Best breweries in the US that employ women?
September 20, 2017 8:25 AM   Subscribe

My podcast (you can find the link in my profile) is embarking on the 50 States Beer Project. I need your help in finding the best of the best in each US state (except Alabama, as I've already done that one). Difficulty: women who work in the industry.

I want to interview ladies working in any capacity in the craft beer industry--brewers, owners, reps, taproom managers, etc--and you, my beer-drinking MeFites, can help. I'm obviously doing a chunk of my own research (I find the state beer subreddits can be helpful) but what breweries do you think deserve to have their female workers lauded?

Also, I did a huge chunk of unrelated 50 States Beer Project stuff last autumn through NC, SC, and GA. But I welcome anyone I might have missed for this next run!

I'm doing these in alphabetical order so Alaska is October, Arizona is November, etc.

Thanks for your help and cheers!
posted by Kitteh to Food & Drink (61 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You won't get to Oregon for a while, but Ninkasi promoted Cheryl Collins to CEO (from COO) this spring.
posted by bassooner at 8:30 AM on September 20, 2017

I don't know if it's the best but Imminent Brewing in Northfield MN has four people listed as its crew and two of them are women. (One brewer/taproom manager, one person in a marketing and tasting capacity).

It's a cute place, the beer's pretty good.
posted by dismas at 8:31 AM on September 20, 2017

Throwback in NH, women-founded/run.
posted by cushie at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2017

New Glarus Brewing in WI is owned by a woman.

And it's Oktoberfest season!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2017 [9 favorites]

Carol Stoudt of stoudts was the first female brewer/founder since prohibition.

Pink Boots Society exists specifically to promote women in brewing.

Usciences Women in brewing symposium recently occurred to discuss women in brewing, put on by friends of mine.
posted by TheAdamist at 8:36 AM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Maui Brewing Co. is co-owned by a husband and wife team.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:37 AM on September 20, 2017

Scarlet Lane Brewing Company in McCordsville, Indiana (near Indianapolis). Eilise Lane is the owner and head brewer.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:44 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

In Oklahoma, COOP and Prairie both have women on staff.
posted by neushoorn at 8:44 AM on September 20, 2017

Here in Fort Collins, CO:

Linsey Cornish: initial head brewer at Horse and Dragon, now at Three Four. Horse and Dragon owned by a husband/wife team. Horse and Dragon Sad Panda (created by Linsey?) is ace.

Odell has quite a few women on staff. I can probably connect you to Marni directly.

Also lots of women at New Belgium, I can probably refer you to a source there, I don't know any of the women directly.

Purpose Brewing is also owned/run by two husband/wife couples.
posted by dr. fresh at 8:45 AM on September 20, 2017

Spinnaker Bay Brewing in Seattle is owned by two women.
posted by centrifugal at 9:00 AM on September 20, 2017

Third Wheel Brewing, with Abby Spencer as head brewer.

OffColor Brewing has a good friend of mine running their bottle shop. Prior to OffColor, she worked as a sales rep for Revolution Brewing, and also as a Jill-of-all-trades at Metropolitan Brewery (a woman-owned brewery).

Side Project Brewing has Karen King (spouse of head brewer/owner Cory King) managing both of their bars. All of the staff at Side Project Cellar are women.
posted by stannate at 9:01 AM on September 20, 2017

I just started working at Yesteryears Brewery over in North Carolina, and their taproom manager (and my boss!) is an awesome woman. Awesome enough that quite a few patrons suggested just renaming the brewery after her since they're going through some rebranding.
posted by astapasta24 at 9:09 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Funky Buddha Brewery in Fort Lauderdale, FL has women on staff (and also AMAZING beer.)
posted by tatiana wishbone at 9:18 AM on September 20, 2017

Houston has a number of craft brewers that employ women -- mostly in sales roles, but still.

The granddaddy is St Arnold's, which is the oldest craft brewer in Texas.

Upstarts 8th Wonder and Eureka Heights are probably worth talking to as well, but the EH web site appears broken so I can't verify that ladypeople are on staff there.

