Breaking Barriers with Brewing: Women Pioneers in the Craft Beer Industry

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In a world historically dominated by men, women have begun breaking barriers, shattering all glass ceilings, and making their value more apparent in society. Recent movements for positive change are impossible to ignore. The same goes for the craft beer industry, which has witnessed its fair share of inspiring female pioneers—working hard to challenge stereotypes, master the age-old art of brewing, and pave the way for future generations. In this article, The Session explores female brewing success stories and aims to celebrate the passion, resilience, and determination of these special leaders.

We start with the co-founder of the popular New Belgium Brewing Company. With an incredible, entrepreneurial spirit, Jordan transformed a basement startup into one of America’s largest and, indeed, popular, successful craft breweries. She not only broke through the male-dominated industry, but she also championed sustainability, employee ownership, and community involvement. Her vision and leadership have inspired countless women to follow their dreams, striving for greatness in brewing and beyond.

Next, the equally impressive Carol Stoudt, also known as “The First Lady of Craft Beer.” Carol is well-known and respected as a trailblazer in the industry. Way back in 1987, Carol became the first female brewmaster in the United States since Prohibition! She opened Stoudt’s Brewing Company, with a commitment to quality, traditional brewing techniques, and attention to detail helping propel her brewery to national recognition. Stoudt’s legacy serves as an inspiration for aspiring female brewmasters, proving that passion and perseverance can break down any barrier.

Another female brewing pioneer is Teri Fahrendorf, founder of the Pink Boots Society. Teri and her foundation have played a pivotal role in empowering women in the craft beer industry. Recognizing the need for a support network, she established her platform as one for women to connect, learn from each other, and advance their brewing careers. Through education, scholarships, and mentorship programs, Fahrendorf has developed a sense of camaraderie among women brewers. Her efforts help pave the way for a more diverse craft beer community.

While this article of the Session will conclude highlighting just three of many female pioneers, our exploration uncovered numerous impressive women who help lead the craft beer industry to a more inclusive future. For any interested parties, we recommend doing an easy search to find even more inspiring stories of these leaders and their countless achievements. We sign off with a CHEERS to the passionate female brewers who will undoubtedly help to shape even better decades ahead for the craft beer industry.



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