When someone thinks of a brewer, they probably don’t picture a petite woman with red pigtails. But with Tonya Cornett’s amazing beers and growing collection of medals, things are starting to change and brewing is returning to its roots.
Traditionally, brewing was a household chore that fell upon the women. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that brewing shifted from a women’s small enterprise to the domain of male factory workers. Beer and brewing gained a "men’s club" stereotype and, further enforced by marketing and popular media, the industry has remained a heavily male-dominated field. Fortunately, the craft beer revolution is underfoot, and craft beer is gender blind.
From farm to consumption, women are fighting their way to become some of the most influential people in the craft beer world. Based in the Pacific NW, this documentary follows these inspirational women as they struggle to end stereotypes, handle their rising fame, and raise a family in a 21 and over lifestyle. While these women acknowledge that their struggles are opening doors for females everywhere, they’re not doing it for feminism or equality...they’re doing it for the love of beer.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Alison Grayson fell in love with documentary storytelling in high school and later received her BS in Video Production from Drexel University. Residing in Portland, Oregon, she splits her time between freelance sound recording and running Lingering Illocutions LLC, a company devoted to creating honest films for passionate people.
INSPIRED? TAKE ACTION!
- Join in on the craft beer revolution! Support craft beer made by women and men who are passionate about ingredients, flavors, and community involvement.
- Try new styles of beer and talk about them! Many women who don’t like beer just haven’t had a beer that they like. Hold beer/food pairing parties with your friends. Talk about the flavors, how it feels in your mouth, what qualities it brings out in the food, and what qualities the food brings out in the beer. Pour small tasters-you don’t have to drink a lot of beer to enjoy it!
- Drink locally! Craft beer supports the local economy by keeping money in a community, and every brewery and pub provides dozens of indirect jobs, such as those in construction, advertising, design, social media, event coordination, service, fabrication, tap line cleaning, hop and grain harvesting, transportation—the list goes on! Local jobs keep communities alive and families thriving.
- Give women in beer an extra “Cheers”! Having women in male dominated industries helps provide a different perspective and creates a well-rounded work environment, along with sending our children the message that women are capable of doing anything, regardless of the physical demands of the job or the current societal norms.
- Pass it along to your kids (but don’t literally pass the pint until they’re 21). Talk to your children about drinking at an early age, and let them know that drinking in moderation can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Teach them to appreciate the art and the craft of making beer. Many women aren’t interested in beer because they associate all beer with marketing campaigns that depict beer as a “man’s drink” and women as sex objects. The more we can weaken this association for future generations, the more girls will grow up and become leaders in this vibrant industry.
- Who are some of the local craft breweries in your area? How are they connected with the surrounding communities? Do they use local and/or organic ingredients, send their used grain to local farms, or recycle their water? Are they involved in charities and donations?
- Do you think that there’s a negative stereotype towards beer and the beer industry in today’s society? If yes, why do you think that is? How does the stereotype extend specifically towards women?
- Do you consider the craft beer industry to be an “adult industry”? Why or why not? How does motherhood and raising a family fit into working in the craft beer industry?
- If you typically don’t like beer, do you try new styles and flavors, or do you stay clear of it? If you enjoy wine, have you tried sour beers? If no, why not, and if yes, did you enjoy them?
- Why do you feel that there aren’t more women involved in the craft beer industry? How can we change this?
“I just have a desire or a need that I have to create in this way. This is the way I do it. I’m not a painter, I’m not a writer, but I can make you a beer.” — Tonya Cornett
“I like the process of fermentation cause it’s kind of like alchemy. You’re taking nature’s goodness, the goodness of golden grain, and you’re turning it into liquid gold.” — Teri Fahrendorf