Event Preview | Women in Beer
The countdown is on. Seattle Beer Week is almost here.
This year’s celebration will take place from May 12th to May 22nd of this year, and Seattleites have quite a bit to look forward to. Expect beer tastings and debuts, discounts on growlers, scavenger hunts, luau parties, dog pageants, kegs and eggs, to name a small (but mighty) handful.
Despite all this excitement, there is one event that breaks through the noise, at least for me: Women in Beer, hosted by The Pike Brewing Company. Women in Beer celebrates (as you may have guessed) women in beer – whether it be brewers, salespeople, owners, writers, drinkers, cooks and the passionate patron. In an industry that is dominated by men, this a necessary and vital event to the Seattle community – offering women a means to network, explore, educate and celebrate.
And I’m not the only one excited for Women in Beer. One of the event’s biggest cheerleaders and advocates for the event is none other than Rose Ann Finkel, the Vice President, Owner and Founder of Pike Brewing Company.
If you’re not familiar with Rose Ann, she is a name to know in the Seattle beer scene. Finkel started her career in beer with her husband Charles Finkel in 1978, when the two created their very own beer importing business. Roughly ten years later they opened Pike Brewing Company. Rose Ann and Charles have owned the brewery on and off since then, selling the brewery in 1997, and buying it back in 2006, and through it all one, essential thing has remained true: They try and promote women in every possible way that they can.
“We want to grow and empower women to be involved in the brewery industry in all aspects,” says Finkel. “Whether it’s on the restaurant side, whether it’s on the sales side, whether it’s physically working in the brewery.”
Jan Balcom, brewer, and Meg Bragg, cellar person, are two notable women on Pike’s payroll at the moment, and Finkel – as well as the rest of the Pike staff – couldn’t be more proud of having the gals as part of the team.
“To have women involved in the industry has been a real asset,” says Finkel – noting that Pike has a much higher women:men ration than it did at it’s birth. “Women in beer has refined the industry,” she continues.
Not only does Women in Beer give the X chromosomes a vehicle to mingle and grow, it also benefits something near and dear to Pike’s heart and soul: Planned Parenthood.
“We’ve always been great supporters of Planned Parenthood, personally. It’s something we’ve always believed in,” Finkel says. Charles Finkel was on the board of Planned Parenthood in the 80s – in the early years of Pike Brewing. “They’ve been great supporters. They are so appreciative of our involvement.”
After all of her years in the industry, Finkel has one bit of advice for women who are wanting to weasel their way in: Educate yourselves.
“Spend time in a brewery or in a restaurant that features beer,” she says. “Whatever aspect you may be interested in – see what you can find out.”
Lucky for us, Women in Beer is just that. It’s education. Networking. Mingling. Oh – and beer and food. Which is always an added bonus.
“Women in beer is all about [education],” Finkel says. “We feature women in all aspects of the brewing, food, spirit and wine word.”
Lucky for us, there are still tickets for Women in Beer still available – but there won’t be for long. Get your tickets for the May 16th event here, before they’re gone. We’ll see you there. And we can’t wait.
Stay tuned for more PorchDrinking coverage of Women in Beer.