Leading women in the beer industry talk shop at Capital Ale House

Several of beer’s leading women will be in RVA this weekend to talk about their experiences (and brews!).

Leading women in the beer industry will take part in a panel discussion this Saturday at Capital Ale House to talk about their experience and raise money for the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering female beer professionals.

Amanda Marable of RVA-based Loveland Distributing reached out to Capital Ale House to put together the event, Brewbies, after she became a member of the Pink Boots Society.

“I realized that there were so many women working in the industry and so many women that loved beer and I wanted to be a part of creating an event that would be all about them,” Marable said. The owner of Capital Ale House “loved the idea and had some great contacts in the industry to really create an amazing panel of women.”

Panelists will include:

Mary Wolf, who retired from AOL in 2001, said she “fell head over heels in love with the craft beer industry” and co-founded Wild Wolf Brewing Company (Nellysford, VA) over a year ago.

“I believe one of the factors that has made craft beer such a force in the beer arena is that the beers are unique and exciting,” Wolf said. “Sure, you have specific styles with criteria by which those beers are judged. But, beyond that, there is so much room for creativity. In fact, sometimes the crazier the idea, the better the beer!”

Audra Gaiziunas has worked in beer for about four years, beginning as the controller for Dogfish Head and now having served as Mother Earth Brewing Company’s (Kinston, NC) Chief Financial Officer for over two years. She’s observed more women becoming fans of beer in recent years and hopes that will lead more women into the industry.

“A greater number of women are joining and creating beer-centric social groups such as Women Enjoying Beer, Barley’s Angels, and Girls’ Pint Out, but I haven’t seen the bridge jump from craft beer enthusiasts to craft beer employees quite yet,” Gaiziunas said. “We’re right on the verge, though.”

Kristi Mathews Griner of Capitol City Brewing Company, a brewpub with several D.C. Metro Area locations, brewed her first beer in 2007 and has been in the industry since. She believes that beer and masculinity have been unfairly paired.

“[Women] most likely invented beer!” Griner said. “The oldest beer recipe is in The Hymn to Ninkasi,” referring to the Sumerian goddess of brewing. She said that other cultures also attribute beer to a goddess. “It, rather, became masculinized by culture.” She added that she’s a big advocate of women in beer.

“I really believe it is our heritage to brew.”

Not only will panelists be at the event, so will beer uncommon to Virginia.

Amanda Marable, co-organizer of the event, said Mother Earth Brewing will bring several of its beers not distributed in Virginia. She said Wild Wolf will also provide a beer currently unavailable in the state.1

When asked what women who are interested in craft beer can do to get involved in the industry, Marable said that women shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or try something new.

“So you love chocolate flavors? There’s a beer for that!” Marable said. “You love citrus flavors? There’s a beer for that! You love gasoline and rubber? There’s probably one out there that has that in it too.”

Brewbies will take place at Capital Ale House on Saturday, March 9th at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and are available online, or at Capital Ale House, located at 623 E. Main Street. Proceeds benefit the Pink Boots Society.

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  1. She said there will also be other “small batch” beers at the event. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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