Every weekend homebrewers meet up for a brew day which typically can last 6 to 8 hours so food is also included in the planning. They will decide on the style of beer that will be brewed, build the recipe, maybe add some fruit, coffee or spices to the mix. Typically brew days are male dominant occasions but on this particular brew day in a backyard in South Central Los Angeles the participants were all female. They are all members of the fastest growing Latino homebrew club in the United States, SoCal Cerveceros, the club was founded in 2015 in a backyard with 6 friends and at last count has over 150 members. With the encouragement of co-founder and current club President, Ray Ricky Rivera, the women of the club wanted to get together for an all women brew day so they invited current female members and home brew curious friends to the home of Laurie Gutierrez. The results of that brew day were a Raspberry Blonde Ale (using Kölsch yeast) that was labeled Landing Strip, the members also named their group SoCal Cerveceras and became a group within the SoCal Cerveceros. 👏👏👏👏
A momentous event especially when diversity in craft beer is a major topic. A recent Boston Globe article addressed this issue, titled, “Craft beer’s diversity problem: Too many white male hipsters” written by Shirley Leung was blunt and to the point, “whites account for 77 percent of the market, while Hispanics are 10.6 percent, blacks constitute 5.4 percent, and Asians are 5.1 percent”. The Brewers Association recently appointed a Diversity Ambassador, Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, this past April SoCal Cervecero co-founder Agustin Ruelas was invited to participate in a panel conducted by Dr. J, as she is known in the craft beer community, at the Craft Brewers Conference held in Denver, a seat at the table is always a good first step.
Women brewing craft beer shouldn’t be such a surprise, the original brewers were women, dating back to 1800 B.C., Ninkasi Sumerian Goddess of Beer, women were the brewers up until the 1500’s when men formed brewing guilds and started to make specific rules for brewing. In 2007 Teri Fahrendorf founded the Pink Boots Society, the first meeting was held with 22 women and now has a worldwide presence to help promote and train women in the craft beer community. In Atlanta you can find the Dames and Dregs Beer Festival which honors past, present, and future women in the beer industry.
The first brew day of the SoCal Cerveceras was led by Laurie Gutierrez of Cimarron Street’s Finest, (she brews delicious ciders), Janet Aguilar of Wasted Brewery, Janet brews with her boyfriend, Sal Bernal, they can be found drinking beer from Ensenada to Delaware and everywhere in between, and Tyler Sadler, Tyler started brewing in her kitchen in 1 gallon batches. The other Cerveceras in attendance were Catrina Acosta, Maria Preciado, Melanie Faure, Sarah Flora, Ash Eliot, Jackie Correjo, Lourdes Ceja, Marie Madrid and Adriana Bautista. I was fortunate to get a couple of swigs of Landing Strip, it was very crisp and refreshing, the Kölsch yeast was a great idea, it gave the Blonde Ale that extra brightness, the raspberry was subtle, not too sweet at all, it was perfect for the summer heat. The next SoCal Cervecera brew day is tentatively planned for November, follow the Cerveceras on Instagram for any future news and info.
The importance of the SoCal Cerveceras can not be understated, the group is open to all levels of experienced women brewers, it’s a great opportunity for anyone that is interested in learning about craft beer, I’d like to tell you more about the SoCal Cerveceras Brew Day but what happens in South Central, Stays in South Central!!!
Last modified: July 29, 2019