Women in beer
After 150 years, women are getting attention in the beer industry. What was once a woman’s industry for hundreds of thousands of years, had changed hands during the industrial revolution. The beer scene was taken over by men for the last 150 years, and as women have worked so hard for equality and a workplace outside of the household, we are gaining our place back into the industry.
I’m Brandi Burgei, a co-owner of LandLocked Ales, alongside my husband, Tyler Burgei, and our partner, Nick Stafford. The guys had a vision and with a little help and encouragement, their vision is now a reality. I love being a part of this industry as I see people bringing new and fun ideas to the market and pushing the boundaries. Brewers are really utilizing a culinary aspect to beer, branching out from the normal flavor of “just beer.”
It’s very interesting to study the history on beer. If you really read up on it you will find that women were making beer from the beginning. Now women are making waves and you could say getting back to our roots. As one of the youngest female brewery owners at 33 years old, I often get asked how the beer industry treats women. I have people come up to the bar, order a beer, and we start to have the conversation on life: what area of the ever growing Denver suburbs we live in or where they are from if they are visiting and staying in one of the local hotels, what beers we like, how the business is, and then they find out more about me. Wife, mom of two little ones, full-time employee, and a business owner. I actually have two businesses, but the other one is on “vacation” to get this one going. Both Tyler’s and my families are in Ohio, from the same home town, so help isn’t just down the road for us. I get a look of astonishment on their face and usually a “that’s so cool” and “how do you do it all” like I’m some kind of unicorn. I always love their excitement because it’s totally genuine. On the other hand I have gotten, “Well you are just married to one of the owners,” without any regard to the fact that I have equally put in the same capital and hard work. This comment baffled me, but you just can’t change some people. Overall people are respectful and supportive. People from other breweries are just as supportive. The craft beer community in Colorado is a family. We talk to each other, share hardships, support each other all in an effort to bring more people over to craft beer and to support a local neighborhood brewery. I absolutely love it!
Pink Boots society is also another awesome part of the beer industry. This non-profit organization was founded in 2007 strictly to support the growth of women in the brewing industry. This group of inspiring women all get together to promote education, share ideas and discuss hot topic issues. The group offers scholarships to support women in their beer education. I can’t say enough about these awesome ladies. If you work in a brewery, lab, anything related to the industry, check them out! As women are continuing to make their mark in the brewing industry as true professionals, we need to continue to support each other. We have a lot to bring to the table, and it’s time that we stand up and show it.