For women who take their beer seriously, what do they do when they just want to enjoy some good brews and discuss them in a relaxed atmosphere? They organize a Beer&Body outing, that’s what.
Beer&Body Craft Beer Girls, which is the largest women’s craft beer group in the nation, now has a West Virginia affiliate. They welcome all levels of craft beer drinkers. Nationally, they have female brewers, brewery owners, Instagram beer celebs, beer bloggers, beer fans, novices, and beer curious all coming together for the love of beer.
In West Virginia, Lynette Stewart and Libby Rojas, both of Charleston, are two organizers of the local chapter. They got together with several other women on Sunday as part of a nationwide meet up.
Sunday’s meet up at Black Sheep’s Bad Shepherd Beer Co. in Charleston was part of an effort to have possibly the largest ever meet up of women drinking beer across the U.S.
“We decided to have the meeting at Black Sheep since it was a local brewery and a restaurant,” Stewart said. “In our group it’s divided with most living in either the Morgantown/Fairmont or the Charleston areas.”
By providing a comfortable space for women to discuss, share, and learn about the best brews and breweries, Beer&Body meet ups help participants gain knowledge, form opinions, and have confidence in their beer expertise.
“I like it because I think being a female craft beer fan can be hard,” said Rojas. “It’s such an exclusive boys club.”
Let’s face it, in many ways, craft beer is way too much of a boys club. Nationally, around 75 percent of weekly craft beer drinkers are male. Across the industry, female brewers are pretty scarce.
It’s no secret that we male beer enthusiasts can often be quite dismissive of those we don’t feel are true beer connoisseurs. Too often this makes it hard for any newer beer drinker to feel welcome joining in the conversation at bottle shares and the like. Whether it’s intended or not, that’s how it comes across to many women who are trying to get into beer.
The last thing we need is for beer to continue being a boys club. If it does, it will only limit the industry’s potential to profit and grow.
Brilliant Stream loves seeing West Virginia women organizing themselves around the enjoyment of beer. If this kind of effort helps get more women comfortable navigating the craft beer universe, then more power to them. It would be great to see Beer&Body Craft Beer Girls and similar efforts help close the gender gap between men and women beer drinkers. What a great new market for beer that would create.
How to join Beer&Body
To join the list to receive updates of local and national events, you have two options. There is no cost to join. At the present time, you must be a Facebook member to sign up. Facebook members go to the national “Beer&Body Craft Beer Girls” group and click the +ADD button. You can also find the “Craft Beer Girls B&B West Virginia” page and click the +Join Group button.