“Beer is what brings us together, but the relationships are what make us stay.” | Sarah Eshelman, Beer Necessities Austin Founder
Beer Necessities is a very casual group of Austin women and those that identify as such who get together to drink and chat craft beer, making wonderful connections along the way. Established in September 2014, the group meets monthly at breweries, pubs, and beer bars around Austin. Beer Necessities (BNATX) offers everything from laid-back cheers sessions to industry women Q&A panels, as well as behind-the-scenes brewery tours. Beer culture is often male-centric, so this group allows women (drinkers, brewers, bartenders, and beyond) an opportunity to meet and network with other beer-loving women while sharing delicious beverages and stories along the way.
This September marks the group’s 8th Anniversary, and the organizers are determined to continue the BNATX festivities of celebrating women coming together through beer. Karen Brown, Pam Catoe, Melanie Ross, and Megan McMahon currently co-organize events for the group and are thrilled to share some upcoming event details! Join the Meetup group to attend.
Photo credit to Karen Brown, BNATX Co-Organizer. Beer Necessities logo created by Case Face Graphics
Where did Beer Necessities originate?
Sarah Eshelman, who currently resides in Fort Collins, created the Meetup. Thanks to her inspiration, there are currently sister chapters in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Portland. Eshelman’s motivation for starting the group and continuing to support chapter openings all over the U.S. comes from genuine regard for creating “all-women” spaces. She noted, “I love beer, I love learning about beer, and I love hanging out with other ladies who love beer. I strongly believe that all-women spaces are incredibly important. There’s automatic ease and confidence that comes with all-women spaces — there are no ulterior motives, there’s less judgment, there’s a feeling of “just hangin’ with the girls” that is pure magic.”
What to expect for the 8th Anniversary?
The group is excited to celebrate at Last Stand Brewing Company where members can expect, fresh beers, camaraderie with other members, and exciting raffle giveaways benefiting this year’s charity.
Each year Beer Necessities links up with a local organization to fundraise for, and 2022 is no exception. This year, the organizers felt it was crucial to encourage voter registration, and provide nonpartisan vital info for upcoming elections. All raffle money raised will be 100% donated to the League of Women Voters – Austin, who will be onsite to answer questions and register voters. According to their website, “The League of Women Voters Austin Area is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots civic organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate.“
Austin Ale Trail will also be on site with passports. Ale Trail participants can snag free glassware, stickers, beer discounts, free food, and more from select breweries! BNATX would like to express their immense gratitude to the Austin spaces who donated raffle items supporting the event! Lucky winners can expect fun items from Frontyard Brewing, Ghost Note Brewing, Live Oak Brewing, Meanwhile Brewing Co, Nomadic Beerworks, Oddwood Brewing, Vista Brewing, WhichCraft Tap Room & Bottle Shop, Zilker Brewing, Turnstile, Vacancy Brewing, Hopsquad Brewing, and Hold Out Brewery.
How to Join
If you are a womxn in Austin, whether you are a longtime resident or recent transplant, a beer guru, or a total novice, as long as you are interested in craft beer & sharing it with other women, Beer Necessities would love to have you! Join the Meetup group, or via Facebook. You can now find Beer Necessities on Twitter & Instagram as well.
Photo Credit to Beer Necessities Seattle; Collaboration brew day with Seattle brewer, Ariel Klein, Outer Planet Brewing
Eshelman also offers streamable Beer Barre classes via Zoom on her website. Before the pandemic, she taught barre fitness classes in a brewery (using the bar as the barre…how clever!) and would celebrate with a group beer afterward. “I wanted to bring together my loves of teaching fitness, drinking beer, and connecting people.” When the lockdown happened, I moved Beer Barre online. I’d stream a live barre class on Facebook, then pour myself a beer and dance around my living room. Students would join from all over the country!” Since moving, Eshelman misses most Austin dark beers that she grew to love so much. “Some of my standards were 512 Pecan Porter, ABW Black Thunder…My fave seasonals were 512 Cascabel Cream Stout and ABW Sputnik.” All great choices, Sarah!
Can’t wait to celebrate 8 years of fun! Cheers Beer Necessities!