Pink Boots Society is launching MN chapter, aims to empower women in the beer industry


Minnesota's craft beer industry continues to boom, and so does the community of brewers in the state as the Pink Boots Society prepares to launch its first Minnesota chapter.

Women are often under-represented in the beer industry, and the Pink Boots Society hopes to change that. The nonprofit's mission is to empower female beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education – and now Minnesota will have its first chapter, The Growler reports.

The Pink Boots Society began eight years ago as just a list of female brewers on a website and a blog, and it has grown to more than 2,000 women – anyone who earns at least part of their income from beer is eligible for the free membership – across the country who teach one another about the industry through seminar programs and events at local chapters, the nonprofit's website notes.

Pink Boots Society also raises money through fundraisers to provide educational scholarships to help women advance their careers, the website says.

And on Sept. 17, the society will officially launch the Minnesota chapter with a kick-off event at the Herkimer in Minneapolis (tickets are $25), becoming the 25th chapter in the country, The Growler says.

The Minnesota chapter will focus on education and advancing knowledge for women already involved in the industry, but the hope is that women who aren't currently working in beer will look into getting involved, The Growler says.

There's another national organization that aims to advance the "under-recognized" demographic in the industry. Barley's Angels has had a chapter in Minnesota since 2011, and the members aim to educate themselves on all things beer related, the organization's website says.

A look at women's history with beer

These organizations are the latest step to empower women in the industry that's long been thought of as a man's world. But in fact, women were some of the original brewsters (the name for a female brewer), the National Women's History Museum says, and they're again becoming more involvedespecially in the craft beer industry.

In 1986, Mellie Pullman became the country's first female brewmaster in modern American history when she launched Wasatch Brewery in Utah, Beer and Brewing reported. But the trend was slow to catch on – a 2010 survey found that fewer than 10 percent of all breweries nationwide had a female brewer, Craft Beer reported.

But by 2014, the number of women working in breweries was on the rise. A Stanford survey found that 21 percent of 2,500 breweries surveyed in the United States had at least one woman in a top role (founder, CEO, head brewer), which is relatively high compared to other industries, Craft Beer notes.

And the number of women enjoying beer is on the rise, too. Research shows almost 32 percent of craft beer produced in the United States in 2014 was consumed by women.

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