The history of women in beer brewing is just one of the many overlooked facets of women’s history which has been grossly overtaken and generalized as a “man’s hobby.”

Tara Nurin, the author of A Woman’s Place Is in the Brewhouse: A Forgotten History of Alewives, Brewsters, Witches, and CEOs, spent an afternoon discussing some of the misrepresented and altered history of the part women have played in the culture of beer. In her book, Tara discusses the censored history, the current state of the movement, and what she expects from the future. She includes resources on how to support and spread awareness about the movement to acknowledge injustices and discrimination in the beer industry. 

“The book came about because I have been writing about women in beer for almost twenty years… [my mentor] Teri Fahrendorf, said ‘Tara, no one has written a book about the history of women in beer before and you need to write it,’” Tara explained.

With a career in professional journalism, and experience covering women in beer, Tara saw her mentor’s suggestion as a major opportunity to boost the platform and reveal the truth of the history of women in beer.

“So many challenges still exist for women in the beer world, starting maybe with the fact that most people don’t know that women have been society’s brewers for over 200,000 years,” Tara tells us.

She revealed that the current scrutiny toward women in beer is typically an insult to their intelligence or lack of respect for their legitimacy;

“Women who make beer, serve beer, sell beer, are constantly getting, at the most innocent: ‘Oh you like beer- you make this stuff? You know, challenges to their knowledge, ‘mansplaining,’ and that’s just the start.” 

Some of the resources which Tara discusses in her book include the Pink Boots Society, a non-profit organized to encourage and inspire women and non-binary individuals in the alcoholic beverage industry, Safe Bars, an organization which provides education and assistance in creating safe drinking environments in support of the #MeToo movement in the alcohol business, and Women of the Bevolution, an organization which provides funding for women who have had to leave a job due to workplace mistreatment or harassment.

Each of these organizations have given many women the tools and platforms they need to help recover and contribute to the change by providing safe and comfortable, discrimination free environments. 

Tara hopes to create a lifeline and inspire women to take interest in the industry with pride and security through her book. For more information on how you can find Tara’s book, visit her website at www.eyesontheworld.us, or follow her on all social media platforms @TaraNurin.

Extended Interview with Tara Nurin