Women of Craft Beer: Beer Necessities Austin
The final, and probably the largest women’s beer organization to be covered in this series is Beer Necessities Austin, founded by Sarah Eshelman. This Saturday Beer Necessities celebrates two years of drinking and discussing great craft beer all around the Austin area.
I sat down with Austin founder Sarah to find out more about this fast growing MeetUp group.
What is the mission of Beer Necessities?
In your own words, describe the group and what it means to be part of it.
Beer Necessities is a Meetup group of women that meet weekly at bars and breweries all over Austin. Sometimes we learn about beer, sometimes we just drink beer. There’s no membership fee to join, and we try to negotiate discounts for all of our events. It’s casual and fun and pretty magical. I always stay at events way later then intended because I’m having so much fun.
Many ladies find us because they don’t have any girlfriends that drink beer. And then they see BN on Meetup and think, “Women that love beer!? I’ve found my people!” And that’s really what the group is about — inclusion, acceptance, friendship. The love of beer is just an amazing pre-qualifier. Beer people are the best!
What makes this group unique?
It’s a pretty diverse group, with an awesome age range. Where else can women in their 20s enjoy beers with women in their 50s? And there’s a range of professions too, from engineers to teachers to accountants to retirees. It’s such a beautiful mesh of women!
Also, no one is snobby about beer. I’ve noticed lots of the girls actually love when someone comes who doesn’t know much about beer. Newbies are immediately offered some suggestions, some sips of beer, some snippets of knowledge cobbled together from past BN events. It creates a fun environment where we’re all learning together.
What type of events do you have and how often do you have them?
Every week! Often on weeknights, but we’ll do some weekend stuff too especially if we’re road tripping out to Jester King or Real Ale! We’ve done a wide variety of events: guided flights, brewery tours, tubing the river, bottle shares, beer cupcakes, panels with women in the beer industry, and plenty of good old fashioned girl time over beers.
How many members do you have to date? What do beer loving ladies need to do to join?
We have over 1000 members! Don’t worry, they’ve yet to all show up at once! Our weekly events average around 25 ladies, and we have a lot of regulars. So you’ll see the same women over and over again!
Join our Meetup.com group, RSVP to one of our upcoming events, and then just show up! You can come by yourself or bring another beer-loving lady friend. But a lot of women come by themselves, so don’t feel intimidated.
Where do you see this group in one year? Five?
If we are still holding weekly events around Austin in 5 years, that would be awesome! And I mean a variety of events, not just a bunch of the same places over and over. I think another thing that makes BN unique is that the ladies running it really care about making it great. I always called it “my baby”, and I know the current co-organizers take the same love and pride in making every event even better than the last.
I recently moved to the Pacific NW, so I’m starting a new Beer Necessities in Seattle (already over 100 members!) — I’d love to have BN-Seattle running strong in a year. And in 5 years, who knows? Maybe we’ll have BN-Tokyo.
Where can we find more information about the group and keep up with the latest goings on?
Join the Meetup group! www.meetup.com/Beer-
And join us on Facebook too! www.facebook.com/groups/