Women’s Brew Day at Mikerphone | Drippin’ So Much Sauce
The women of Mikerphone Brewing do not play the role of background singers at the musical-inspired brewery, but instead work harmoniously with the men; they are integral to the entire operation. And, on February 8, Mike Pallen and his skilled assistants handed over the brewhouse to the women of Mikerphone in order to brew Drippin’ So Much Sauce Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA. The beer will not only be tasty but also support The Wings Program, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence and give aid to those who have suffered.
It’s stunning that there are still men who can’t grasp the concept of women enjoying, let alone making, beer. The Illinois Guild president and VP are women. The editor-in-chief at Craftbeer.com (Jess Baker) is a woman. The Brewers Association Craft Beer Director (Julia Herz) is a woman. And Chicago alone supports such names as Spitefull’s Claudia Jendron, Begyle’s Liz French and Metro’s Tracy Hurst. And those are but a few of the names out there. The industry is abound in women, from beertenders to bar owners and brewers to taproom managers.
“This whole project stemmed because these women are passionate about Mikerphone and about beer,” says Charolette Converse, marketing and social media manager at Mikerphone. “The women here are constantly asking our brewers about the beer they brew; what’s going on [in the brewhouse]; they want to know—they are hungry for it!”
Converse adds, “Mike never questioned us when we wanted brew. He simply said, give us a recipe so we can schedule it and make time to brew it.” No hesitation. No worries.
And isn’t that the point of women’s brews associated with International Women’s Day, or any day of the year for that matter? All that matters, in the end, is the quality of the beer.
Chances are high that the beer will be good. One can expect a robust, New England DIPA with a mouthfeel similar to the brewery’s popular Mikerphone Check 1,2.
“We came up with the hop combo; the guys supported it,” explains Converse. Hops include Citra, El Dorado and Sabro, and there’s plenty of it to enjoy. When the Mikerphone Women sought to have a particular mouthfeel and body, the guys recommend using the same grain bill as can be found in Mike Check 1,2. They are educating us. And that’s important, too.”
Mikerphone certainly has grown to become the poster child for New England, or Juciy/Hazy styles, and that’s the type of beer the Mikerphone women wanted to brew. “We feel some pressure to make the beer good, to show women can do this. But, mostly, we want to make sure Drippin’ So Much Sauce is good for Mikerphone. It’s a beer that people know we do well, and we want to represent that well.”
Assistant brewer Peter Maldonado put it in much simpler terms, “This beer is going to be bangin’.”
The name of the beer, Drippin’ So Much Sauce, derives its inspiration from the Lizzo song, Juice which speaks to an aura of confidence and swagger. “We thought that was super fitting and relevant,” says Converse.
The Lizzo reference coupled with the support for Wings Program demonstrates that women, both in the beer industry and in much broader terms, continue to battle sexism and hosts of other issues.
But, despite the issues, at least in the beer world, there are signs of progress.
“The culture is shifting. We [women] are not getting the same attitude from customers that existed years ago. Now they come in and ask us about our favorite beer or ask us for recommendations. The issues with women are not gone by any means, including within the industry, but it is improving a lot,” says Converse.
For Pallen, it speaks to his philosophy of how to manage a brewery. “Honestly, I’m thrilled the women are doing this, but mostly I just love that everyone here [at Mikerphone] likes coming to work and wants to participate. I know we probably employ more than what would be normal for a brewery our size, but we believe strongly in supporting the community. For the women to come together and brew this beer speaks to our culture here—so many great people.”
Drippin’ So Much Sauce DDH DIPA will be released on International Women’s Day (March 8) in cans and on draft. “It’ll be an event obviously,” Converse says, “with food, the women who brewed, some media and Wings representatives on-site.” Sales of the beer will help with proceeds going to the Wings Program which provides housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence.
Now let’s roll the credits—the women behind the beer.
- Lisa Pallen
- Lily Pallen
- Charolette Converse
- Stephanie Triana
- Franky DeNardo
- Alison Lipske
- Cathy Braxton
- Veenat Noravong
- Alyssa Segura (label design)
And let’s not forget the guys, the assistant brewers: Pauly Goeddeke and Peter Maldonado. And, of course, Mike Pallen.
Because, as Converse states, “We are like a family here.”