Why alewife?  I found this word referenced first in Jessica Prentice’s Full Moon Feast.   The word sparked my interest partly because of the historic relationship between alewifery and midwifery.  An alewife would brew more than just beer– her job would overlap a bit with the wortwife, who grew and sold herbs, and the wortwife often dealt in midwifery.  It’s reasonable to think that in some villages these roles were all combined in one woman.  Some people think that my energy is widely dispersed:  I work as a dancer, a yoga teacher, a prenatal yoga teacher, a birth doula, I study Body Mind Centering, and I ferment.  I’m doing so many things, and yet, somehow it all feels the same to me.  “Alewife” clarifies the  link between my fermentation practice and the rest of what I do .

I haven’t made a true beer yet.  I may at some point.  My fermentation practice started with Kombucha, next I experimented with chutney, then Tej, a form of mead, then saurkrauts. I’m sure there were a few other things in there.   Lately, I’ve expanded to tibicos, also known as water kefir.


1.  a beer (compare lager) fermented in an open vessel using yeasts that rise to the top of the brew

2. (formerly) an alcoholic drink made by fermenting a cereal, esp barley, but differing from beer by being unflavoured by hops

3.  (chiefly) another word for beer

(thank you, World English Dictionary)


for my purposes:  woman


1.  a species of shad or herring

2.  a woman who brews and sells ale, or who operates an alehouse (archaic).

yes, this is an alewife fish.


transitive verb
1:  to prepare (as beer or ale) by steeping, boiling, and fermentation or by infusion and fermentation
a: to bring about :foment <brew trouble>b:contrive
3: to prepare (as tea) by infusion in hot water
intransitive verb
1: to brew beer or ale
2: to be in the process of forming <a storm is brewing
(thank you, Webster’s dictionary)
1.  Also called organized ferment. any of a group of living organisms, as yeasts, molds, and certain bacteria, that cause fermentation.
2.  Also called unorganized ferment. an enzyme.
3. fermentation.
4.  agitation; unrest; excitement; commotion; tumult: The new painters worked in a creative ferment. The capital lived in a political ferment.

verb (used with object)

5.  to act upon as a ferment.
6.  to cause to undergo fermentation.
7.  to inflame; foment: to ferment prejudiced crowds to riot.
8.  to cause agitation or excitement in: Reading fermented his active imagination.
(thank you, dictionary.com)
Adele is a fermenter and herbal explorer by hobby, and a yoga teacher, birth doula, and dancer by profession.   If you are curious about her professional life you can check out her other websites:

2 Responses to “About”

  1. Tea Foodie [by Zanitea] August 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Love your blog theme. Look forward to following. Thanks for including a link to my Tea Foodie blog in your follow list!

  2. Mark Potter December 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoying your work. An avid Kambucha brewer myself, you might enjoy some of what I’ve written on the subject . . . http://ravenofferings.blogspot.com/2013/08/water-rituals-chaga-and-kambucha.html

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