Posted on August 26, 2011 by Mary Ellen Brewington
Today is Women’s Equality Day, set to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote as well as call attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
As a woman working in the beverage industry, I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years including more and more women succeeding as brewers, distributors and in various other roles. But, there’s still a misconception that the world of beer is a man’s world.
On the contrary, in my experience the beer industry is an open and accepting one, and when we embrace different points of view, we expand our capabilities as a whole to offer new, diverse and exciting products to an equally diverse consumer group. Just as there are hundreds of types and flavors of beer, there is a myriad of different beer drinkers that don’t fit the stereotype of a brew-guzzling male. Regardless of race or gender, many of us are beer lovers – men and women alike who appreciate sipping on a good beer.
Women brew beer. They sell beer. Women serve beer, and women drink beer. In fact, in ancient and medieval times the task of brewing fell to women. In ancient Mesopotamia, the majority of brewers were women and brewing was a well respected occupation. In the Middle Ages as well, women were the primary brewers and took over the work after monasteries had established the brewing process. It was only during the Industrial Revolution, when commercial brewing was introduced, that men began to take over from women as master brewers.
Today, there are organizations devoted to connecting and advancing women in the beer industry:
- The Pink Boots Society was created to inspire, encourage and empower women to advance their careers in the beer industry through networking and education.
They describe themselves this way: “We are the female movers and shakers in the beer industry. We get the beer brewed and fermented with the highest possible quality. We also own breweries, package the beer, design beers, serve beers, write about beer, and cover just about any aspect of beer, and we are all women.”
- The Ladies of Craft Beer is a group dedicated to the advocacy of delicious and diverse beers brewed with the tradition in mind that women were the original “Craft Brewsters.”
The founder came up with the idea for Ladies of Craft Beer as an online publication for women to make other women more aware of craft beer. You can check out posts on the website or subscribe to the e-newsletter, and you connect with them via Facebook and Twitter.
There are many other professional associations, publications and informal clubs out there for women in the business. But, what if you’re gal who has nothing to do with the industry, but you love a frothy pint glass of your favorite brew?
Well, you’re not alone, either! In the U.S., 31% of women are beer drinkers, and that number is growing. There are also ways for you to connect with fellow female beer lovers:
Women Enjoying Beer is a group dedicated to developing and serving the female beer enthusiast. If you’re a woman who wants to learn about beer, you may want to check out this group’s club memberships, events, apparel and more. You also can connect with them on Facebook.
There are tons of ways for beer lovers to connect and share their tips and tales of good beer drinking. Whether you connect with us at On Tap, with a club or at a local watering hole, cheers to you!