It’s still a male-dominated industry but more women are involved in the craft-brewing industry, both as brewers and business owners, than ever before. Bringing their social conscience along with them, they are engaged in their communities and driving the industry towards more innovative sustainable brewing processes that are as resource-efficient as possible. Waste products like “spent grain,” can be given to local farmers for reuse as livestock feed. Nylon malt bags can be used for gardening, sand bags and eco-construction. Wood bungs for kegs can be chipped into nutrient-rich garden compost. Pallets and slip-boards used to transport kegs can be returned to the distributor and reused.
Many on our list of favorite microbreweries include women like Montana’s lone female brewer, Colleen Bitter, of Kettlehouse; Deb Carey, Founder & Co-Owner at New Glarus Brewing Company; Kim Jordan, CEO & Brewer and Lauren Salazar, Specialist at New Belgium Brewing Company; Carol Stoudt, President & Brewmaster at Stoudt’s Brewing Company; and, Jenny Talley, Head Brewer at three Squatters Brewpubs, which we’ve also reviewed in our Lifestyles section.
Founder of the Pink Boots Society, Teri Fahrendorf, an award winning Head Brewer at Steelhead Brewing (also on our list) recently completed a 15,000 mile American brewing adventure from coast to coast. Great reading for hop heads! The Pink Boots Society works to advance careers for women in the industry through networking and education. Read their women and beer section for fascinating lore about women in craft-brewing dating back thousands of years.
And, the list is growing! Other women currently in the craft-brewing industry are Leslie Henderson, Lazy Magnolia; Mary Rubenstein, Middle Ages; Kelly McElroy, Flying Dog Brewery; Jamie Martin, Moosejaw; Penny Pink, Portneuf Valley Brewing; and, Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing Co., the first woman brewer to win the prestigious Brewmaster award sponsored by the Brewer’s Association, a craft-brewing industry group.
We’re keen to hear from women brewsters willing to share their journey in the craft-brewing industry with our readers. Cheers!