Queens of the Beer Age

Behold, the court of craft beer royalty

for_the_love_of_beerWe love to see how women are taking the beer world by storm. Recently Bess Dougherty of Denver’s Wynkoop Brewery hosted the state’s first all-female brew team as they crafted the official beer of Colorado Craft Beer Week, which kicks off March 18th. The eight Colorado-based female brewers formulated a Belgian-style pale ale, which we certainly hope to taste, being huge fans of the style.

It’s a timely project. Friday March 8th is International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion appropriately, we’re following up our massively popular story from last August on the women revolutionizing craft beer with a power list spanning several decades of achievement. These five women are boldly making the craft beer world a better, more egalitarian place (and making a lot of really amazing beer in the process). We’re here to raise our glass. You should, too.

Click here to read on for another abbreviated list of the top females revolutionizing craft beer, in no particular order.

Do you know any inspiring women in the beer business? Tell us here.

Kim Jordan
Co-Founder/CEO, New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
kim_jordanAt the helm of the nation’s third-largest craft brewery (behind Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Co.), she’s one of the industry’s most prominent CEOs—male or female—anchoring keynote addresses, being featured in lengthy national magazine profiles, and spearheading the innovative, green-minded brewery’s recent expansion into Asheville, North Carolina and the burgeoning East Coast craft beer market.

Meg Gill
Co-Founder & President, Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles, CA
team-megAt just 28, Yale classics scholar and record-setting competitive swimmer Gill is the youngest female brewery owner in the nation, leading one of the fastest start-ups ever since opening October of 2011 and helping convert more Americans to canned craft beer. She’s also been gracing the pages of the LA Times, Imbibe, and Glamour, and charming audiences on national TV.

Wendy Littlefield
Co-Founder, Vanberg & Dewulf, Cooperstown, NY
wendy-thumb-2-150x150These women put the ale in Yale. Another Bulldog, Littlefield’s beer career was born in Brussels, Belgium after college, where she and college sweetheart Don Feinberg eloped. They would go on to form Vanberg & Dewulf, importing Duvel, Scaldis, Rodenbach, and Dupont, to name but a few world classics. Later the duo launched groundbreaking, American, Belgian-style brewery Ommegang, and this year the two are James Beard Award semi-finalists in the "Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional" category. It’s no less than the Oscars for food & drink. Follow her cheery, beery exploits on Twitter here: @BelgianExpert.

Deb Carey
Co-Founder, New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI
264c6399_d518_27d3_e28ad33b8047d4fbThe first female to found and operate a craft brewery in the US, the soft-spoken, straight-shooting Carey is used to being in the headlines. The beers she and husband brewmaster Dan Carey create in their $21 million, Bavarian-style facility in America’s “Little Switzerland” have a major following nationwide (if not, alas, distribution, though this is by choice). Among her best traits? Humility. Invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to join her at the President’s recent inauguration, Carey donned “a black dress she wore to her daughter's high school graduation in 2001 and a jacket she bought at an antique store,” reported the LaCrosse Tribune.

Carol Stoudt
Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Stoudt’s Brewing Company, Adamstown, PA
contact_carolFormer kindergarten teacher Stoudt and husband Ed founded their Adamstown, Pennsylvania brewery in 1987 as an unlikely team. The mother of five didn’t previously like beer, but after a trip to Germany opened her eyes and tastebuds to the glories of fresh, traditional brews, she pursued high-level training at UC Davis and would eventually be the first American female to earn the lofty title of brewmaster since Prohibition. Stoudt’s Pils remains a real classic throughout the Northeast (rated 100 points by the Allström brothers, founders of Beer Advocate), and many other beers have landed more than 20 medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Find one and raise it to her great work.


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