A Toast to North Carolina’s Female Brewers!

charlotte brew babesWhen it comes to wine, I’m perfectly happy with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. But when the beverage of choice is beer, I am a snob. I won’t touch that common liquid with the weak color and even weaker taste (you know the one – starts with a B, ends with an UD). Give me something with depth and character, and if it’s local, all the better.

Fortunately, we live in the right state for local brew—North Carolina has more craft breweries than any state in the American South. But what I didn’t realize until recently is the growing role women are playing in North Carolina’s evolving beer industry.

There’s Kristie Nystedt, president and CEO of Raleigh Brewing. She is also majority owner, which, according to the company website, makes Raleigh Brewing the first female-owned brewery in North Carolina. She will soon be joined by three women who are planning to open Bombshell Brewery in Holly Springs this summer.

Looking beyond small craft breweries — New Belgium, the nation’s third-largest brewery, is an employee-owned company with a female CEO, and it’s expanding its brew headquarters to Asheville in 2015.

In addition to brewing beer, women are getting together to enjoy the real fun – drinking beer. There’s the Charlotte Beer Babes, Greenvilles Girls Pint OutTriangle Pub Girls, and the Asheville Beer City Divas. And that’s just from a quick search on Meetup.

Sounds like this may need more research. Maybe an extended business trip so I can report first-hand on women and beer in North Carolina? Save me a seat at the bar, ladies!

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