Ohio Brewery News
International Women’s Day Beers on the Way
On Feb. 1, women from breweries around the state of Ohio gathered at The Phoenix Brewing Company to resurrect a tradition that was interrupted by the pandemic.
International Women’s Day isn’t until March 8, but a group of central and northeast Ohio breweries have historically opened their brewhouses to women from all over the state in early February to create a beer for release on the annual holiday. Due to the pandemic, the group hasn’t convened to brew since 2019, but women from 11 Ohio craft breweries participated in this year’s renewal of their annual ritual.
Women are still underrepresented in beer production roles, making up less than 10% of people employed as brewers according to a 2019 industry demographics study conducted by the Brewers Association. Creating opportunities for women to learn, network and grow within the industry is a vitally important task.
The Pink Boots Society, a non-profit organization formed to provide educational resources and opportunities for women in the brewing industry, has established chapters in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. For the past five years, Pink Boots has partnered with Yakima Chief Hops to create a special hop blend for use in International Women’s Day brews. Yakima Chief donates $3 per pound sold of their Pink Boots blend back to the society’s scholarship fund.
“It’s gratifying to see more women involved in the craft beer industry and learning about their journey from another profession,” says Lori Wince, co-owner and assistant brewer at Weasel Boy Brewing. “When I first joined the Pink Boots Society in 2008, there were fewer women in the industry and not many of them were in Ohio. As Ohio’s craft beer offerings grew, so did the number of women I would run into at breweries and Ohio now has women serving in very important positions in the state’s brewing industry.”
Collaboration Saison Coming March 8
The group decided to brew a farmhouse saison for this year’s collaboration. Saisons were historically brewed in the winter and allowed to ferment and condition for several months in order to be enjoyed in the spring. The style is known and enjoyed for its refreshing effervescence, as well as the fruity and spicy flavors derived from yeast.
This year’s beer, Saison of the Witch, will be available on draft and in a limited run of cans at the Phoenix taproom on Tuesday, March 8. Some of this year’s participating breweries will also be offering the saison as a guest tap for International Women’s Day.
Read more about this year’s collaboration at richlandsource.com and keep an eye out for International Women’s Day beers from craft breweries all over the state in the coming months.