For too long, our culture has considered beer to be a beverage for men, but there are plenty of women who appreciate the taste of a well-crafted brew. While most of today’s brewers fall into the “neckbearded male” category, historical evidence paints a different picture of the people who first created fermented beverages. Archaeologists have discovered relics proving that it was actually women who did the brewing while men were out hunting, and it stayed that way until the first versions of production breweries started operating in ancient Egypt.
While the world of craft beer is still somewhat of a boy’s club, a small group of women are doing their part to make an impact on the industry. As groups like the Pink Boots Society celebrate and educate female brewers throughout the world, we’re slowly getting more breweries owned and operated by women. If you’d like to observe International Women’s Day, but you still want to have a cold beer, here are five female-owned breweries that you can patronize.
New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colo.
The first one on the list is actually one of the largest craft breweries in the United States, which means you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding Fat Tire or any of the company’s other offerings. If you’ve ever taken a visit to Co-Founder Kim Jordan’s Fort Collins craft beer paradise, you’ll see a company that’s constantly pushing the edge of innovation and green technology.
Eagle Rock Brewery
Los Angeles, Calif.
If you don’t live in the Los Angeles area, you might not be familiar with this brewpub, but Eagle Rock has been cranking out quality suds since 2009 when it became the first microbrewery to open in the City of Angels in decades. Co-Founder Ting Su started the company with her husband Jeremy Raub, and she even created a monthly women’s beer forum to expose more women to the wonderful world of craft beer.
Ladyface Ale Companie
Agoura Hills, Calif.
Just up the road from Eagle Rock is another brewpub that started in the same year, and its co-founder currently sits on the board of directors for the Brewers Association. Cyrena Nouzille’s Agoura Hills brewpub is slowly gaining a reputation for excellence, as California drinkers are gravitating towards the company’s award-winning French, Belgian and American-style brews.
Stoudts Brewing Company
When highlighting women in craft beer, you can’t overlook America’s O-G female brewmaster Carol Stoudt. When she co-founded her Pennsylvania brewpub in 1989, the former kindergarten teacher had to jump through quite a few hoops thanks to the state’s…interesting alcohol laws that prevented restaurateurs from operating breweries. She actually had to financially separate herself from her husband Ed and raise funds on her own. The strategy paid off, and they’re still crafting quality libations to this day.
Grimm Artisanal Ales
There’s nothing that craft beer aficionados like more than a gypsy brewery, and Brooklyn’s Grimm Artisanal Ales is making a name with its limited-release beers designed in the kitchen of Co-Founders Lauren and Joe Grimm. Once the husband and wife team come up with a recipe that they like, they travel to an existing brewery and scale it up. Since they’re a nomadic operation, there’s no tasting room to visit, but if you’re lucky enough to find one of their brews on tap or on the shelf at a New York City liquor store, be sure to try it.
This hardly-exhaustive list contains just five of the female-owned breweries operating in the United States, but the continuing growth of the industry means that there are more women getting into the business every day. Instead of watering down flavors out of some misogynistic belief that women need a “girlier” drink, these companies are championing the concept that appreciation of good beer isn’t gender-specific. With help from these brewing pioneers, we’re finally getting away from beer’s reputation as a drink that’s exclusively for men.