Beer writers outperform FTSE on gender balance

1 Jul

The British Guild of Beer Writers appointed five women to their board of nine members in June – which means that as an organisation it outperforms the FTSE 100 companies by 92%* on the gender balance in boards issue!

Elected as directors are Frances Brace, Pete Brown (as a new Chairman), Joanna Dring, Susanna Forbes, Robert Humphreys, Paul Nunny, Annabel Smith, Neil Walker and Natalya Watson. In addition, Ros Shiel, secretary to the Guild swells the females ranks even further at board meetings.

Warm tributes were paid to the long-standing chair Tim Hampson who stepped down after twelve years’ service and it was also revealed that for the first time in its history, the Guild has over 300 members.

Frances Brace, Director of Red Flame Communications commented: “The gender shift in such an iconic organisation should be good news for the image of beer and for those in the beer industry working towards greater inclusivity.”

*29% of FTSE 100 company directors are women but 56% of Guild directors are women.

 The photograph shows the female contingent on the Guild board, from left to right: Frances Brace, Susanna Forbes, Annabel Smith, Jo Dring and Natalya Watson

 

Beer and food combos for GBBF

22 Jun

Two renowned female beer experts, Christine Cryne and Annabel Smith will run beer and food matching sessions at the Great British Beer Festival at London’s Olympia from 7th to 11th August 2018.

On Friday 10th August from 1.30 to 2.30pm, Annabel Smith, Beer Sommelier and BeerBelle founder, will take tasters through the wonderful world of beer and cheese pairing with a delicious smorgasbord of beer and bites.

Later that day, from 6pm until 7pm, Christine Cryne will be running a session explaining why one of the best combinations of tastes is beer with chocolate! Go and have your preconceptions blown away with some great beers and chocolate – and they are not all dark!

Tickets for both sessions are limited and for CAMRA members cost £16.00 and for non-member £19.00.  Visit www.gbbf.org.uk/tutored-tastings

‘1st Women’ features female beer inspector

18 Jun

Dea Latis founder and director Annabel Smith has had her portrait featured in a major photographic exhibition entitled ‘100 First Women Portraits’ by Anita Corbin .

100 First Women comprises a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement. The portraits by photographer Anita Corbin provide inspiration and insight for a new generation of women seeking an understanding of their own roles in a rapidly changing world in which equality is still an issue.

Annabel was photographed by Anita in her capacity as the UK’s ‘First Female Beer Inspector’ for the Cask Marque Trust. The photo was captured at Fuller’s flagship venue The Parcel Yard, at London King’s Cross, in 2009.

The full collection will be revealed at the Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, SW11 4AN, and the exhibition will run from 20th July to 22nd August 2018 to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.

Entry is free.

For more information, visit www.1stwomenuk.co.uk

Drinks Maven pioneers BritHop on Beer Day Britain

13 Jun

Drinks writer and awards judge Jessica Mason, known more widely across social media as Drinks Maven is launching BritHop this Friday (15 June) to coincide with Beer Day Britain .

Jessica has created a series of beers created by UK brewers using new progressive British hops and aligned with British music with five of the UK’s best breweries.

The BritHop Series has been initiated in conjunction with hop merchant Charles Faram and the British Hop Association [BHA] and aims for a supergroup of new and exciting British beers to be brewed by some of the nation’s top brewers. Each beer will be aligned with a music track from a British band or artist that suits the beer.

Breweries involved in the project include: Burning Sky, The Kernel, Cloudwater, The Wild Beer Co and North Brewing Co.

“Great beer and great music should go hand-in-hand. In Britain, we are lucky enough to have both. The new progressive hop varieties we now have available to us in the UK are at the heart of this series and will be used to create some exciting new beers. This is the start of a journey into the next generation of flavour for British beer – an exciting step towards growing an appreciation for all of the nuances and subtleties of what British hops have to offer whilst also giving a nod to some decent music at the same time,” said Drinks Maven founder Jessica Mason.

BritHop is an independent project and a way for beer and music fans to also show support for local industry and the limited line-up of beers will be available to taste at a party at Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green London on the evening of 15th June, 2018.

Breweries and their selected tracks are as follows:

  • Burning Sky: The Astronauts – Typically English Day
  • The Kernel: The Slits – Heard It Through The Grapevine
  • Cloudwater: Kate Tempest – Europe Is Lost
  • The Wild Beer Co: David Bowie – Changes
  • North Brewing Co: Longpigs – Lost Myself

In launching this  project Jessica paid tribute to the Gender Pint Gap Report adding: “The discussions surrounding bridging the gap between women and beer have been really interesting. There is definitely more that we, as an industry, can do to remind people that beer is a drink for men and women and is completely ungendered. Projects pioneered by women but for the benefit of all go some way towards re-highlighting how beer is inclusive and how we all play a role in its future. In some cases women are underrepresented within the industry and yet that can sometimes lead to tokenisation to simply get a female face in the frame. However, there are women who work diligently behind the scenes driving change, building interest and garnering support for the future of the industry and how beer is perceived. Sometimes, we need to recognise that heading something up is, in many ways, akin to having a voice and a way to set a course for the future of an historically male-dominated sector where we can help shape exciting new developments in the beer world and challenge stereotypes before they become ingrained.”

