The State of Women in Craft Beer

colleen at cbc

I don’t want to hear another word about women not liking beer. I just got back from the Craft Brewers Conference. Women were everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I expected to walk into this conference and feel a bit like the odd one out. While the majority of the crowd was male and there certainly was never a line for the ladies room, there was plenty of female influence at CBC.

What I saw women doing at CBC:

  • Making beer

  • Serving beer

  • Drinking beer (of all kinds)

  • Writing about beer

  • Growing hops

  • Making glassware, stickers, signs, and really interesting marketing materials

  • Selling innovative brewing equipment

  • Running yeast labs

  • Marketing their hometowns and states to people who love craft beer

  • Creating the American Brewing History Initiative for the National Museum of American History

  • Giving an inspirational keynote speech

  • Receiving the Brewers Association Recognition Award

  • Receiving the Brewers Association Craft Beer Wholesaler of the Year Award

What is my point? Women are involved in just about every aspect of the craft beer industry. It’s exciting to not only see them involved, but actually getting recognition and respect they deserve. Women have been involved in brewing beer since the beginning of time, and it’s important to not just realize this, but to give women a fair seat at the table. This is absolutely starting to happen, and it was incredibly inspirational to see it in action at the conference. There is still work to be done. Here are a few things that I think we still need to work on…

Drinking beer should NEVER come with a side putting someone else down so lets, as an industry, just cut it out with the sexist and misogynist beer labels and names.  Don’t use offensive and unwelcoming language on your labels or even just when talking in your brewhouse. Do not assume that a woman will only drink certain types of beer. Do not assume that a woman doesn’t know about beer or brewing. Hire women, not because they’re women, but because they are just as awesome, deserving, and knowledgeable as their male counterparts.

And it doesn’t end there. Treat people from ALL marginalized communities with the same respect. Don’t just assume that because someone is not a white, cisgender, heterosexual man that they don’t know what they are talking about.

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