A Weeklong Celebration of Women in the Beer Industry Comes to New York City
Last week, Heineken USA named Maggie Timoney as its new CEO, becoming the largest U.S. brewery to ever have a woman at its helm. Though the move was a major milestone for women in the brewing industry, it also highlighted beer’s often discussed gender gap. As we reported then, according to the site Women in Craft Beer, only 29 percent of brewery workers are female, only about 17 percent of craft breweries have a female CEO, and only 4 percent of breweries have a female head brewer.
But this August, Beers Without Beards Week wants to show appreciation for all of the work these women are doing, as well as to point out that, yeah, women can drink and love beer too. Billed as “the world’s largest celebration of women in the beer industry,” the event—which is presented by Hop Culture Magazine—will take place in venues around New York City from August 7 to August 12 featuring “panels, tap takeovers, and beer dinners, all culminating in festival featuring 20+ of the best female-run breweries in the country.”
“As a woman, I often found my plundering into the cave of craft beer to be a solitary spelunking adventure,” Grace Weitz, marketing manager for Hop Culture and the woman behind the festival, was quoted as saying by CraftBeer.com. “While I never felt ostracized for being clean shaven, I did feel unrecognized. A question occurred to me: Could this change? And could I help?”
The six-day celebration currently lists nine events on its official website, though Beers Without Beards suggests that more events will be added. Meanwhile, the signature festival is slated to take place on Saturday at The Well in Brooklyn, with general admission tickets to the four-hour event starting at $50. Already, 24 breweries have committed to pouring, from local brewers like Interboro and Transmitter to larger national names like 21st Amendment and Stone. And Beers Without Beards also promises to go beyond just serving beers. “We think it is especially important that the women brewer or owner behind the beer is on hand to pour beer, answer questions, and start conversations,” the event says in its FAQ. “We have worked our hardest to make sure that the female brewer or founder will be present.”
On question the FAQs don’t address is whether beards will be allowed at the event, so maybe those with beards should bring a razor with them just in case.