Reading this article, I get two thoughts. One, it shouldn’t be news that this is a female owned brewery and I’m glad the article doesn’t dwell on it and holds off until the end to mention it. Two, how many big beer company castoffs are there looking for something to do in craft beer? And why don’t more of them start their own breweries?
When you read who Carol Waggener wants to attract to their brewery, “…people who are sort-of interested in craft beer but not really sure about it can have an offering, something they can taste and really enjoy, and grow to love craft beer…” you ask yourself, why don’t breweries do more to attract people not in the normal craft beer demographic.
I asked recently why is it important that African Americans drink craft beer. My answer was not about fairness or doing the right thing. If breweries seemingly actively alienate their fastest growing segment of consumers, women, or willfully ignore other potential segments, non-white people, they are limiting their potential future growth.
The first thing breweries and taprooms and all of us who work in craft should do is be welcoming to new people. To find a way to get them to walk away from Blue Moon and Heineken for something a little better.
I this article and I’m glad for two reasons. The first is I know the history of women in brewing and how important women were to the beginning of brewing as a business. So, on that level, I am glad to see a primarily female owned brewery opening in Charlotte. The second reason is the more women are involved in the business of brewing the fewer times we will have the silly discussions about offensive beer names. I don’t mean at the big breweries like New Belgium or Bells. The guys who self-distribute only in a 60-mile radius are rarely if ever going to have to see those women. However, if a brewery across town has a woman owner or a woman head brewer, they must face them at a local beer festival or brewer’s guild meeting. That will change the dynamic more than slapping them around on Twitter and Facebook (though that does work and feels good.)