Women in Brewing
You might not know that but ethnographic studies and archaeological records indicate that brewing alcohol was primarily an activity engaged in by women, until the industrialisation of brewing began. During this time, women didn’t have autonomy and control of their own money so women started being left out of their own businesses. “When money got involved, men increasingly started brewing,” said Gregg Smith, the author of ‘Beer in America’.
Nowadays, being a female brewer in a traditionally male-dominated field isn’t easy. Women are breaking the old patriarchal rules and getting back into brewing to show the world beer isn’t and never has been a ‘man’ thing. Beer is for everyone, beer is universal and to prove that, we’ll show you how women are doing it.
If you’ve been to Melbourne, Australia before, you’ve probably heard about or tasted a beer by Two Birds, Australia's first female-owned brewery founded in 2011 by Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen. Two Birds Brewing is located in Spotswood, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne and their award-winning brewery has everything that is good about the craft beer industry in Australia. They brew chocolate, watermelon and even taco beer. Yes - TACO beer. Two Birds beers are available across Australia in bottleshops, bars, restaurants and pubs - both on tap and by the bottle or can.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Oshita sisters are rocking in Osaka with their craft beers. Minoh Beer is a microbrewery founded in 1997 by Masaji Oshita, and since the beginning has been run by his three daughters, Kaori Oshita, Mayuko Oshita and Nozomi Katsumi. Kaori started to run the business by herself, but the brewery grew and she eventually needed help from the other sisters. Minoh is one of the most famous breweries of Osaka. Kaori created a white ale made with yuzu citrus in 2012, 'Yuzu White', and with that beer Minoh won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2012. In 2015 the sisters opened the Minoh Beer Warehouse, a bar with 10 taps that also sell bottles and Minoh merchandise. The bar is located in the residential neighbourhood of 'Mino-o', where the brewery is also located. So if you’re planning to go to Osaka, you should definitely stop by Minoh Beer.
To complete our list, San Francisco’s Local Brewing Co. is out and about with heaps of beers. Regan Long and Sarah Fenson launched the business in 2015 and they own the first female-owned brewery in the area. They wanted people to choose beers they actually would enjoy, so they developed a mobile platform called 'The Beer Curator' to help people figure out which beer to order. The Beer curator is available on Local Brewing’s website, and it ranks the brewery’s beers on a scale from one to 10 for level of alcohol, bitterness and complexity of flavour.
Got thirsty reading about all of these beers? Book your spot now in one of the best Melbourne tours, our Microbrewery Walking Tour and taste the best local beers in Melbourne with us and enjoy Melbourne as a local would do. On our tour you get the chance to explore Melbourne’s coolest neighbourhood, try some Aussie snacks and taste the most creative local beers at selected microbreweries.
Now let us know if there are any microbreweries owned by females in your city/country in the comments below!