I think one thing everyone in craft beer can agree on is that we need more women in brewing. Currently, there are only two breweries in B.C. with a woman as a head brewer. That’s why it’s awesome to see an event like Siris Cask Festival, which will highlight some of the great beers being made by women brewers and help encourage more women to get into the industry. The cask festival takes place April 22 at the Cat and Fiddle Pub in Port Coquitlam and features more than 30 beers brewed by women brewers.
Proceeds from the festival are being used to set up a bursary for female students enrolled in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewing Studies program, in order to help achieve gender parity in the brewing industry.
Steamworks head brewer and multiple B.C. Beer Award-winner Julia Hanlon is one of the many brewers taking part in the festival.
“As a woman in the craft beer industry, I get asked a lot about what it is like to be a woman in the craft beer industry,” Hanlon says. “My hope would be that people will stop asking me that.”
(For the record, I did not ask her that.)
Hanlon says while there is a massive under-representation of women in craft brewing, she’s never experienced any outright discrimination based on her gender. But it’s her hope that by highlighting the stories and successes of women brewers, other women with an interest in beer will be inspired to pursue it as a career.
“I think we’re starting to see that, and I think there are more women taking brewing programs and working in breweries and that’s really encouraging,” she says.
Siris Cask Festival
Saturday, April 22, 11am to 5pm at the Cat and Fiddle Pub in Port Coquitlam (first hour open only to women). Tickets and more info available at http://tricitiescaskfestival.com/siriscaskfestival.php