was not looking for controversy. Vicki Noble was just looking for a fine ale.

Ms. Noble, who is famous in the pagan and Wiccan communities for her astrology readings, shamanic healing and writings about goddess spirituality, says she discovered Witch’s Wit last week on one of her regular excursions to 41st Avenue Liquors, in Capitola, Calif.

“I like beer,” Ms. Noble said, and as a practitioner of religious traditions that revere the earth and women’s special powers, she also feels a special connection to brewing. “It was the women who brewed beer from ancient times right up to the Reformation,” she says. She thinks some were burned as witches to destroy “the ancient traditions of shamanistic medicine, which in every indigenous culture includes the brewing of medicinal fermented beverages.”

But one does not have to agree with Ms. Noble’s interpretation of history to share her offense at a picture on the label of Witch’s Wit, a limited-edition pale ale — “wit” means “white” in Dutch — produced by Lost Abbey, a division of the Port Brewing Company of San Marcos, Calif.

{Full story via New York Times}

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