Women have always played a huge part in the creation of beer. In fact, the first homebrewers and “Brewsters” were female. “Women traditionally brewed beer,” says Professor Jeffrey Pilcher in his History of Drink course at the University of Minnesota, “It was a domestic thing and a homemaker’s job.”
Women stayed on top of the beer scene until commercial breweries started popping up throughout the country. “Men took over the brewing process when it went commercial and there was money to be made,” Pilcher says. It wasn’t until the late 20th century, when the craft beer boom hit, that women made a comeback in the beer community.
Today there are thousands of women involved in beer in the United States, doing everything from supporting the beer community by being involved in associations such as Barley’s Angels and Pink Boots Society, to starting their own breweries.
A notable national figure is founder and president of New Glarus Brewing Company, Deb Carey, the first woman to found and operate a brewery in the United States.
Locally, there’s Jacquie Berglund, CEO of FINNEGANS; Deb Loch, head brewer and co-owner, and Jill Pablak, co-ower, of Urban Growler Brewing Company; Rachel Grey, brewer at Herkimer Brewery & Pub; Amy Johnson, co-owner of Northbound Smokehouse; Laura Mullen and Karen Tonnis, co-owners of Bent Paddle Brewing Company; Rachel Anderson, co-owner of Indeed Brewing Company; and the many other women who work in and around beer in Minnesota.
Thanks for making our state rich in beer, and keep up the good work! Cheers!
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