I had intended to write something beforehand and never got around to it, so this becomes a recap rather than a preview.
This past weekend was the 2018 SheBrew festival. This unique beer festival highlights female-identified brewers in the industry. The beer industry is still very heavily male dominated, but it’s changing. Perhaps faster here than elsewhere since Portland tends to be pretty progressive about such things. Last year’s festival featured 20 or so beers from companies that employed a female brewer, with about 10 (so I heard) actually brewed by that brewer. This year there were 22 offerings, 15 or 16 beers, 5 or 6 ciders and 1 mead, all brewed by female brewers. The festival is a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign and is organized by the Portland Branch of HRC.
Last year, the HRC approached the Oregon Brew Crew (of which I am a member) about running a homebrew competition in conjunction with the pro festival. This year we had about 130 entries from 22 states and, in only it’s second year, SheBrew became the largest female-identified homebrew competition in the country. My wife served on the planning committee and also on the day of the comp organized entries for judging as Cellarmaster. 10 homebrewers were also selected to pour beer at the Festival for people’s choice style judging.
For the second year, I volunteered to help run the festival. The night before I went to help set up tables and jockey boxes and then the following morning we helped finish setup. I poured beer for the first two hours of the festival, while my wife sold raffle tickets. After that, I got to enjoy the festival, which was awesome! All the beers were fantastic. A lot of creativity of styles and ingredients, including two beers with glitter in them (glitter beer is apparently a thing now) and one of the glitter beers was green! Inspired by Todrick Hall’s take on the Wizard of Oz it was just the right amount of flashy. It sure got people talking. I have no idea how many people came through the door, but it was packed! I hope they sold a lot of beer and a lot of raffle tickets. All the money raised goes towards the fight for equality.
I neglected to take any pictures, but there’s some great shots from the Festival (and brewer bios) on the SheBrewPDX Instagram page HERE. Big thanks go out to Buckman Coffee Factory for hosting and Chicks of All Trades flagging company for sponsoring, both local female-owned companies.
I’m honored to have played even a tiny part of helping this fest go, and I’m already looking forward to next year. March 2, 2019 is already on the calendar!