For women who do not want to take hormone replacement therapy, plant-based supplements have become a popular option for managing the symptoms of menopause. Now there is another option – beer. New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Brewery has released a beer containing ingredients, which could potentially alleviate the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and insomnia. Joanne Francis, co-owner of the brewery, says that at first her staff reacted with “disgust and horror” at the idea of a brew aimed at menopausal women, but Francis did not give up. “ … Remember, many [women] have been enjoying craft beer since the whole movement began in the mid-80s. We have purchasing power and we deserve this empowering elixir!” While testing recipes Francis and her team consulted with women’s health practitioners and herbalists.
The beer, named Libeeration, is a gruit style ale containing a combination of ingredients, including motherwort, lemon balm, chamomile, stinging nettle, mugwort and rose, designed to help women deal with the hormone changes that come with age. The beer is finished with Saphir hops, which add a tangerine note to the finish and can help with sleep.
Although clinical trials have reported no significant reduction in the symptoms of menopause from the use of herbal medicines, and Libeeration doesn’t make any “medicinal claims”, this is the first beer aimed directly at a segment of the beer market that is often over-looked but has great purchasing power. In that sense, it is certainly a liberation for women in the often male-oriented world of craft brewing. Libeeration is available in bottles from the Portsmouth Brewery until supplies run out. We have already seen beer made from urine and beer designed to be drunk at high altitudes, could beer that serves medicinal purposes be a way to target a specific market segment?