Finally, I know that recent ABI acquisition Karbach has at least one female Certified Cicerone; that cert might override the inherent unattractiveness of being part of Big Beer.
posted by uberchet at 9:21 AM on September 20, 2017

Former question, may be of help:

Lineup in Brooklyn is also run by a woman.
posted by ferret branca at 9:36 AM on September 20, 2017

One from Virginia run by a woman: Lickinghole Creek.
posted by emelenjr at 9:37 AM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Amy Frederick just opened the very successful Brew Republic Bierworks in DC last year. She’s awesome!!
posted by pearlybob at 9:38 AM on September 20, 2017

Bombshell Beer Company in Holly Springs, NC is owned by three women.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:42 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Many in Minnesota with all kinds of jobs
posted by littlewater at 9:42 AM on September 20, 2017

Bold Missy Brewery recently (within the last year) opened up around the corner from me here in Charlotte, NC. They're wonderful, owned by a woman and the beers are named after remarkable women.
posted by raccoon409 at 9:55 AM on September 20, 2017

I assume you know about the Pink Boots Society? The Alchemist, one of the best breweries in Vermont is run by a husband and wife team. Jen Kimmich is the wife.
posted by jessamyn at 9:57 AM on September 20, 2017 Denver, CO
posted by nickggully at 10:04 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Come visit Willimantic Brewing Company in Willimantic, CT. It's Women's Year for Beer!
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:10 AM on September 20, 2017

Husband/Wife teams that I'm aware of in Massachusetts:
Rockingham Brewing
Idle Hands

Also, Night Shift has women on staff, and Lord Hobo's general manager is a woman.
posted by soplerfo at 10:13 AM on September 20, 2017

Oops, just remembered, Rockingham is NH, not MA.
posted by soplerfo at 10:21 AM on September 20, 2017

Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT. One of my old college friends works for them.
posted by zizzle at 10:24 AM on September 20, 2017

Denizens Brewing in Silver Spring, Md., was founded in part by two women and they employ a lot of women. The beer is just fine, though. I would not call it great.
posted by darksong at 10:32 AM on September 20, 2017

These are ace suggestions! Keep them coming!

Oh, and I have interviewed Laura Ulrich, President of the Pink Boots Society. I believe that was last summer?
posted by Kitteh at 10:34 AM on September 20, 2017

In the SF Bay Area, there's Drake's (several female brewers), Altamont (at least one female brewer), Devil's Canyon (female co-owner/manager), and Freewheel (female head-brewer). There are probably more, but those are some of my favorites.
posted by hammurderer at 10:35 AM on September 20, 2017

Three Weavers in Inglewood, CA

Pink Boots Society isn't a brewery per se, but may be of interest to you. Here's a local news story from San Diego, CA (autoplay video).

San Diego, CA also has the annual International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. Here's a story about one of the coordinators.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:40 AM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oops, I should have previewed!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:41 AM on September 20, 2017

New Glarus is some damn good beer, but the smaller Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. boasts the first woman brewmaster in Wisconsin, Jamie Baertsch. Full disclosure: we knew each other as kids.
posted by princesspathos at 10:42 AM on September 20, 2017

Harpoon Brewing in Boston MA is large enough that they must have numerous women in the company. One of the brewers there is a good friend, MeMail me if you like an introduction. I'm sure he'd be happy to help connect you within the company.
posted by COD at 10:44 AM on September 20, 2017

Two of Cincinnati's largest craft brewers Madtree and Rhinegeist have their employee lists broken out by job area/title in case you want to interview perhaps under represented jobs like QA or Lab people.
posted by mmascolino at 10:52 AM on September 20, 2017

Technically not a state, but my fav D.C. brewery Right Proper has at least one woman as a founder.
posted by forkisbetter at 10:52 AM on September 20, 2017

Here is an article featuring several women in the Twin Cities who are leading the craft beer charge!
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:54 AM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Carol Stoudt of stoudts was the first female brewer/founder since prohibition.

I'm friends with Carol's daughter. The daughter home-brews with her boyfriend, but is more involved with their rabbit farm than any brewery.
posted by terrapin at 11:10 AM on September 20, 2017

Crooked City Cider is here in Oakland and quite good.
posted by Lexica at 11:23 AM on September 20, 2017

also in Ft. Collins, Katie Rippel at the local Budweiser brewery. Brewery school at Colorado State might be a good visit.
posted by dr. fresh at 11:44 AM on September 20, 2017

Jackalope in Tennessee.
posted by ghharr at 11:44 AM on September 20, 2017

Crux Fermentation Project in Bend, OR employs a woman to manage their barrel aging program. Don't remember her name, but she gave us a tour and tasting last time we were there. My GF was super impressed as she loves beer, but doesn't see many women in the industry.

