Women in Craft Beer: The Austin Women’s Beer League

Women in Craft Beer - The Austin Women's Beer League

Photo Credit: The Austin Women’s Beer League

This series was designed to highlight all of the women’s beer organizations in Austin that have come together to create the Ladies Craft Beer Community event happening this weekend. The event brings together beer professionals and all women who love beer in an open space for women to experience, learn about, and enjoy craft beer.

In this piece, I sat down with Kristin Jacobson to get an inside look at The Austin Women’s Beer League.

What is the mission of The Austin Women’s Beer League?

There’s a few things I think we are trying to accomplish with this group. First and foremost, I want women to be comfortable in the beer world – to not be afraid to try new beers or to not be intimidated when they walk into a beer-centric bar. I managed a multi-tap beer bar for years and there were a few philosophies that the original owner had that I feel were very important to run a beer bar – wait on women first and let anyone try any beer. I think this crosses over to what we’re trying to do with TAWBL – make sure that women are comfortable trying new beers. There’s going to be a TON you won’t like, but now you know! And, now you will be able to identify the flavors, terms, descriptions to know what to order or avoid. It’s a matter of expanding knowledge and palates. I hope we are continuing to do this with TAWBL.

Secondly, I want our group to be fun and not take ourselves too seriously. There are plenty of other groups that are for home brewers or more serious beer connoisseurs. We did a tasting last month that was based on astrology. To me, that let’s you know we aren’t going to be talking about a beer’s specific gravity or boiling temperature. We just want to have fun. And for everyone to feel welcome.

Actually, I’m not sure which is first and which is second in this list. They are both important.

In your own words, describe the group and what it means to be part of it.

We are a laid-back group of ladies who want to enjoy each other’s company and learn a little something along the way.

TAWBL Soap Making Event

Photo Credit: The Austin Women’s Beer League

What makes this group unique?

I think our ability to have fun with beer. We try to think outside of the box and keep it interesting – while still getting some helpful beer info to the group. I think most ladies enjoy getting together and meeting new people. There are different aspects of our group that appeal to all kinds of people. Some take notes when discussing the beers, some are there to see their friends and catch up. Whatever the reason, it’s getting craft beer into people’s hands and getting them talking about it and hopefully finding something new they like.

What type of events do you have and how often do you have them?

We typically get together once a month (usually the first Tuesday of each month) and we do all sorts of things – and are open to ideas and suggestions from the group. We’ve done brewery tours, Seasonal Tastings, bus brewery tours, food pairings (beer and cheese, beer and chocolate). This month we had a soap maker come in and demonstrate how to make beer soap. We’ll be doing a build your own terrariums and pairing that with earthy/herbed beers in the near future. We are open to anyway to connect the dots between beer and… everything else!

TAWBL Chocolate Pairing

Photo Credit: The Austin Women’s Beer League

How many members do you have to date?  What do beer loving ladies need to do to join?

Facebook says we have 469 members, and we have a few that aren’t on FB as well. Any female can ask to join the group and any current member can accept a person into the group. If you aren’t on FB, I have a email list I keep – but I usually have to be reminded to email everyone on that list.

Where do you see this group in one year? Five?

I have no idea. I think we have new people show up for each event – so somehow it’s catching on and people seem to enjoy it. With all the new breweries opening up around town, we can definitely do something different each month. But, we’ve also had requests to repeat some of the things we’ve done in the past. As long as we can keep the interest going and keep thinking of ideas, I hope to keep this up for a while!

Where can we find more information about the group and keep up with the latest goings on?

Our Facebook page is really the best way to see what we’re up to. So, all the ladies should join us and check it out!

The Austin Women's Beer League

Photo Credit: The Austin Women’s Beer League

Pam Catoe

Like most people, my love for craft beer started after college (once I could afford it!) and escalated quickly. I love being a part of the Austin beer culture and am always expanding my brew knowledge. I work in a high tech company here in town and love spending time with my kiddo, devouring a book and watching all things SciFi. Follow Me on Twitter @PamCraftBeerATX

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