International Women’s Day 2019

One of the distinct bonuses of being a woman in the beer industry is the bathroom line at beer events. While men line up for hours after guzzling a few pints I can always walk right in. This to me is a strangely regular reminder of how few women work in the beer industry and attend these events.

Like most of us beer lovers, my love affair with beer started with purchasing a small home brew kit. From there on in I was hooked and wanted learn everything I could about it, and of course I also just wanted to drink it. The second reason I delved into beer was potentially a little out of spite: I’ve never been one to back down when someone tells me that something isn’t for me because of my gender. I got tired of the surprised looks when I ordered an obscure beer at a bar, and of the boring trope that beer is only for men. Sadly I encountered these attitudes pretty consistently.

At times it can be frustrating and exhausting feeling like I constantly need to prove my knowledge, but I’m happy to say the tides are slowly turning. Over the past few years I have met some wonderful, intelligent, and passionate women working in the beer industry and it fills my heart with a lot of hope. These women have shown me so much kindness and been so inclusive.

I like to think that we are slowly paving the way for more gender diversity in an industry that is still predominantly male; having a longer wait to get to the bathroom at beer events is a sacrifice I will happily make in future if it means that there are more women coming to these events.

— Cherry Murphy, beer buyer for Blackhearts & Sparrows