* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Braciaca” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Braciaca is “an obscure god of Roman Britain remembered in an inscription at Haddon House, Derbyshire” [1]  and was associated with Bacchus (Dionysus) and Mars [2].  I was going to do an entry on his consort if he had one, but apparently nothing is known of him except for a single inscription on an altarstone found at Haddon Hall, Derby, Derbyshire. [3]  Since Braciaca was associated with malt and is pretty much accepted to be a god of brewing, I am focusing today’s entry on the Goddess Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of beer.

“Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian matron Goddess of the intoxicating beverage, beer.

Her father was Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and Her mother was Ninti, the queen of the Abzu. She is also one of the eight children created in order to heal one of the eight wounds that Enki receives. Furthermore, She is the Goddess of alcohol. She was also borne of ‘sparkling fresh water.’ She is the Goddess made to ‘satisfy the desire’ and ‘sate the heart.’ She would prepare the beverage daily.


Sumerian Beer Recipe, 3200 BCE

The Sumerian written language and the associated clay tablets are among the earliest human writings. Scholarly works from the early 1800s onward have developed some facility translating the various Sumerian documents. Among these is a poem with the English title, ‘A Hymn to Ninkasi‘. The poem is, in effect, a recipe for the making of beer. A translation from the University of Oxford describes combining bread, a source for yeast, with malted and soaked grains and keeping the liquid in a fermentation vessel until finally filtering it into a collecting vessel.” [4]



Woman brewing beer in ancient Egypt

In a detailed article entitled Nin-kasi: Mesopotamian Goddess of Beer, Johanna Stucky writes, “Not only was Nin-kasi Herself the beer — ‘given birth by the flowing water…’ (Black, Cunningham, Robson, and Zólyomi 2004: 297) — but She was the chief brewer of the gods. So it is not surprising to learn that, in early times in ancient Sumer (southern Mesopotamia), brewers were usually female. Women made beer at home for immediate consumption, since it did not keep. It is possible also that temple brewers were priestesses of Nin-kasi. Later, when beer production became an industry, men seem to have taken over the process, but women still made beer for home use (Homan 2004: 85). Perhaps because they brewed the beer, women were often tavern keepers. For instance, Siduri, a minor Goddess whom Gilgamesh met at the end of the earth, was a divine tavern keeper.” [5]






“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

I did find references that She was associated with wine as well.  On one site, it stated that She actually somehow became “incorporated” into the Goddess Ishtar [6] though I could find no reason or explanation as to how and why.  However, my guess is that because according to Patricia Monaghan, “Ninkasi has been described as another form of Siduri” [7]; and Siduri (meaning “young woman” in Hurrian), maybe an epithet of Ishtar. [8]





Answers.com, “Braciaca“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Brâg“.

Dl.ket.org/latin3/mores/, “Mars Braciaca“.

Inanna.virtualave.net, “The Goddess Ishtar“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ninkasi” (p. 73).

Wikipedia, “Ninkasi“.

Wikipedia, “Siduri“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Nin-kasi: Mesopotamian Goddess of Beer“.



Suggested Links:

Beeradvocate.com, “Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of Brewing and Beer“.

Faraci, Devin. Badassdigest.com, “The Badass Hall of Fame: Ninkasi“.

Frothnhops.com, “Ancient Gods of Beer“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Sumerian Goddesses“.

Peyrafitte, Nicole. Nicolepeyrafitte.com/blog/, “Ninkasi: ‘The Lady who fills the Mouth’“.


And just for funNinkasibrewing.com