The brewing world, once dominated almost exclusively by men, has started to get more diverse, with women across the country joining the ranks at breweries working as everything from taproom managers to head brewers.
Flagship Brewery in Staten Island, New York recently held a Women in Craft Beer Forum as a way to perhaps help grow those numbers.
“The idea was inspired by the Women’s Beer Forum started by Ting Su, Co-Founder of Eagle Rock Brewery in Los Angeles,” says Flagship’s Patrick Morse. “As a former brewer at Eagle Rock, I saw first hand the success and impact their women’s group had; therefore, I had always wanted to do something similar at Flagship.”
While most women’s groups tend to be started at breweries where there already is a female brewer on staff, Flagship actually doesn’t currently have a female brewer.
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with many female brewers over the years, including a few in NYC. There is a growing number within the profession, and our Women’s Craft Beer Society is meant to help encourage that growth,” Morse says. “We would certainly love to have a female brewer at Flagship.”
The idea for the Women’s Craft Beer Society at Flagship actually came from Morse’s wife.
“My wife Tasya reminded me, and Flagship’s co-founders Jay Sykes and Matt McGinley, how great it would be to start a women’s beer group similar to Eagle Rock’s here on Staten Island,” says Morse. “We had been trying to think of ways to do more community based events in Flagship’s taproom, and this idea was at the top of our list.”
The first meeting of the group featured local brewer and entrepreneur Katarina Martinez from Lineup Brewing, a new brewery in Brooklyn.
“She told her inspirational story of how she entered the world of craft beer. We did a flight tasting of a few English style ESBs, featuring Kat’s ESB beer called ‘Under Pressure.’ We finished up the session with a casual Q&A that was very educational and kept the group super engaged,” says Morse.
And Martinez’s appearance is only just the beginning. The next meeting of the group will be December 8th and will feature Lauren Grimm, the co-founder of Grimm Artisanal Ales.
“The attendees were diverse, which is why I think establishing this group is so empowering. All different ages and levels of beer knowledge,” says Morse. “We had a few women that didn’t even like beer that much, which was great because by the end of the session they were some of most intrigued and interested in when the next meeting was going to be.”