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What the ideal utopian world would be - with good beer
October 6, 2012 6:42 PM   Subscribe

What is it like to be a woman in the Pacific Northwest craft beer industry? The 2011 documentary The Love of Beer offers a look into the lives of several women who work with beer: Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster of Bend Brewing Company in Central Oregon; Teri Fahrendorf, who started the Pink Boots Society, the US's first professional society for female brewmasters; Sarah Pederson, a beer retailer who owns a Portland tavern; and Lisa Morrison, known as the Beer Goddess, who hosts a Portland radio show and writes about beer.
posted by catlet (20 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
As a woman in the PNW beer consumption industry, I approve this message!
posted by bloggerwench at 6:43 PM on October 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Great post - we love us some Saraveza.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 6:54 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my best Homer Simpson voice: oooohhhhh .... beeeeeer goddess.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:27 PM on October 6, 2012


In my best Homer Simpson voice: oooohhhhh .... beeeeeer goddess.

The beer goddess thing threw me for a moment, because there is at least one other place that has been selling beer goddess shirts for a long time, and they are a long way from the PNW.
posted by Forktine at 8:25 PM on October 6, 2012


The Midwestern version of this documentary can be found in this news article on Abby Titcomb, a brewer at the Three Floyds Brewery in Munster, IN. Abby isn't a beer goddess just yet; for right now, she's Das Kleine Schwarz Einhorn.
posted by stannate at 9:22 PM on October 6, 2012


While this post might invite some typical anti-feminist and heterosexist responses (drooling, etc.), I have only mad respect for the women craft brewers of the greatest brewing region in North America. I can only imagine the bullshit difficulty a woman has to face in such a male-dominated industry, and as someone who appreciates the product at the end of the line, let me raise my glass to your Prositacular courage and skill.
posted by Catchfire at 10:12 PM on October 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


While this post might invite some typical anti-feminist and heterosexist responses (drooling, etc.)

Hey, wait a minute! That was Homer drooling, not me!

I, on the other hand (a great beer-lover for many a decade now) share your mad respect. Really, I do. Mad.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 PM on October 6, 2012


Not just PNW; Wisconsin has the New Glarus brew Two Women, which is named for the two women who run the two craft breweries which collaborated on the world class lager: Deb Carey of New Glarus (although it's her husband who is brewmaster) and Sabine Weyermann of Weyermann Malting in Germany. Since New Glarus only officially sells beer in Wisconsin, you'll have to come here to get a taste.
Frankly, it's not even my fourth favorite New Glarus brew.
posted by dhartung at 11:55 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is it like to be a woman in the Pacific Northwest craft beer industry?

You mean something very different when you say you have a yeast infection?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:10 AM on October 7, 2012


"Men owe women for 'creating beer'":
"Women were the exclusive brewers in Norse society and all equipment by law remained their property.
And Ancient Finland also credits the creation of beer to the fairer sex, with three women, a bear's saliva and wild honey the apparent first ingredients.
In England ale was traditionally made in the home by women. They were known as brewsters or ale-wives and the sale of the drink provided a valuable income for many households."

"Hildegard von Bingen (b. 1098, d.1179) was a Benedictine nun, the Abbess of Diessenberg, and a well known herbalist, mystic and musician who became an advisor to bishops, popes, and kings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and gemstones. Her writings include the earliest known reference to using hops in beer "(Hops), when put in beer, stops putrification and lends longer durability."" "She endorsed beer drinking for the nuns because she believed the drinking water was not safe and it gave them a rosy complexion."
posted by iviken at 2:28 AM on October 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


What is it like to be a woman in the Pacific Northwest craft beer industry?

What is marvellous about Metafilter is that this is simply never a question that I had considered considering, and here I am presented with an answer. It's like listening to Radio 4 without You and Yours*.

*this absence is a good thing, non-listeners. Now go and listen.
posted by howfar at 4:06 AM on October 7, 2012


It's tough just being a woman in home-brewing, especially a woman who's coming into it not attached to a male husband/boyfriend/SO who's also in the scene. Since the scene is overwhelmingly dominated by men, they're suspicious of unattached women. If you're "hot", then you're accepted on that basis and with some accompanying sexual harassment. If you're not hot, then you're a bit of a threat because they're not sure how to interact.
posted by The Sprout Queen at 5:14 AM on October 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


This bit from the WSJ profile of Tonya Cornett really bugged me:
Microbrewing beer might be a male-dominated sport, but one of the industry's biggest medal winners is a petite, 42-year-old redhead with a decidedly female attribute: She's not afraid to ask for directions.

Tonya Cornett frequently calls or texts other brewers for advice on methods and processes—a technique she calls "cracking their heads open to see what they do."
She's not afraid to ask for directions? And this is a decidedly female attribute? Really? What would the WSJ say about a male brewer who consults other brewers on methods and processes? Would they make a sexist joke about asking for directions? Or would they say something about the brewer's dedication to the craft, persistence as a researcher, or networking savvy? Maybe they'd let the brewer's colorful language ("cracking their heads open to see what they do") stand on its own.
posted by Orinda at 6:01 AM on October 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


("cracking their heads open to see what they do")

Aha! So, when Tony Soprano told his crew he wanted them to get out on the street and start cracking some heads, he was urging them to get information on brewing techniques!

or... to ask for directions?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:28 AM on October 7, 2012


Prior to moving to America I was in a bit of a Belgian beer phase and quite concerned I wouldn't be able to get anything that wasn't Bud or Coors. Fortunatly I moved to Seattle.
posted by Artw at 6:35 AM on October 7, 2012


Prositacular

I love this word so hard. Thank you for that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:07 AM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great to hear about the love for Lisa Morrison. We've shared many a pint, and she can pretty well drink me under the table. And she knows her shit.

Fortunatly I moved to Seattle.

You should have moved to Philadelphia, a.k.a. Brussels on the Schuylkill.

Beeradelphia was just released here, and it includes a sizable segment on Philly's women of beer, including Carol Stoudt and writer Carolyn Smagalski.
posted by sixpack at 7:28 AM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"A petite, 42-year-old redhead" brewmeister who "studied psychology" at college? Now there's a lucrative branch of clinical psychology!

I'd like to see a photo with all those ladies in it so I could try to see what Portland Brewistas have in common!
posted by Twang at 9:02 AM on October 7, 2012


Nice post, but yay Don Russel for the Philly Love. Rosemary Certo? Anyone? Also, beer goddess? There must be hundreds. Carol Stoudt was probably loading beer into trucks when these people were in kindergarten.
posted by fixedgear at 9:30 AM on October 7, 2012


The only thing a female brewmaster would be missing is a proper brewmaster's beard.





I was thinking about my hangup with the image of the bearded brewmaster in flannel- after all, the prizewinningest brewer I know is a babyfaced cleanshaven hip-hop devotee so this stereotype is obviously invalid.


I wondered what my deal might be, and inspired by a beard-related post by a friend who is fond of the hirsute types, I casually Googled up "brewmaster's beard" and learned a very important lesson about not Googling just any thing that pops into my head.



The implications of that article for the female brewmaster are far too itchy to contemplate, I tell you what.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:11 AM on October 7, 2012


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