It’s summertime in Boston again, which means it’s time for another American Craft Beer Fest. This year was a lot of fun. Team Beeriety got to try a lot of new beers and chat with a bunch of different beers lovers. We saw some familiar faces, but also made many new friends and tried many new beers. Here are five of our favorites.
Today’s post comes from guest contributor Sarah. Thanks Sarah!
Saturday’s American Craft Beer Fest marked a celebration of all things beer. But as a female beer-drinker, it’s often hard to know exactly how to fit into the “bro fest” that is beer culture. As most commercials will tell you, beer is something marketed to and consumed by men. And while women can certainly be the bikini-clad toolsfor marketing beer, we just don’t seem to be the demographic that’s drinking beer (unless of course it’s fruity or low-carb.) So we’re left in the margins – either ignored completely, condescended to, or thrown into a wet t-shirt contest.
However, the fact remains that whether or not we’re invited into the club, women LOVE beer. The strong showing of female beer fest attendees is a testament to that fact, as are the growing number of women who work within the beer industry. So Beeriety’s Erin and myself made it a point to talk to some female brewers about their sense of the beer community and their place as women in a predominantly male field.
Megan O’Leary Parisi, “Lead Brewster” of the lovely Boston brewpub Cambridge Brewing Company, was kind enough to talk with us not only about the exciting CBC lineup, but also about her role as a female brewer. Check her out discussing one of her beers featured at the beer fest, a rare Danish smoked lager know as an Imperial Skibsøl
During our conversation she also expressed a hope that someday soon, she’d no longer be referred to as a “female” brewer, but instead as simply a brewer. She also turned us on to two organizations designed as networks for women within the industry.
The first, Women in Beer is a Boston area group of women in the beer industry who [according to their website] “get together at least once a month to taste and review beers.” The second is the national group, the Pink Boots Society, an organization comprised of women who are employed within the beer-industry (brewers, marketers, owners, journalists, etc.) While any women within the industry is welcome, voting rights within this group are reserved solely for women involved in the physical production or quality assurance of beer itself. The PBS website also provides a listing of all its members and their titles, giving you a good idea of just how many women are situated within this field and just how diverse their jobs are. While the Pink Boots are exclusively a female group, Women in Beer is avid that they are not out to exclude men, merely to make women their main focus.
Over the coming weeks, we hope to be able to attend a Women in Beer meeting and discuss with them in greater detail their views on the industry, their goals as a group, and [most importantly] their favorite beers!
For now, ladies, we here at Beeriety would love to know what you’re drinking. Twitter your beers using the #mybeer hashtag!
On Saturday, Team Beeriety and some friends including Susie from We Are Not Martha headed down to the American Craft Beer Festival on Boston’s waterfront. It was an amazing array of 75 American brewers with over 300 different craft beers to sample. There was a lot of unusual beers and beer lovers at the festival and we did our best to check out as many of them as we could.
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
The beer was fantastic and while we all had our individual favorites, there was a general consensus that Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project was the break away star. Considering this small brewery run by a husband and wife team has only been around for about a year their beers show an astounding amount of sophistication and deliciousness. Their labels also live up to their name as some of the prettiest I’ve seen in awhile. They are surely a brewer to keep an eye on.
Another favorite was Brooklyn Brewery’s Intensified Coffee Stout. Brooklyn has long been one of the most prominent craft brewers in America and this new brew showcases why. I’ve known and loved many coffee stouts, but never have I tried anything that so thoroughly captured the taste and mouthful of French press coffee and stout.
For a more detailed look at what beers grabbed our attentions take a look at our individual favorite lists:
There was also plenty of interesting people in attendance, like Woody Chandler, the ‘beer monk’.
Pretzel Necklaces were all the rage
Several people also had curiously placed a necklace of pretzels around their necks, which I’d never seen before but seems like a great way to snack while keeping two hands free for beer. We’ll have more on the beer fest and exclusive interviews from the floor with brewers and attendees alike once we have a chance to sort through it all.
Until then check out the rest of the photos from the fest on the Beeriety Flickr account and let us know if you attended and what you were drinking in the comments!
Tomorrow the Beeriety team is heading to the America Craft Beer Festival in Boston to sample some tasty brews and meet some fellow beer lovers. We’re real excited for the festivities and we plan on shooting lots of video and photos for our fest report next week.
Many of you may be wondering what exactly is “craft beer” and how it differs from regular beer. For a better understanding of this sometimes loose term let’s turn to the Brewers Association website, which states:
An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional.
Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.
Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
Traditional:A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of it’s volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
This all boils down to beer that’s made by people who take a hands-on approach to brewing that emphasizes quality over cost. The first American craft brewery as we know it was Anchor Brewing Company, makers of San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam, who under new management in the early 1970s changed their recipe to only include hops, barley, yeast and water. With this change they became one of the first breweries in Post-Prohibition America to make beer free of additives and adjuncts and since then craft beer has grown to include over 1500 American craft brewers.
Team Beeriety is looking forward to sampling just a fraction of the amazing craft beer the US produces. We’ll be twittering live from the event (#ACBF hashtag) and letting you know what we’re drinking with the Beeriety #mybeer hashtag!