Women in the Beer World: Part Two
This is part two of the Women in the Beer World series by AHA Intern Katie Thomas. Be sure to check out part one which takes a look at some of the leading ladies in the world of homebrewing.
As a homebrew shop employee, I'm kind of a beer educator. I am constantly discussing beer—whether I am walking a newbie through their first extract batch, or brainstorming solutions with the seasoned homebrewer. The icing on the cake is when the same newbie comes back a month later with bottle of homebrew in hand excitedly ready for batch two. I'm truly thrilled when I see someone becoming as obsessed with homebrewing as I am, and am proud to have helped introduced them to such a rewarding hobby.
I am not alone. There are many women on the educational front of beer, spreading knowledge about the intricacies of homebrewing and the growth of the craft beer industry. Being armed with the proper knowledge can drastically affect someone's first experiences in the exciting new frontier that is artisan-made beer. For this reason, I chose to salute a few of the female players who have dedicated their lives to the sacred teachings of beer.
Julia Herz | Brewers Association Craft Beer Program & Publisher of Craftbeer.com
Julia Herz has become a powerful and influential voice for all things craft beer. With years of experience in the industry, Herz is elevating the presence of quality beer through promotional efforts to increase appreciation and understanding of beer. Her career in the beer world was, as she puts it, "meant to be."
"Historically, beer as a beverage has mostly been marketed to men," Herz explains. "The craft beer market isn't gender specific." She feels that the craft beer community is not as well known as it could be, and enjoys advocating for greater knowledge and education.
Sure, Herz has run into the occasional awe-struck male who simply cannot fathom a woman fully immersed in beer—which is usually followed by a marriage proposal—but she has never felt "disadvantaged" as a female in the beer industry.
"'Disadvantaged' is a mindset," says Herz. "You can either pay attention to what you think others think, or not. It's your choice. I choose to pay attention to those who believe and are energized by my passion for beer, regardless of whether they are male or female."
Christina Perozzi | TheBeerChicks.com & Author of The Naked Pint
Christina Perozzi is a well-known beer advocate and educator. When Perozzi is not writing, the renowned sommelier works as a beer educator at Goose Island Beer Company. In each area of her career, it is easy to see that she has a great passion for beer and a desire to share her abundant knowledge.
Perozzi's commitment to education culminated with the release of The Naked Pint in 2009 and The Naked Brewer in 2012, publications she co-wrote with a fellow "beer chick" Hallie Beaune. Their books focus on beer appreciation and the art of homebrewing respectively.
Perozzi got her start in the industry working for a California bar that boasted a large selection of beers. She was required to intimately know all the styles she served. Rather than be intimidated, Christina was hooked. "I started learning and I totally geeked out on the stories behind the beer," says Perozzi. "I realized I had opened a door to a whole new world that I didn't even know existed."
When asked about her experiences as a female in the beer industry, Perozzi didn't note any perceived disadvantages. "In fact, I felt that people would listen to me a little more because at the time there was novelty in the fact that I was a woman speaking about beer," shares Perozzi. "Some men are still shocked when I tell them what I do—but definitely not as many as before," she admits. "The beer world in itself is pretty merit-based and democratic."
Come back next week for part three of the Women in the Beer World series, where I'll talk to a few women who work in the craft brewing industry.