This edition of our Women in Craft Beer series highlights a unique community of women whose focus is on the holistic craft beverage industry, and not just craft beer. SheBrews co-founders hail from the craft beverage industry where coffee and beer intersect: Randi Hensley, Operations Director and Raechel Hurd, Coffee Director, at Epoch Coffee, and Britt Allen, Barista, Fleet Coffee.
I caught up with SheBrews to learn more about this exciting community.
What was the inspiration behind SheBrews? How did the group get started?
SheBrews is a concept that presented itself at an after-party for the United States Barista Championship qualifying event in Austin, Texas. The original founder, Emily Jackson, who sadly left us to move to England last summer, started a conversation that lasted hours after the party was over. We all agreed there seemed to be something missing: a place for women to gather in the male-dominated craft beverage industries. Even with plenty of industry events occurring, there was a noticeable lack of space for women to take part on equal footing with their male colleagues
What is the primary focus of SheBrews?
SheBrews aims to provide a platform for education, networking, and empowerment for female professionals in the craft beverage industry. We want to create a safe space to gather amongst female identifying peers and let their voices be heard.
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Francis Photography
What type of events do you host and who can join?
SheBrews hosts a variety of events, with different goals in mind. All are welcome, however we make it very clear that women will never be silenced, talked over, or talked down to. Social events such as happy hours and group bicycle rides aim to provide an opportunity to develop mentorships, relationships, and professional networking bridges. Educational events include brewery and roastery tours, tastings, and lectures by guest speakers.
What is next for SheBrews? What can we expect in 2018?
SheBrews has some exciting events planned for 2018! Our goal is to host one large event every year, which we refer to as the “Symposium.” The symposium includes tasting tables, panel discussions, sensory/palate development exercises, and social hours. Our inaugural event was a huge success, and we want to come back to it every year. It gives people something to look forward to!
We will also continue with the smaller, educational and social events. A favorite of ours is the mash-up series that we started earlier this year. The event begins with a tour/tasting at a coffee location, such as a shop or roastery, we then walk to a nearby brewery or bottle shop for another tour/tasting. We hope to follow up our inaugural Wild Gift Coffee/Austin Beerworks mash-up from January with a south Austin mash-up this summer!
Like most people, my love for craft beer started in college when most craft consisted of imports. Austin has come a long way since then and I love being a part of the Austin beer culture and consistantly expanding my beer knowledge.
Follow Me on Twitter @PamCraftBeerATX