For More Information

Visit: www.brithopped.co.uk and www.beerdaybritain.co.uk

Twitter and Instagram: #BritHop @drinksmaven

Email: jessica@drinksmaven.com and  jane@BeerDayBritain.co.uk

Brewers networking event considers women and beer

25 May

Annabel Smith received am enthusiastic trade sales reaction to The Gender Pint Gap report this week when she presented to a brewers’ Drinks Sales Networking event in London for over thirty brewery and drinks representatives from around the country.

In presenting the findings of the report, she challenged the brewers to think about their responses to the range of statistics published; that despite the boom in UK beers and brewing in the last ten years, little has changed in terms of women’s attitudes to drinking beers.

A lively debate ensued after the presentation with everyone there vowing to take back their findings to their respective businesses for consideration.

Annabel said: “As we say in the report, there’s a lot of history to unravel and it’s going to take a concerted effort by the brewers, marketeers, retailers and media to turn these ingrained attitudes around. We can all do something to peel back these layers.”

Joe Brouder, Regional Sales Manager for Timothy Taylor added: “The Gender Pint Gap report has certainly given us all something to think about and there are definitely incremental changes we can all make to support the report’s recommendations.”

 

Rhubarb sour beer brewed by 30 women

25 May

In an industry first, an all-female collaboration today unveiled a new limited edition craft beer: Rhubarb: A User’s Guide, just in time for this year’s London Craft Beer Festival.

Led by brewing expert Jenn Merrick, 30 women, including both current brewers and students, gathered for just 24 hours to create this unique kettle sour, in a bid to celebrate female brewing’s past, present and future.

Described as a sherbet-flavoured, crisp, refreshing beer that’s ideal for the summer, it has been brewed with Yorkshire ‘Pink Gold’ rhubarb juice, infused with fresh lemon thyme, hibiscus and rose petals and dry-hopped with Huell Melon.

Organised by We Are Beer, founders of London Craft Beer Festival, the kettle sour was hosted and brewed at Pressure Drop by brewer, Katie McCain. The all-female team comprised of 20 brewers and 10 undergraduates and lecturer from Heriot-Watt’s world-renowned MSc in Brewing and Distilling (see list below).

The day, which was extremely hands-on, saw everybody throwing themselves into the experience; contributing to the recipe design, blending flavours, prepping ingredients, and pitching in with the mashing and the boiling.

Jen Merrick, founder of community brewery, Earth Station, said: “It was such an inspiring day to see so many women who contribute to the craft beer industry all in one place, making a beer that drew on the skills of these industry leaders and connecting them with the next generation of brewers.”

Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, the company behind the London Craft Beer Festival who commissioned the project, said: “This is an amazing summer beer that will be a fantastic addition to the London Craft Beer Festival, which will see our biggest line up of beer, food and music yet.

“The aim of this limited-edition beer is to celebrate the incredible female talent and influence on modern brewing by creating a collaborative beer with past, present and future female brewers from across the industry.”

Continuing with the all-female theme, illustrator Tara O’Brien was commissioned to produce the artwork design for the label. The craft beer is available in 330 ml bottles at 3.6% ABV.

Rhubarb: A User’s Guide will be available at London Craft Beer Festival on 3rd to 5th August, at Tobacco Dock.

Brew day for the next generation

11 May

Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham is running a Project Venus brew day on 18 May 2018 to raise awareness about brewing as a career choice for women.

Set up by Sara Barton in 2011, Project Venus advocates women’s roles in the UK brewing industry. By facilitating communication, education and collaborative brews, they aim to create an approachable networking space for all females involved in beer. This year marks 20 years of Brewster’s Brewery and the fifteenth event for Project Venus.

The theme is ‘Next Generation’ to highlight the career opportunities for young women in brewing by connecting women currently in the industry to brewing students and those already thinking about a career in beer. Recipe development on the day for the brew is open to anyone who wants to attend, particularly students and people who haven’t designed recipes before.

Brewster’s brewer, Alice Batham said: “As its a Friday we are also planning on heading in Nottingham after the brew day has finished. Nottingham is not too far from the brewery and has lots of beery things to offer. ”

Brewster’s Brewery is in Grantham, a really easy train ride from London Kings Cross and with quick links by road via the A1. Trains and buses run from Grantham to Nottingham. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please contact alice@brewsters.co.uk if you would like to attend.

@ProjectVenusUKEire

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