The craft beer industry hasn’t always been synonymous with inclusivity. Ownership and brewhouse positions are predominantly held by white males. A recent study by the Brewers Association pointed out that just 2% of breweries are fully owned by women, and 7.5% of brewing production staffs are female.
The numbers are a little better for those working in non-production, non-service roles – roughly 37% of those are filled by women. Five of those women, area craft brewery sales representatives, have created a celebration of Women’s Month through a series of events in March that should help to highlight women in the industry and benefit the Sojourner Truth House in the process.
“The idea for Women’s Month was always there but genuinely there weren’t enough of us to give it the attention it deserved,” said Julianna Pierandozzi, a sales rep for 3 Sheeps Brewing. “All of the brewery reps involved started seeing each other more and we knew we could start something great. Important to all of us was also the charity aspect with the Sojourner Truth House. We wanted to be able to support a group that has been supporting women in our community for years.”
Women’s Month kicks off on Sunday (March 6) at New Barons Brewing Co-op (2018 S. 1st St.). From 1 to 6 p.m., one dollar of every beer sold goes to the Sojourner Truth House. The kickoff is the first of nine similar events.
The group that put the plan in action consists of Milwaukee-area reps from five well-respected craft breweries. Pierandozzi teamed up with Jen Durkin (Surly Brewing Company), Kelly Miller (Revolution Brewing), Clare Twietmeyer (Rhinegeist Brewery) and Kylen Eberlein (Indeed Brewing).
“I definitely see the inclusion of women in the industry growing day by day,” explained Miller, who has been a Milwaukee-area rep for Revolution for close to one year. “I think people are starting to realize that women enjoy craft beer and are just as great at selling it. I have even had a few people tell me it is like a breath of fresh air working with me because they are so used to working with men and it’s a nice change of pace. There is still a way to go, but I am excited with the progress I am seeing.”
Pierandozzi added: “More female reps, more female buyers, more female owners mean more inclusivity in the beer business. Groups like Barley’s Angels, Girls Pint Out and Pink Boots Society started the presence and knowledge that, yes, women drink beer. Having female owners, buyers, and reps solidifies that fact. I can’t say it’s always as easy for us, but we are hoping that events like the ones we are putting together can make that fact more well known. It also puts us in contact with each other.”
The Women’s Month events are happening all around Milwaukee. Each offers great beer and each helps the Sojourner Truth House.
- Wednesday, March 9: MKE Burger (6421 S. 27th St.) at 4 p.m.
- Thursday, March 10: Saint Bibiana (1327 E. Brady St.) at 4 p.m.
- Friday, March 11: Ferch’s Crafthouse Grille (418 N. Mayfair Rd.) at 5 p.m.
- Sunday, March 13: Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) at 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 23: The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.) at 5 p.m.
- Thursday, March 24: Von Trier (2235 N. Farwell Ave.) at 5 p.m.
- Sunday, March 27: Station No. 06 (6800 W. Becher St.) at 11 a.m. and Bad Moon Saloon (4035 S. Clement Ave.) at 11 a.m.
“Inclusivity doesn’t begin or end with women,” said Durkin, who has been with Surly for more than two years. “There are so many good ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented. I’d like to see the craft beer industry never stop working towards more diversity and more inclusivity. As for the future of women in the craft beer industry, we’re just going to keep kicking ass!”