Beer, at least in popular culture, has long seemed to be the purview of men.

Stop by a Colorado brewpub and there’s a good chance the brewer will be sporting a scraggly beard.

“When you say that you’re a girl who drinks beer, you kind of get that look like, ‘Really, beer?’” Carrie Clark said.

“It’s something new that women can do together now that used to be just a male thing,” Megan Broadribb said. “If I can talk about beer with my female friends, it’s a little more fun.”
Clark and Broadribb were among more than 30 women who showed up at Brewer’s Republic on March 18 for the first meeting of the Brewers Broads, a club by women and for women to familiarize them with the world of craft beer.

It’s the brainchild of bartender Aly Hartwig, who noticed that most of her beer-drinking friends, and many of her customers, were men.

“I feel like a lot of women that don’t drink craft, if they had a little bit more of an emotional connection and a little more knowledge, they would be able to enjoy it,” Hartwig said.

The first four sessions are focusing on the ingredients of beer, starting with yeast, with a talk by Bristol Brewing Co. microbiologist Ken Andrews.

Some in attendance — including this reporter — had that glazed “ninth-grade science class” look as Andrews described in minute detail how yeast is used in beer.

But everyone perked up as first a salad, then bruschetta and finally a slice of pizza topped with arugula were enjoyed with four beer samples.

And the questions from the audience afterward showed this was no crowd of beer novices: How is wild yeast used? What ingredients go into seasonal beers? What made the abundant foamy head on the tripel beer?

Then everyone adjourned for a free half-pint at the bar.

Three more informational sessions and tastings are planned for the third Monday of each month, focusing on beer’s other ingredients: hops, barley and water.

The March 18 session was $15 and sold out in advance. Email or call 633-2105 for information on future sessions.

For the women, it was a chance to not only meet other beer lovers of the female persuasion, but to sound intelligent when their male friends, boyfriends and husbands begin to wax philosophical about beer and throw around terms such as “ABV” and “high gravity.”

Said Clark, “We spend a lot of time drinking it and it’s interesting to kind of find out how you make it.”

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