Not Just The Boys' Beer Club: Female Crafters Tap Their Skills For Brew Day – NPR

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Andrea Stanley of Valley Malt in Hadley, Mass., steeps small amounts of malt as part of the international Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, an event meant to highlight women’s growing influence on the beer industry. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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Last week, women around the U.S. collaborated to make batches of beer.

Here in Massachusetts, more than 20 breweries signed on to highlight women’s increasing influence on what’s been a male-dominated industry. But many women in the field note there are still challenges.

Maureen Fabry has been a professional brewer for 20 years and recalled how, early in her career, she felt she needed to prove herself. “Not just mentally with the science, but the physical aspect of the job,” says Fabry. “You know what that’s like, having to pick up a half-barrel keg or 50-pound bag of grain and be on your feet 10 hours a day, seven days a week?”

Brewing has long been a boys’ club. Fabry never felt excluded because of her gender — and she felt supported by many men — but she did work hard to find female mentors.

“Yeah, I mean, I did have that little agenda,” she says, laughing, “but I think the more I worked in the brewing industry, the more I noticed that there were other women in sort of supporting roles within brewing, but not so many like on the floor, you know, getting their hands and feet wet.”

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