International Women’s Day was this week, and the CMBC Brew Crew celebrated this past weekend by getting together in the sour room for some much-needed connection, a review of our history with International Women’s Day, sensory training, a Maybe She’s Brewed With It tasting and cheese pairing, and reading from Tara Nurin!
Check out some fun things you might not know, and why the Brew Crew is proud to celebrate this month!
To start off our afternoon, everyone gathered in the sour room, complete with shiny table covers, packs of Maybe She’s Brewed With It, and some name tags so that we could meet or reacquaint ourselves with all the new folks joining us! About half of the women who make up CMBC and Cape Beverage joined us for our 4th year of celebrating CMBC’s IWD event. This was our first back together in-person after a zoom event last year!
Part of the programming, in the spirit of our partners, the Pink Boots Society, was to give many of us the tools and skills to ask questions and better improve our knowledge of beer and how we convey that to others.
Lab Manager Lauren Appleman and Warehouse Manager Polly Pollock-Bell led the sensory training, which, even if you’ve had it before, is hugely beneficial (especially for those who might not know that they’re drinking or smelling off-flavors!). We’ll save that for another blog post so that we can share all of that with you!
After the sensory training, which involved putting a lot of not-so-nice things into Maybe She’s Brewed With It, we got to enjoy the brew as-is.
Creative & Social Marketing Coordinator Courtney Rosenberg brought out some cheeses and crackers for us to enjoy, which were the perfect compliment for the Saaz hops and notes of citrus, rose, and pine from the Pink Boots Hop Blend!
Brewer Emily Siddall shared more about the genesis of this brew and its recipe and answered some of our questions, one of which was how she got her start in the field.
Emily hails from Weyerbacher and Stickman Brews, after getting her Brewing Cert from U Sciences. You might remember that both Lab Manager Lauren Appleman and Lab Tech Tom Dooner are U Science grads!
She credits the program for helping her switch careers. Funnily enough, because of her science background, Emily was sure she would be working in the lab at a brewery.
When she interned at Weyerbacher, they offered her a job afterwards, but they only had a brewing spot available.
The rest is history!
Emily notes that while her first week brewing was rough (it’s an extremely physically demanding job), she wouldn’t change it for the world and loves what she does.
Her background is inspiring, as only about 37% of craft brewery employees are women. Many of us in the room work in the Tasting Room, admin, or events departments. Only four women on the CMBC team (and one woman at Cape Beverage!) work in the production or warehouse departments.
The number of women-owned breweries is even more staggering: of the thousands of breweries across the country, only 2% are women-owned. Yep, 2%.
We happen to have at least three women-owned breweries in New Jersey, and they’re in different corners of the state!
Forgotten Boardwalk is owned by Jamie Queli, and they’re based out of Cherry Hill. Backward Flag is not only woman-owned, but also veteran-brewed—Army vet Torie Fisher opened the brewery in Forked River in 2015. Up in Neptune City, Gretchen Schmidhausler is brewing up German and English-style ales at Little Dog Brewing Co.
We encourage you to check out one of these breweries if you haven’t already, or go support them this year!
Rounding out our time last weekend was a reading and conversation with author and beer/spirits journalist Tara Nurin, who read from her new book: A Woman’s Place Is in the Brewhouse: A Forgotten History of Alewives, Brewsters, Witches, and CEOs.
It’s particularly enlightening for beer fans, because women have historically brewed beer for generations. It’s only very recently that the beer resurgence (particularly in America) has been dominated by men, and it’s a fascinating history to explore! Definitely check out Tara’s book if you’re interested in learning more, and you can find Tara covering all things beer and spirits for Forbes!
If you’re looking for an entirely women-made CMBC brew to enjoy this weekend, you can still pick up or try Maybe She’s Brewed With It, our 5.8% Pilsner exclusively at our Tasting Room!
This is a rare treat, as our International Women’s Day brews usually sell out fast, so if you’ve been thinking about trying it or will be around Cape May this weekend, definitely stop by!
It’s a clean, simple, and refreshing brew that takes the best of our more recent lagers Cin Cin and Longliner and somehow makes them even better. Check out the link here to secure your own 4-pack!