Buffalo Beer Goddesses
Photos by kc kratt
Is the brewing industry destined to remain a boys’ club? The Buffalo Beer Goddesses hope not. Started in 2012 as a social club for women who enjoy craft beer, the Goddesses are moving forward to help women who want to get into the industry get the training—and make the connections—that they need.
Sara Rosenberry, the group’s secretary, said they were founded in 2012 "to create a community for women who enjoy craft beverages to find each other and talk about it together." Now having expanded to forty dues-paying members (and over 1400 Facebook followers), they host meetings open to the public on the third Thursday of every month at rotating locations all over Western New York, as well as private, members-only meetings and events.
"For us, it’s all about supporting things that are local," says Tracy Maciejewski, the group’s treasurer. Rosenberry notes that they’ve collaborated with local breweries on limited-edition beers and were approached by BreadHive (a women-owned bakery and cafe) about cosponsoring a happy hour.
Rosenberry said they also want to welcome new craft beer drinkers into the fold. "We don’t judge," she says. "If you want to have a Blue Moon, that’s great, but we’ll give you this local beer to try also."
As of last year, the Goddesses support an annual scholarship for a woman who wants to enter the brewing industry. The Cicerone Scholarship pays for one woman per year to become certified at the second level of a beer expert program with the same name that is widely recognized in the bar and restaurant industry. The certification exam is not offered in Buffalo and the scholarship also pays for travel costs, Rosenberry said. The goddesses will announce the second winner in January 2018.
The first winner, Marina Christopher (see brewers’ roundtable), plans to take the exam in April and in the meantime is working as a brewery assistant and bar manager at Swiftwater Brewing Co. in Rochester, where she now resides. Christopher said she is currently in the business planning stage of one day opening a brewery and restaurant of her own.