You should probably just go to Bend anyway if you are at all interested in the West Coast beer scene.
posted by TomFoolery at 11:51 AM on September 20, 2017

Oh yeah, Lauren Salazar at New Belgium in Fort Collins.
posted by dr. fresh at 11:56 AM on September 20, 2017

Factotum in Denver is co-owned by a woman.

Also in the Denver area and are either owned by women or have female brewers: Goldspot, Someplace Else, Grateful Gnome (not open yet), Dry Dock, Bierstadt Lagerhaus.
posted by GoldenEel at 12:15 PM on September 20, 2017

I want to say that New Holland in Michigan had a female brewmaster in 2012 when we visited, but I can't verify that.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 1:13 PM on September 20, 2017

I'll put in a word for the Infusion Brewery here in Omaha.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:48 PM on September 20, 2017

This may not fit your podcast perfectly, but I thought you should know about it. Rebecca Anderson isn't in the beer business per se; she's a pastor at Gilead Church in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. Last spring, she worked with the brewer at a nearby Evanston gastropub to create small-batch IPA's for the church.
posted by princesspathos at 4:29 PM on September 20, 2017

Short's Brewing is owned by a husband/wife team, and their brew quality manager is a woman. Their (also female) sales manager is president of Fermenta (a trade association for women in brewing in Michigan), and that would be a fantastic place to find women in the Michigan craft beer industry.
posted by jlkr at 6:08 PM on September 20, 2017

Alaska has several breweries founded by husband and wife teams: Alaskan Brewing, Seward Brewing, Baranof Island Brewing, and Gakona Brewing to name a few.
posted by timelord at 8:36 PM on September 20, 2017

Christina Burris is a brewery consultant in Philadelphia, and Nancy Barton is one of the owners and founders of Philadelphia Brewing Company.
posted by sepviva at 8:37 PM on September 20, 2017

Stoup Brewing in Seattle is 2/3rds women-owned.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 8:46 PM on September 20, 2017

They also have female brewers.
posted by ITravelMontana at 9:31 PM on September 20, 2017

Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock Arkansas lists someone named Hannah Hole as General Manager.
posted by Justin Case at 12:01 PM on September 21, 2017

Asked my Dad (trained Brewer with a number of industry connections). He recommended talking to Vandra Ruppel, and believes she is brewing at Woodcock Brothers, which is in upper New York State.
posted by Canageek at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2017

Also maybe not quite what you're looking for, but I saw this talk from the American Society for Microbiology and it was really interesting and cool! The head microbiologist for Dogfish Head is a woman, and it's just such an interesting cool aspect of commercial brewing.
posted by forkisbetter at 1:14 PM on September 21, 2017

Here in New Mexico we have at least two women brewers - Nexus Brewery in Albuquerque with a woman as head brewer. I would say their beer improved a hundred fold once they hired her. And the Blue Heron Brewery in Rinconada owned and brewed by a woman, they make a few really good brews.

A friend here also "retired" from brewing and now owns a cidery Santa Fe Ciderworks. She worked as a brewer for 20+ years and is a font of knowledge and arguably was one of the few women brewers in New Mexico for a really long time.
posted by BooneTheCowboyToy at 10:23 AM on September 22, 2017

In Toledo, Ohio, Black Cloister Brewing Company's Brewmaster, Assistant Brewer, and CFO are all women!
posted by hetobeto at 7:25 AM on September 23, 2017 has a list of several in and around Georgia.
posted by zennie at 9:08 AM on September 23, 2017

I'll second the MadTree Brewing recommendation for Ohio. Indeed, a MadTree woman is featured this month at Beer Connoisseur Magazine!
posted by schwab at 11:08 AM on September 23, 2017

My tour guide at Allagash Brewery in Maine was a woman and was at least somewhat involved in brewing. Unfortunately, I don't remember her name, but it looks like there are plenty of women who work there!
posted by dizziest at 10:53 AM on September 24, 2017

Lazy Magnolia is Mississippi's oldest and largest brewery and it is woman-owned.
posted by thebrokedown at 9:25 AM on October 1, 2017

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