Katharina Von Bora
Martin Luther is credited for making waves in church history by nailing his 95 Theses to the church, but his wife — Katharina Von Bora (or “Rebel Kate” as we like to call her) is perhaps most famously known for brewing her own beer. For this reason (and those listed below) Rebel Kate is almost certainly our brewery’s favorite #WomanCrushWednesday for all time.
1. She had a Rebel spirit
Although she was a nun (her life tied to the church from the time she was five years old) Kate took fate into her own hands and asked Luther and his friends to aid and abet her escape (and that of several other nuns) — both acts punishable by death.
2. She brewed her own beer
Few historical documents remain to tell us about Rebel Kate, but Martin Luther’s fondness for his wife’s home brewed beer survive. In a letter to her, he writes: “I keep thinking what good wine and beer I have at home, as well as a beautiful wife … you would do well to send me over my whole cellar of wine and a bottle of thy beer.”
3. She multi-tasked like…
Need more hours in the day? This Mother knew the only way to make it happen was to get less sleep. In his letters, Luther calls her “The Morning Star of Wittenberg” because she rose so early in the morning to start her work. In a letter to a friend Luther wrote, “My Lord Katie sends greetings; she drives the wagon, takes care of the fields, buys and puts cattle out to pasture, brews, etc.”
4. She “leaned in.”
Guests were invited to Lutherhaus, Kate and Luther’s home, for Table Talks — informal talks over food, wine, and beer that ranged in topic from the mundane to the divine. Not only was Kate in charge of the guest list, but she also expertly planned the dinner menu, and participated in the dialogue.
5. She was good with money.
At Kate’s urging, Luther was eventually convinced of the Kate’s ability to manage the household finances. “To boost their income, she made good use of the extra rooms in the former monastery, opening a medieval guest house and offering room and board to as many as 30 paying students and visitors at a time. Katharina was trusted in ways unheard of for women in those days. Luther allowed her to deal with his publishers and made her his sole heir.”