To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we’ve once again spoken to a select few of the many inspirational women working within the craft beer industry today. This time we spoke to our very own Bella, HonestBrew’s customer service manager. Discover more interviews and Women in Beer content here.
Why do you think it’s important that we have a day that celebrates women?
We’re living in an exciting time where power balances are being questioned and because of this, things are beginning to change. We’ve still got a little way to go, but it’s so important to keep bringing challenging concepts, such as equality (in all senses), to the forefront of people’s minds so that we can continue to question and criticise the status quo. By having a day that celebrates women’s achievements, we encourage important and positive conversations to be had.
What are you enjoying drinking at the moment? What is your go-to beer?
I tend to drink darker beers during the winter months, and I’m super into stouts at the moment. They feel like a hug in a glass. I’ve also been really enjoying the slightly wackier 750ml sharing bottles that are available, particularly Kernel’s saisons. Mmmm. My go to pick is probably Keller Pils by Lost and Grounded, it’s so deliciously light and full of flavour.
What do you love about craft beer?
There’s a lot to love about craft beer! In terms of the beer, I love the variety of flavours that are available, particularly the more challenging styles or tastes that I’d never have expected to see in a beer. That being said, I really fell in love with craft beer because of the community – I’ve met so many amazing people who are so passionate about their craft and share the same ideals as me. People are genuinely interested in who you are, what you do and everyone’s opinion is respected – there’s very little snobbery.
As an industry how can we encourage more women to get involved in craft beer?
I think it’s all about education! There’s heaps of awesome women working in incredibly varying roles in craft beer which don’t necessarily get shouted about. If this becomes more obvious, then people will become naturally inquisitive. So, thanks for shouting HB!
How do you see the role of women in craft evolving as the wider public becomes more aware of the high-profile examples of mistreatment of women at the hands of powerful and influential men?
I can only see the role of women growing and improving as people switch on to social mistreatments. I think we’ll see more women getting involved and building careers in all areas of craft beer – from brewing to office based roles and beyond. When I first started working at HonestBrew there was definitely a noticeable disparity between the number of men and women in the beer world – and this was always something that was commented on. It’s really exciting to think about this levelling out, so that it will no longer be pointed out that I’m ‘a woman in a man’s industry’.
As the first person a customer talks to, how do you manage the responsibility of ensuring the customer is happy, with getting them to try something they might not have previously considered?
As someone who knew relatively little about craft beer before beginning work at HonestBrew, it’s relatively easy to empathise with customers who may want to stick to what they know. I think, for me, it’s all about instilling an exciting curiosity in the customer by showing passion and giving recommendations. Their happiness should come when they find a new beer or a new style that has sung to them!
Do you ever feel as though you need to be more knowledgeable about craft beer than your male colleagues when dealing with the public who may have predetermined ideas of the type of person they expect to know a lot about the industry?
I’ve been a bit shocked sometimes by customers seeking recommendations who have requested to speak to someone who ‘actually knows about beer’ before I’ve had a chance to help. That’s always been a little tough to hear, but I’ve learnt to overcome it by killing them with kindness and giving them ace recommendations. In general, however, I’m super lucky to work for such a supportive company who really trust my knowledge and encourage me to expand this every day.