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SE:4 EP:16 Brewing Success: Women Shaping the Craft Beer Industry

SE:4 EP:16 Brewing Success: Women Shaping the Craft Beer Industry

The craft beer industry, once dominated by traditional male stereotypes, is undergoing a transformation as women take the lead in creating inclusive spaces and shaping the future of brewing. From innovative flavors to community engagement, they’re challenging and changing the perceptions surrounding beer. This shift is exemplified by Verity, the Co-Director of Amity Brew Co, who shared her journey and insights on the She who dares Wins podcast.

Key Takeaways:

  • Women in Brewing: The rise of women-led breweries and their impact on the craft beer industry.

  • Community and Inclusivity: How breweries like Amity are creating spaces welcoming to all, not just beer aficionados.

  • Business Challenges and Opportunities: Navigating a male-dominated industry during uncertain times, and uncovering growth strategies that maintain core values.

The Rise of Women-Led Breweries

The craft beer scene has long been perceived as a predominantly male territory, but as Verity discusses, there are more layers to this narrative. She recounts the beginnings of her brewery, tinged with an eagerness to shift a beer culture that often felt exclusive and unwelcoming to women. From the brewing process to the taproom experience, women like Verity are rewriting the script.

Verity speaks of the sexism she encountered in traditional beer circles and her desire to create a brand and space that speaks to everyone. She highlights historical facts that reveal brewing was traditionally women's work, further making the case that women's reemergence in the industry isn't a novelty but rather a return to roots.

"I just couldn't help myself in. When he was setting up the brand and the communications, I couldn't help myself get involved and want it to be about inclusivity, about the community we're in this local community here."

This sentiment illustrates a broader movement where women are not only contributing but leading the charge in the industry, mixing passion with activism to craft beers and businesses that reflect their values and visions.

Fostering Community and Inclusivity

A core theme of the podcast is the construction of breweries as community hubs that offer a sense of belonging. Verity's Amity Brew Co, she describes, is designed to be a sanctuary where anyone can enjoy good beer and good company, irrespective of their background or level of beer expertise.

In the conversation, Michelle and Verity discuss the importance of the customer experience, stressing that it isn’t about the beer alone – it’s about the stories, the atmosphere, and the service. Verity shares a moment from the podcast that encapsulates the inclusive approach of Amity:

"Yeah, the glass I brought with it is our festival glass... we did get a bit of pushback from a certain demographic of men who just felt feminine just by even drinking out of it. I just find ridiculous, really."

She challenges beer's traditional gender associations and invites everyone to explore and enjoy the diverse world of craft beer without preconceived notions. Verity's story serves as a powerful example of how the industry is evolving to cater to a wider, more eclectic audience.

Navigating Challenges and Uncovering Opportunities

The craft beer industry, especially during pandemic times, has faced numerous challenges. Verity shares the trials they endured, from the initial struggles of opening a brewery during a lockdown to the ongoing financial challenges in hospitality. She opens up about the pressures of balancing quality, growth, and community values without succumbing to the strains of operating in a competitive market.

But it isn't just about overcoming hurdles; it's also about discerning opportunities that align with their philosophy:

"...we were thinking and exploring replicating Amity as a brewpub, but four times the size somewhere else... But we started looking at the money and we got very scared and then we started looking at what it meant for the quality of life for us and our staff... It nearly breaks me every year. It is so much work and literally isn't for any financial gain. It's just for the love of it."

Verity touches upon the topic of expansion and the delicate balance of scaling a business while preserving its soul. It's a reminder that in business, particularly one as close-knit as craft brewing, success doesn't always equate to becoming the biggest player on the block. Sometimes, it's about deepening the connections you have with your current customers and the community you serve.

The craft beer industry's transformation is a testament to the power of diversity and the potential for more inclusive and connected communities. Women like Verity, with their dedication to brewing excellence and egalitarian spaces, are at the forefront of this evolution. While challenges abound in terms of operations, public perceptions, and market dynamics, the opportunity to build something truly special is ripe. 


Listen to the podcast episode here:

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