Women in the Craft Beer Industry


By: J. Ashley Panter and Kaitlin Kent

The beer industry has been historically dominated by men.  However, the Brewers Association, a non-profit organization of American brewers,  revealed a growing popularity of beer among women.  According to their 2014 report, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer by volume.

Another research project demonstrated that women are not only increasingly drinking beer, but are also brewing it. A 2014 study conducted by Auburn University found that women account for 29% of brewery workers in the United States and are beginning to play a much larger role in the craft brewing industry.

However, women are still underrepresented as head brewers. In 2014, a study by Stanford University found that out of 1,700 active breweries surveyed, only 4% had a female head brewer or brewmaster.

Men in the craft brewing industry, like Brian Roth, the co-owner of Southern Brewing Company (SBC) in Athens, Ga., are recognizing  women’s growing interest in the industry and showing support. Roth co-owns the brewery with his buddy Rick Goddard, but his wife Jen Roth is also involved. In the early stages of SBC, she helped her husband with anything from mopping the floors to running the register to budgeting for the brewery. Today you can find her working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“We wouldn’t be open if it wasn’t for 5 women – Jen included,” Roth said.


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