Women's History Month is a big deal for the international craft beer community, where female brewers are still on the low end of the ratio (versus the number of bearded men) and only in Los Angeles are ladies as involved and integrated into the local beer scene.
March is the month that these women of craft beer do everything to make their voices the loudest and organizations like the Pink Boots Societ y – an international organization that promotes the growth of women in craft beer – get their much-deserved spotlight.
The first such spotlight will come on Saturday March 8, when at least 60 lady brewers from around the world and their friends (including eight ladies from L.A.) will all simultaneously strap on their pink brewing boots and spend Saturday at their kettles making the same easy-drinking beer. They call it the first ever International Womens Collaboration Brew Day.
Appropriately called Unite Pale Ale, this Cascade-hopped session beer is meant to be made with readily available malts and hops so that brewers can participate from anywhere. But everything from water quality to the origin of the hops ensures that each brewery's version of Unity remains unique. It's a testament to both collaboration and individualism, major tenants of feminism and craft beer alike.
In April, the beer will begin pouring at taprooms and pubs in nine countries with proceeds from the sale going directly back into the Pink Boots Society's scholarships and education efforts.
Several of the area's female brewers are taking part in the IWCBD this year including L.A.'s Golden Road Brewing – co-owned by female impresario Meg Gill – and Montebello homebrewer Gayle Michel, who will be donating her beer to City Tavern in Culver City, where female general manager Ryan Hughes supports the cause.
But just because only two breweries are listed doesn't mean that only two women are participating: Golden Road's team includes Gill, Laurel Brooks and their marketing maven homebrewer Frances Lopez; while Angry Horse's beer will be made jointly by Michel, Kelly Beach, Christina Ortiz, Claire Richardson and Sarah Kern of MacLeod Ale Co.
Major names in craft beer – from Ballast Point to Dogfish Head to Oskar Blues – will also be brewing batches on March 8, International Women's Day.
The event aims to raise awareness of women in the brewing industry and, with an easy-drinking style, hopes to encourage more women to drink beer too.
For more information on International Womens Collaboration Brew Day including the Unity recipe and a map of participating breweries, visit IWCBD.org. Hashtag your brew day photos #IWCBD.