Pub Talk

Women in Craft Beer Brewing: Teri Fahrendorf

For centuries women were the brewers and then suddenly things changed. Teri Fahrendorf is at the helm of changing them back and encouraging more women to get involved in beer production.

Women in Craft Beer Brewing: Teri Fahrendorf

In Ancient Egypt, beer was made almost entirely by women. In Baltic and Slavic mythology, it was a woman — the goddess Raugutiene — who provided heavenly protection over beer. In colonial America, women sustained their families by home brewing “small beer,” which they supplemented with cider. That all began to change in the 19th century, when beer brewing left the private domain and became a commercial, large-scale enterprise — one run almost entirely by men.

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Now, the tide is turning once again. As the “good food” movement continues to gather steam, craft beer brewing is returning to its DIY roots. And while it remains a predominantly male industry, women have been part of the craft beer renaissance since its first stirrings in the early 1980s. Our next Rulebreaker, Teri Fahrendorf, has long been at the forefront of women becoming mainstays on the brewery floor.

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Image by: Huffington Post

Teri’s first career as a computer programmer was quickly subsumed by a love of creating craft beers. The first woman craft beer brewer to attend the Siebel Institute’s Master Brewer Program in Chicago, she became the third woman craft beer brewmaster in the country at Steelhead Brewing in Eugene, Oregon — and the first hired directly, rather than part of an ownership team. After 19 years at Steelhead, her cross-country travels and brewery visits inspired her to create The Pink Boots Society (named for her signature footwear), an organization that empowers women in the beer industry to advance their careers through education. Pink Boots currently serves over 2,500 members in about 30 countries, and gives away 12 scholarships per year in the United States.

Read Ilaina Edison’s full Huffington Post Interview with Teri Fahrendorf.

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