Why our NEW BEER celebrates INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY - The Park Brewery

By Miranda Wood - 26 Feb


We’re celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 with a new beer: SYLVA.

It’s super hazy, with grapefruity flavours from the mass of hops (Amarillo, Galaxy, Centennial and Magnum) thrown in (our biggest hop bill to date) brewed on International Women’s Day (8 March 2021), by all three women in the business. We can’t wait for you to try it.

SYLVA is live on our webshop! 

How did we get its name?

This is a reference to Sylva Boyden – Air Girl. She was the first woman to dive 1000ft from a balloon with a parachute, and the event happened in Richmond Park. The date of that first jump (which changed her life and of women globally) was the 28 February 1919.

As reported by The Daily Chronicle, Sylva Boyden was “the first of her sex to hazard the experience” and was only 17 years old at the time. Sylva’s jump marked a key moment in the history of women and her feat was subsequently reported around the world.

How did Sylva get to wear a parachute?

Following the end of the First World War in November 1918, Richmond Park remained a busy place with a hospital, army camp, Royal Air Force (RAF) depots and continuing crop production. And at the beginning of 1919, the RAF’s Balloon Training Depot in the park was being used to carry out tests on various types of parachute.

Research suggests, Sylva Boyden was able to persuade the authorities to let her be taken-up in a balloon basket. Whether as one of the “experimenters” testing parachutes or as an unofficial drop, no-one is quite certain.

What’s more, research from the Hearsum Collection notes that for Sylva to be granted permission to jump, she lied about her age claiming to be a mature 21, and giving her grandmother’s name to avoid recognition.

Whatever happened, Sylva defied expectations of women of her time to become the first female to dive 1000ft wearing a parachute. Plus, she clearly had a talent and made three successful balloon jumps that day with a ‘Guardian Angel’ parachute.

For more than a century, International Women’s Day has been celebrated on 8 March, marking a day of advocacy for women’s rights and equality around the world. For 2021, the official theme is #ChooseToChallenge, offering a call-to-action to challenge the status quo, raise awareness against bias and celebrate women’s achievement.

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 than with this fresh IPA inspired by a great woman who challenged the status quo of early 20th Century Great Britain!

Learn more about Sylva Boyden with the full research written by The Royal Parks Guild. Or, with Friends of Richmond Park.

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Image Credit: the Royal Parks Guild, Sylva Boyden

Image Credit: the Royal Parks Guild, Sylva Boyden

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