One of our favorite things to hear about it women making waves in the brewing industry, and that’s just what is happening currently in Asheville, North Carolina. In a recent article in the Winston-Salem Journal, the writer took a lot at how women are beginning to make quite the impact on Asheville brewing. Western North Carolina has about 30 small and regional craft brewers that employ more than 250 works; women have been getting more involved in a variety of different jobs.
A few of the women highlighted in the article are:
- Kim Jordan, CEO of New Belgium Brewing. The company is building their East Coast expansion in West Asheville.
- Leah Wong Ashburn from Highland Brewing is slated to take over as president this fall when her father, company founder Oscar Wong, steps down. Highland Brewing is the city’s first craft brewery. Ashburn acknowledges that women have become an important market as customers and are also usually responsible for making decisions in grocery stores.
- Steph Weber just opened the Twin Leaf Brewery on Asheville’s South Slope with her husband, Tim. Steph made a very interesting point saying, “I prefer not to think of myself as a female in the brewing business, but rather a brewery owner and worker. I feel like pointing out it almost draws more attention to the fact that we are a minority in this business.”
- Julie Attallah, co-owner of Asheville’s Bruisin’ Ales beer stores, echoes Steph Weber’s sentiments. “I think we put too much emphasis on the male/female divide making it harder to notice that the beer business is inclusive, for everyone,” she said.
Asheville also used to have a group called the Beer Divas, but it isn’t currently active because of busy lives and conflicting schedules. Attallah was a part of the Beer Divas, but doesn’t really feel there’s a need for a women’s beer group. She said she isn’t very comfortable in women’s groups and that she would rather see an inclusive education and no gender-specific clubs.
What do you think? Is it a good thing or bad thing to call out women specifically in the brewing industry?