Women have been involved in the brewing of beer throughout history, yet the industry is often still seen as a man’s world.
As the co-owner of Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Thunder Bay, Andrea Mulligan said she’s been fortunate to only encounter positivity, acceptance and equality, but there are still some double standards in the industry.
“Women are trying to break through that ceiling and do things such as brewing, working in the back, where it seems to be more of a man’s world in terms of physical strength alone,” she said. “A woman who is mentally strong can challenge herself physically and hold her own.”
Friday, March 2 is International Women’s Day and Sleeping Giant Brewing Company is recognizing the day with their event Celebrating Women in Beer, which will feature Canada’s only beer master cicerone, Mirella Amato.
Amato is from Toronto and a master micerone is the beer industry’s equivalent to wine’s master sommelier. She’s the author of the popular book, Beerology
“She’s the it-girl in the beer world,” said Mulligan. “She travels all over the world. She’s a beer judge. She has encyclopedic knowledge of beer.”
Amato will be speaking about the history of women in beer at the event, which will also feature tastings of unique beers brewed by Sleeping Giant’s head brewer Kyle Mulligan that will walk participants through the history of women in beer.
Mulligan said she believes many people don’t realize how interesting and diverse beer is.
“As a consumer myself and a beer geek, beer is beautiful,” she said, noting there are countless styles, flavours and colours of beer.
It’s also a beverage people drink around the world.
For Sleeping Giant’s event manager Maureen Mills, beer is delicious and refreshing.
“I love that it’s thirst-quenching but also has so much flavour to it,” she said, adding there are certain aspects she loves about different styles of beer as well.
In conjunction with the event, the brewery is also running the Cheers to Her campaign, highlighting local women who are beer lovers but also give back to the community. They include Morning Light singers Nancy Freeborn and Paula DiGiuseppe, lawyer and Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce board chairwoman Rosa Carlino, Shuniah mayor and Northern Ontario Municipal Association president Wendy Landry, Maltese Grocery co-owner Lisa Maltese and Mills.