BeerEric Steen

Introducing Brewers Broads - a new women's beer group in town

BeerEric Steen

Brewers Broads is a new women's beer group in town. The group is led by Aly Hartwig, one of the bartenders at Brewer's Republic and she has some big plans for beer-loving ladies. We had a chance to check in with Aly recently, and we asked her about some of the things she's up to, so check out the interview below.

It sounds like the Broads already have four educational events in the works, each to focus on a different ingredient in beer: yeast, water, malt, and hops. The first event is this Monday, March 18th and will be one of a couple local kick-off events for CO Craft Beer Week. The event, at Brewer's Republic at 6pm, will feature a presentation on yeast by Bristol Brewing's Ken Andrews. Tickets are $15 and are nearly sold out. Last I checked there were only five tickets left, all of which were available at Coaltrain Wine and Spirits (719.475.9700).

If you'd like to be a part of this group, email brewersbroads[at]gmail[dot]com.

Let's catch up with Aly, here's our brief interview:

What made you want to start Brewers Broads?

I've been working at BR for nine months now and I've seen a lot of ladies come in the bar in that time. Some of them hate craft beer, some of them are beer geeks, but most of them are with a group of men. I wanted to create an atmosphere for ladies to come to the bar with other ladies, socialize, learn a little, and my favorite part - drink some beer! 

Let's be honest, the craft beer scene is predominately male. More times than I'd like, I find myself in a bar full of men. Colorado is one of the best places in the nation to drink craft beer. I'd hate to see women miss out on experiencing this "Napa of Beer." I feel that if Colorado women have a personal connection with people in the craft beer industry and a bit more knowledge we would be able to better enjoy what we drink.

Aly Hartwig of Brewer's Republic and Brewers Broads

You mentioned to me that you've done a little research by attending and looking into other women's beer groups? What have you found?

Yes! Every single group I attended was great and I was able to learn a little more about what would work best in Colorado Springs. I met with the Sisterhood of the Suds folks and they let me know what's worked and hasn't worked in town. Left Hand's Ales for FemAles did a great job of having a knowledgeable presentation and bringing in SO MANY ladies. Oskar Blues' Can Can Girls had an amazing number of tasters of great beers (10 Stouts for Stout Month!) and kept it more of an intimate atmosphere. Can Can Girls was also teaming up with their men's club for fun events like a secret ingredient home brew competition (Sad I didn't get to participate). Avery's Sisterhood of the Hop was doing a great job of not excluding men and creating a community type atmosphere with some unbeer related events (Bike maintenance classes!). The Mayor of Old Town's group was having a great event when I stopped in last month, tasting Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter, Stranahan Barrel Aged Vanilla Porter.

I especially enjoyed being able to go up to Wynkoop while they were doing an all women collaboration brew. Bess Dougherty of Wynkoop was awesome by inviting me to the event she organized [Editor's note - we're huge Bess fans too!]. There were women brewers from Avery, Prost, Twisted Pine, Odell, Funkwerks, and of course Wynkoop. It was great to hear what they had to say about brewing professionally and their thoughts on getting more women involved. In fact, after the event, the Odell and Funkwerks brewers left to present at Highland Tap and Burgers women's club that evening!

And what's coming up next for Brewers Broads?

In the short term we are doing four monthly get-togethers covering each of the main ingredients in beer. Our first event is "An Introduction to Yeast" with Bristol's microbiologist Ken Andrews. I'm also very excited for next month's event with Chris Wright from Pikes Peak Brewing Co. He'll be giving us broads "An Introduction to Water." I wanted to start with fairly comprehensive knowledge without packing too much information in to a small time, and separating it into ingredients seemed the best way to do it.

My vision for Brewers Broads is to bring more women in to the craft beer scene and industry. I sure wouldn't mind looking around the bar at a room full of women. I'd like women to be confident going to happy hours and beer events knowing other broads will be there. I'd like less women missing out on the wonderful beers available in Colorado. Ladies are pretty social, so this is easiest done in numbers. I'm already working on planning collaboration events with other women's beer clubs to see what can be done in even larger numbers. Groups like The Pink Boots Society are doing a great job supporting women step up as brewers in the industry, and I'd love to help fundraise for them. 
Sounds like some great things are coming up, and we're very happy to see this group get up and running! If you'd like to be a part of the group, email Aly at brewersbroads[at]gmail[dot]com.

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