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Women Brewers Raising The Bar

on 10/05/11 at 10:45 am


Sisters are brewing it for themselves.

That’s one of the big themes of B.C.’s burgeoning craft-beer industry, which marks the launch of Vancouver Craft Beer Week on Friday.

Brewing was traditionally a female domain so it’s little surprise that a growing number of women are drinking all-natural beer and -creating it.

“Brewing beer sterilized the water and made it clean for the homes and that was the women’s job,” says Claire Connolly, brewmaster at Richmond’s Big River brew pub.

“Going back to Egyptian times, the women were the brewers,” adds Leslie Fenn, co-owner of Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish. “A lot of the ales were actually used as ancient herbal remedies. Ales were full of vitamins and herbs.”

Men took over brewing during the Industrial Revolution when it became a paid job, says Connolly. The dominance of mass-produced beer from the mid-20th century onward consolidated the boys’ club.

But the exploding popularity of craft beer -all-natural beer crafted by artisan brewers -has rekindled female interest.

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