Fermenta: Female Craft Brewers Hop Toward Trade Group in Michigan

A group of Michigan women in the craft beverage industry hope to increase its diversity by launching a new association next month—complete with a selection of new brews.

Craft brewing isn’t just a guy’s game, and a new trade group wants to make that point clear.

The idea for Fermenta, a new Michigan nonprofit for women involved in all alcoholic craft beverage industries, was first discussed in April. The group announced in mid-June that its official launch would be at the Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti in late July.

The sharing of knowledge and encouragement of communication will unite the state and further strengthen all of the industries.

The group hopes to help bring attention to the women involved in the state’s craft beverage industry—whether beer, wine, or other types of alcohol—as well as to build camaraderie and draw new people to the field.

“This is an exciting endeavor because Michigan has an amazing craft beverage industry and a growing number of female participants. The sharing of knowledge and encouragement of communication will unite the state and further strengthen all of the industries,” Fermenta President Pauline Knighton, who does marketing for Short’s Brewing Co., said in a news release.

Fermenta is just getting hopping—it started a Facebook page less than two weeks ago—but is already hard at work on “Collaboration Brews” in anticipation of its beer festival debut July 25-26. The group is working with 10 breweries—including Short’s, Wolverine State Brewing, Saugatuck Brewing Co., and Fenton Winery and Brewery—on a selection of new craft brews that will be introduced at the festival.

Fermenta hopes to use the exclusive brews to help raise funds for educational opportunities for its members.

“Education is key to progress and growth in any industry; our group hopes to offer various avenues to inspire and assist women in their pursuit of obtaining new skills in the craft beverage industry. Small-scale classes, sizable seminars, and hands-on workshops will be organized,” Fermenta’s Annette May said.

Fermenta members shown brewing a honey IPA at Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI. (via Fermenta's Facebook page)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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