Crafty tastes – a guide to women-owned breweries

Why should men have all the fun? Find out why women-owned breweries are on the rise, and what you need to start a craft brewing business.

Beer brewing and drinking has been considered a man thing in the past. Traditionally, men developed the recipes, did the brewing, and finally enjoyed the fruit of their hard work. Women who associated themselves with the industry were often stigmatized and looked upon negatively by society. 

But things have since changed, and women are now free to drink and engage in the brewing industry thanks to efforts to break down traditional stereotypes and promote gender equality in all aspects of life. If you are a woman and intend to venture into the craft beer industry, this guide can be the inspiration you have been looking for.   

The rise of women-owned breweries 

While brewing has been largely viewed as a man thing in the past, it wasn’t in ancient times. Archeological studies show that the art of brewing grew from gathering and baking, both women-dominated roles. The roles changed with industrialization, which saw men take charge of beer production, selling, and consumption. 

Statistics about female brewers have been pretty scanty and have only been available in the last decade. According to data from the Brewers Association, only 3% of breweries are owned entirely by women. While this may sound like a small figure, it’s a huge step that could inspire women who have always dreamed of being in the industry. 

Women in brewing  

While data on women in the brewing industry has been scarce over the years, their entry into the industry dates back to the 70s post-prohibition. But the most noticeable among them is Carol Stoudt. Carol Stoudt founded the Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, in 1987 and has won several awards, including the Breweries in Pennsylvania’s Presidential Award. 

From the 2000s, the craft beer industry saw an influx of women brewers, with some of the most prominent names being Elise lane, head brewer and CEO of Scarlet Lane Brewing, Carol Pak, the founder of Makku, and Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay of Bow and Arrow Brewing Co.     

What you need to start a craft brewing business

The craft beer industry is projected to reach a market value of over $210 billion in 2028, up from $102 billion in 2021. This makes the years between the best time to enter the industry. But you may need to know a few things before venturing into the industry. 

First, you must get all the licensing and permits required by all levels of government. The next step will be getting production equipment available in all sizes to suit all brewing needs. Once the equipment is ready, the next step will be hiring personnel, getting supplies, producing, and marketing your beer. 

Managing your processes manually is possible when starting. But as you diversify in your production and scale, it can become a challenge requiring you to invest a lot in human resources, which can significantly drive up the cost of doing business. 

But you could maximize efficiency and streamline your brewing process with Ollie, a brewery management solution designed with both amateur and veteran brewers in mind. Such tools help brewers achieve more without scaling their human resources. 

Marketing your craft beer 

Women make up 51% of the American population. With the male-dominated industry, the women clientele doesn’t always get what they seek in craft beer. So, in your marketing, you will want to focus on women as your target audience by developing more appealing products without leaving out men. 

You do not have to break the bank to market your business effectively. Most forms of digital marketing options allow for targeted marketing which can bring down your costs significantly. But you do not have to focus on paid ads alone; you could leverage the power of social media to get the word out for little or no cost.