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FIRST DRAFT

A woman's place is in the brewery

Sistahs are brewin' it for themselves, and running breweries, too. Did you think you had to be part of Spike TV's demographic to make beer? History is packed with babes in beerland: the Sumerian brewing goddess Ninkosi; the 12th-century nun Hildegarde von Bingen, who wrote a treatise on using hops to keep beer from spoiling (she was later sainted); and the industrious brewsters or alewives, the women who made almost all the beer in Britain until the 1500s.

In Adamstone, Pa., Carol Stoudt is upholding this tradition at Stoudt's Brewing Company, opened 17 years ago; her brews became available here in the fall. Try the dark, medium-bodied Scotch ale with flavors of roasted and peat-smoked malt on draft. Or one of Stoudt's bottled brews; the beautifully crafted, bottle-conditioned abbey ale is great (there's live yeast in the bottle, so the beer ages as a fine wine would).

Closer to home, Jodi Andrews, head brewer since 1999 at Boston Beer Works' Fenway location, pleases crowds of Sox fans and Lansdowne Street club kids with 15 beers on tap. Her amber Fenway Pale Ale is a nice blend of hops and malt with a faint fruitiness and clean finish; the dark, rich Buck Eye Stout will keep you warm while you wait for spring training.

Jocelyn McLaughlin owns Watch City Brewing Company, the first female-owned brewpub in the country. At the convivial 8-year-old Waltham pub, McLaughlin's head brewer, Aaron Mateychuk (I know, he's a guy, but credit where credit is due), offers nine beers on tap. Pass the time with the tasty golden brown Midnite Munich Lager that's malty without being sweet or the Titan Ale, a nutty brown ale with a nice balance of malt and hops. Beer goddesses still rule.

ANN CORTISSOZ

Stoudt's is on tap at Redbones, 55 Chester St., Somerville, 617-628-2200, and Anam Cara, 1648 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-277-2880. Stoudt's bottle-conditioned ales are available at Blanchard's, 103 Harvard Ave., Allston, 617-782-5588. Boston Beer Works is at 61 Brookline Ave., 617-536-2337. Watch City Brewing Company is at 256 Moody St., Waltham, 781-647-4000.

Ann Cortissoz can be reached at acortissoz@globe.com.

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