Melissa Cole is an award-winning beer writer, author and Certified Cicerone. Discover more about International Women’s Day and Women In Beer here.
Why do you think it’s important that we have a day that celebrates women?
Women have so much to say and it’s not that we don’t know how to say it, it’s that we are so often silenced from doing so or dismissed because our experiences aren’t the same as those who hold the balance of power. It’s also important because it makes room for the stories of those who are less well-off than so many of us and that we too should also be looking outside of our sphere of privilege to think about others and listen to their experiences.
What are you enjoying drinking at the moment? What is your go-to beer?
I don’t have that luxury right now, I’m immersed in writing my new book about cooking and pairing with beer, so everything and nothing really!
What do you love about craft beer?
The people; sure I love the drink but it’s nothing without the friends and loved ones I’ve met from all over the world.
What (if any) is the biggest misconception you’ve had to face in the craft beer world?
That because I’m a woman I somehow have different tastebuds… my response to that? “Well, I guess I do in some ways, they’re probably better trained and genetically superior to yours.”
If you were a beer, what style would you be?
I’m sure if you asked this question of the internet would tell you I’d be a spontaneously fermented imperial IPA – both sour and bitter at the same time, other than that, it would depend on my mood at the time.
As an industry how can we encourage more women to get involved in craft beer?
We need more visible role models, if you can’t see, you can’t be.
Tell us about how your career has developed?
Through tenacity and proving myself 10x over every single day. Educating myself, asking questions of brewers, taking my Cicerone, reading voraciously, brewing, asking more questions and not giving up.
How do you see the role of women in craft evolving as the public is forced to become more aware of the mainstream mistreatment of women at the hands of powerful and influential men?
I think, in society as a whole, men are going to have to learn to budge up a bit, this isn’t about replacing, it’s about working together and having respect. It’s not rocket science but good god sometimes you’d think it was.
Beer selection for the IWD Mixed Case: Marble Damage Plan
Follow Melissa on Twitter – @melissacole