Female Craft Beer Brewers Raise A Glass To International Women's Day

LIBERTY, Maine (WABI) - Female craft brewers worldwide are raising a stein to International Women's Day.

Wednesday, women from breweries all over Maine gathered in Liberty to make their own special blend and raise awareness of women in a male-dominated industry.

"The beer industry is just one of the most collaborative, exciting, fun, booming industries in Maine right now," explained Lake St. George Co-Owner, Elizabeth Johnston.

"Collaborations happen all over the state, but I feel like this is the first of its kind where it's women coming together," said Mary Weber of Monhegan Brewing Company.

Women from breweries and other realms of the beer industry came together Wednesday to brew for Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day - a day created by Pink Boots Society.

"What I like about Pink Boots is that for women who do feel like they can't enter this field or another male-dominated field, it's a really supportive community for them," said Johnston.

The unifying characteristic of all the beers being brewed around the country is the use of a special blend of hops.

"We're doing an American Pale Ale. The unifying factor of this beer is that we're using a Pink Boots Blend. It's a blend put out by Yakima hops. So, everybody across the nation that is brewing as part of Pink Boots Beer is using the same hop blend," said Weber.

The yet-to-be named collaboration brew will be sold at participating venues who agree to donate some of the proceeds to the society.

Those funds will be used to provide scholarships to women in the beer industry.

Sisters, Elizabeth Johnston and Mary Weber, of Lake St. George Brewing Company in Liberty say the day is about connecting, sharing, and of course, brewing.

"A lot of the people here are not always working on the production floor, so to be first hand actually making the beer together is a different experience," explained Weber.

"We always learn so much when we brew with other brewers just as far as technique, products, and even chit-chatting about all the other facets of owning a brewery," said Johnston.

Studies in recent years have found women hold about a quarter of brewery jobs in the United States.

Johnston says she hopes that number will continue to grow here in Maine.

"As consumers and producers, there are far more women drinking beer and far more women having some role in making that beer, and I think that says a lot about the beer industry," said Johnston.