It’s somehow fitting that on the day after St. Pauli selected their new St. Pauli girl, Jennifer England from Lansing, we have a feature about women in brewing & beer in Michigan from Amy Kuras at MetroMode entitled Beer’s Better Half.
Amy writes that from the beginning, it was women who made beer (and made water safe to drink). The industrial revolution moved brewing from kitchen to factory, moving brewing & beer largely into the men’s domain. Fast forward to today when women in Michigan are moving back to the fore of the brewing & beer scene. This article looks at a few including Annette May, was the first woman to earn the title of Cicerone which equates to a sommelier for beer, Kristy Smith, part owner of MillKing It! Productions and Sarah Sidelko, head brewer at Motor City Brewing Works:
One of the reasons you don’t see a lot of women brewers is because of the physical demands. Sidelko says she lifts 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of grain in a week, which is hard to believe given her slight build. But with a background in gymnastics, she’s a lot stronger than she looks, she says, and can even out-lift some of the guys she works with.
On the side, Sidelko knows how to weld and build bikes, which has proved handy for understanding and fixing the brewing equipment. Even with her strength and skills she sometimes finds sexist attitudes at brewer’s conferences. “I’ve been assumed to be my boss’s wife,” she says. “I’d like to make brewing a more comfortable space for women.”
…For her, beer is equated with the pleasure of consuming something that’s been well- crafted. “I view beer as this sensual, lovely, artful experience. It’s delicious,” she says. “It’s very interesting experimenting with beer.
We just got an email about the perfect event for this article! It’s called “Michigan Women in Brewing” and it takes place on Monday, May 9th at 7 PM at the Redwood Lodge Brewery in Flint! They are bringing in female brewers & owners to talk about their work and will have beers from the attendees for tasting – click that link for details!
We’ll close with Annette May telling you all about Michigan-made Atwater Block’s Voodoo Vator Doppelbock!