There are a lot of women making a lot of killer beer out there. From new variants of Guinness to barrel-aged New Belgium, here’s your starter’s guide for International Women’s Day (March 8) to some of the best beers made by women or at woman-run breweries in the US.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery Bases Loaded Kolsch
Beer Style: Kolsch
Brewery Location: Denver, CO
Head Brewer Alyssa Thorpe was featured last year on the cover of the Brewers Association’s The New Brewer Magazine for a reason. This Kolsch is crisp, delicate and totally crushable. Enjoy it catching a ballgame at Coors Field down the street this upcoming season.
Fifth Hammer Brewing Smokin' Comb
Beer Style: Smoked Lager
Brewery Location: Long Island City, NY
The New York City-based Fifth Hammer shows its New York pride in Smokin' Comb. The smoked lager features 100-percent New York state-sourced ingredients like the Buckwheat Raw Honey and Wildflower Raw Honey from Astor Apiaries. It's crisp and smoky, with a nice bit of honey sweetness.
Guinness Open Gate Brewery Blonde
Beer Style: Blonde Ale
Brewery Location: Baltimore, MD
While you may have thought that any Guinness other than the company’s classic Extra Stout or Draught Stout was foolhardy, head brewer Hollie Stephenson of the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore has proven otherwise. Named Imbibe’s 2019 Beer Person of the Year, the experimental taproom staple Guinness Blonde Ale is a total rethink of a Guinness with an adjusted grain bill for a (much) lighter beer. Citra hops are used to give a gentle, floral taste and aroma that finishes crisp and citrusy.
New Belgium La Folie
Beer Style: Sour Brown Ale
Brewery Location: Fort Collins, CO
La Folie is the epitome of what a Sour Ale should be. That’s thanks to New Belgium’s Wood Cellar Director and Blender Lauren Limbach, who last year this year received the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing from the Brewers Association. La Folie spends one to three years in foeders (enormous vats used to age wine) and comes out a deep red to brown color.
Talea Beer Co. Sun Up
Beer Style: New England-style IPA
Brewery Location: New York, NY
Talea Beer Co. may be fairly new, but the cofounder duo of Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland have already made a name for themselves in the New York City beer scene with floral-forward beers that have made waves in the last year. Sun Up makes use of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops, combined with oats and lactose, for a tropical hazy IPA that’s like a dreamy summer day at the beach.
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales Saison Bernice
Beer Style: Saison
Brewery Location: Capitola, CA
Saison Bernice is a prime example of the possibilities of farmhouse ales, a trend that Adair Paterno was well ahead of the wild on. A protracted aging process begets simple yet exquisite citrus flavors. It’s a bottle worth saving for a special occasion.
Three Weavers Brewing Company Expatriate West Coast IPA
Beer Style: West Coast IPA
Brewery Location: Los Angeles, CA
Seeing as Three Weavers brewmaster Alexandra Nowell started her brewing career at Sierra Nevada, she knows a thing or two about the West Coast IPA. Expatriate balances the bitterness of new age American hops and fruity notes flawlessly. If Three Weavers isn’t on your radar, it should be.
Harlem Brewing Company Renaissance Wit
Beer Style: Witbier
Brewery Location: Harlem, NY
Celeste Beatty has essentially operated Harlem Brewing Company as a one-woman operation since 2001. Most breweries these days shy away from brewing a Witbier, but Beatty’s achieves a wicked balance of fruit and spices with the perfect level of crispness. It’s a summer day crusher.
Keeping Together The Art of Holding Space
Beer Style: Table Beer
Brewery Location: Chicago, IL
Keeping Together is a new nano-brewery from Averie Swanson, the former head brewer at Jester King. Last year, Swanson uprooted and moved to Chicago to embark on her own brewing project. The Art of Holding Space was her first release under the Keeping Together label, and from all accounts, it’s a wonderfully bright Table Beer with notes of apricot, white pepper and hay. We’re big fans of this low-ABV style, and big fans of Swanson, so we’re excited to see where she brings Keeping Together.
The Hopewell Brewing Company First Pils
Beer Style: Pilsner
Brewery Location: Chicago, IL
Samantha Lee has built something entirely different with The Hopewell Brewing Company. Her brewery’s chic taproom aims to be a “welcoming to all and provides a rewarding work environment for our employees.” She also wants to make beer accessible for the beer nerd to the first-time craft drinker. Hopewell’s First Pils is the perfect example of that — it’s an anti-fancy, crisp, perfectly executed lager in a tall boy can. It also happens to be Hopewell's first beer ever. In other words, it’s the ideal mix of simple and exceptional.