Twenty women walk into a bar to drink craft beer. It’s no joke. It’s the Fem Ales revolution.
This past Sunday I had the pleasure of joining several other beer-loving ladies at The Grand Trunk Saloon in Kitchener, where we raised a glass to womanhood and well-crafted brews.
The event is the fourth one hosted by the group since its inception last fall. Thanks to an invite from my friend Claire, it was my first time attending, and won’t be my last.
Two of the organizers, Lisa Kargis and Charlotte MacKenzie, explained how the group began as a few acquaintances from several backgrounds (service industry, tech), with a similar passion for Canadian-made craft beer. A Facebook group acts as home base to share news and event info with their followers, and has already amassed 275 members, including brewery folk (like Patience Hartford from Descendants Beer and Beverage Co.), bartenders and drinkers like me.
Although the industry is still slow to market to women drinkers, there has been a good local response to this interest group. And as Lisa describes, the energy is different when it’s solely women drinking beer together. You get a new sense of confidence in your drink order, and there’s no pressure to feel like you need to know everything about craft beer. It’s OK in this group to ask questions and learn. Drinking and learning are some of my favourite things.
However, this group of strong women isn’t just focused on drinking beer. They’re donating a percentage of their event ticket sales to the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. Very cool.
At this event, we got to snack on the Grand Trunk Saloon’s tasty appetizer menu (hello arancini balls!), and enjoy three pints of the local suds on tap. They were featuring Together We’re Bitter’s Maggie’s Farm House APA, Descendants’ Dry Hopped Lager, Black Swan Brewing Co.’s IPA and Junction Craft Brewing’s HEY! Porter. Since Descendants is a regular in our household, I opted for the other three and was very pleased.
The Farm House APA is hoppy, sweet and fresh, but not as sweet as the IPA, which had awesome pineapple notes. Saving what I thought would be my favourite for last, the Porter was out of this world. Strong roasted flavours of coffee and chocolate made it the perfect dessert to an incredible afternoon.
I will be back, Fem Ales, and I will bring a larger posse!
For some interesting stats on women’s craft beer habits and beer can designs, check out this (very lengthy) blog post: https://bensbeerblog.com/2017/02/02/lets-talk-about-sexist-beer-marketing/