Both organizations are nonprofits dedicated to women in brewing with Barley’s Angels focused on female beer enthusiasts and the Pink Boot Society focused on women specifically in the beer industry.
Women who live in the Hampton Roads region have taken to these organizations as ways to either break into the beer scene or get acquainted with fellow female brewers, said Lesley Summers and Elizabeth Sitarski.
Summers is the chapter coordinator for Barley’s Angels which started up in Hampton Roads in 2012. She works for O’Connor Brewing Company.
Sitarski is the area chapter coordinator for the Pink Book Society and currently works as a brewer for Smartmouth Brewing.
The organizations are both focused on educating women on all the different kinds of aspects that brewing has to offer.
“We make it a non-judgemental zone for women to come and learn,” Summers said, adding her chapter has about 100 members who meets at various breweries to volunteer and learn.
Every meeting has an educational component to it and the organizations want to make sure women are learning as much about the brewing scene as they want to, Summers and Sitarski said.
Sitarski spent the past five years in San Diego where the female brewing scene is much larger and she wanted to bring those connections back to Pink Boot Society.
Her chapter has about 30 women but they’ve only been operational for a few months and have only had one meeting, she said.
So far she’s had an overwhelmingly positive response from both the participants and the brewers.
Owners of the Hampton Roads breweries have been very supportive of the organizations, offering their space and time to both groups, Summers and Sitarski noted.