Think about your favorite local taphouse, brewery, cidery, winery, distillery, bottle shoppe, or other craft alcohol spot. Do women and female-identifying folx work there? What kind of roles do they hold? Are they front of house, in the office, on the sales team, behind the scenes in craft fermentation? Studies within the past five years have indicated that women account for only 25% of craft beer drinkers, and just about 29% of the craft fermentation workforce is female-identifying. So, where are all the women & womxn in craft?
This subject, along with the story of How Witches Shaped Beer History (originally posted on All the Swirl), has been covered at length throughout the years. And told eloquently in pieces like The Untold History of Women in Wine, Beer, Spirits, and More (originally posted by The Craft Cask). In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we compiled several very thorough blogs, articles, and resources we'd like to share with you here.
We recommend taking some time to listen or read the transcript of this Dig Podcast episode, Witches Brew: How the Patriarchy Ruins Everything for Women, Even Beer (originally posted by Averill Earls). Or take a few minutes to read through Does Craft Beer Have a Gender Problem? (originally posted on Hop Culture).
Not all is grim and dire, however. There are boatloads of amazing women & womxn who are changing the game in craft fermentation every single day, and we are so proud to call several of them friends and colleagues. Women in Northwest cider founded Pomme Boots to bring solidarity to women in this industry. The Pink Boots Society was created to assist, inspire, and encourage women and/or non-binary individuals in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education. In 2021, the exciting news was announced that Pomme Boots & Pink Boots Society Joined Forces to Unite Women in Cider, Beer, and Other Fermentation Industries (originally posted on Cider Culture).
That same year, after craft brewer Brienne Allan posed the question, "Have you ever experienced sexism in the beer industry?" on Instagram, and while the unsurprising answers sent a shockwave through craft industries, a powerhouse was formed. Brave Noise Beer is advocating for safe spaces and inclusive environments by requesting breweries be transparent with their policies and commit to long-term work.
As you can see, the history of women & womxn in craft alcohol is unique, diverse, and certainly not about to be erased. If you have a chance, visit a local spot today where some of your favorites work and have a cold drink to support them and celebrate these stories.
For resources and information about craft cider, we suggest visiting the sites for two of our favorite primarily female-driven organizations, Northwest Cider Association and American Cider Association. For cider reviews and ideas about what to drink, check out Pommes & Pints or follow @pnwcidergirl on Instagram.