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Collaborative Highlights Women in the Craft Brew Industry

Published Tuesday Jun 12, 2018

A new Belgian-style ale is flowing from NH taps, brewed by women to support women in the state’s craft beer industry.

Fifteen women who work in the industry gathered at the 603 Brewery in Londonderry on March 2 for the first NH collaborative brew. It was one of 220 registered events happening worldwide in honor of Women’s History Month and it was created to raise the profile of women’s roles in the beer industry. The Londonderry event was organized by the NH division of Pink Boots Society Boston chapter.

Women brewers from NH who collaborated on Damsel No Distress ale. Courtesy of 603 Brewery.

According to Morgan Kyle, events and PR coordinator for the 603 Brewery, the nonprofit Pink Boots Society is in its 11th year. “We want to provide growth and education for women in the craft beer world,” Kyle says. “All women in the industry, from the tasting room to brewers, can join the society.” The women joined forces to create Damsel No Distress, a Belgian-style ale with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 3.8 percent as March 8 (or 3/8) is International Women’s Day. As for the name, “We were having a brainstorming session, and I was playing off the fairy tale damsel in distress and turned it around,” Kyle says. “We are women and talented enough to do this. This helps us to make a name for ourselves in the industry.”

Kyle says women are becoming a bigger part of the industry especially in the last few years, with many women running craft beer operations. New Hampshire is home to over 70 breweries, and seven of them were represented in the collaborative brew as well as a distributor and two supporting organizations, Kyle says.

The NH beer industry professionals that created Damsel No Distress along with Kyle are: Tamsin Hewes, Stephanie Raymond, Kaitlin Smith, Kerri Runge, and Krysta Boisvert from the 603 Brewery; Emily Coole of Ithaca Beer Co.; Emily Johnston of Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton; Judi Clark of Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton; Chelsea Dennis of Bellavance Beverage Co. in Nashua; Sadie MacLean of Stoneface Brewing Co. in Newington; C.J. White of the NH Brewers Association; Renee Vannata of BrewNH; Ali Leleszi of Rockingham Brewing Company in Derry; and Stacie Allard of Henniker Brewing Co. in Henniker. Damsel No Distress is available at the 603 Brewery tap room. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the collaboration brew will benefit the Pink Boots Society scholarship fund.

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