It takes beer to make beer: an all-female collaboration brew is under way at the Wynkoop
It's always loud inside the brewhouse at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, but it got a little louder on Tuesday when eight beer geeks from seven different breweries around Colorado convened to
Natalie (from left), Linsey, Ashleigh, Melissa, Sydney, Reva, Bess (in back) and Sara. drink beer together brew what is probably the first all-female craft beer collaboration in the state, a Belgian pale ale that will be tapped in March.
- Lady brewers will gather for Colorado's first all-female collaboration beer
- The newest batch of young guns in Colorado's brewing industry wear pink boots
- Wynkoop Brewing hires Bess Dougherty as its first female brewer in 24 years
The "lady brew day" was put together by Wynkoop brewer Bess Dougherty (and the Colorado Brewers Guild), who contacted other women who work in brewhouses across the state - a small group at this point -- in hopes of bring attention to women in the industry and inspiring people to get into the industry or to become homebrewers.
But the day, which began around 8 a.m., was also a chance for the group to get to know each other (some of them had never met before), to talk about equipment, ingredients, technique, the industry, their education, their goals and their careers.
"It's nice that we come from different breweries and different job positions because we can all learn from each other," says Melissa Antone, a microbiologist at Avery Brewing. "To make a really well rounded beer, we need well rounded points of view."
Most of the women in the group brew as a significant portion of their jobs, but some are also involved in chemistry and lab work, sensory analysis, sales and marketing, cellaring, operations, packaging and slinging suds in the tap room.
The participants consisted of Dougherty, along with Antone and Sara Ferber from Avery (which supplied yeast for the beer), Natalie Lesko of Funkwerks in Fort Collins, Sydney Skilken from Denver's TRVE Brewing, Linsey Cornish of Odell in Fort Collins, Reva Golden from Boulder's Twisted Pine (which sent hops) Ashleigh Carter of Prost Brewing (which supplied two kinds of malt).
And, of course, no brew day would be complete without a little sampling. Dougherty says they started out tasting some Wynkoop beers before moving on to Odell and Funkwerks brews. That may be just the beginning, though, since the job is expected to take all day.
The 4.5 percent ABV beer, which has yet to be named, will go on tap at the Wynkoop on March 18 at the beginning of Colorado Craft Beer Week; it should be available elsewhere in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins as well. The group is making twenty barrels of it.
Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan