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Women in beer community to be celebrated at Downtown Market

Women of Craft Beer, a panel hosted by the Downtown Market, will address women's role in the beer industry.

Women of Craft Beer

Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m. 

Free to attend

Cash bar available


Grand Rapids Downtown Market:

435 Ionia Ave. SW


Along with many new events this year, the Downtown Market is holding a first-time event for women in the beer industry to come together and talk, fittingly called Women of Craft Beer, held on Friday, March 6.

The event will be a question and answer discussion session with 10 women from Grand Rapids and West Michigan who all work in beer, from brewers or bar owners to sales representatives and graphic designers.

Breanne Zost, Beverage Manager at the Downtown Market, is responsible for organizing the event. It is the first time that the Downtown Market is having an event like this, and Zost says it has been a long time coming. 

“There’s a lot of conversation about craft beer and people just assume that it’s all male-driven, but there’s such a huge female force out there,” says Zost. 

Zost began her beer career at Brewery Vivant. She would hear people call certain beers "girly" or "a chick drink", but she contends that many women like the same beer as men. This common misunderstanding of how women enjoy beer inspired her to hold this event.

Panelists include Kate Avery, the "Abbess of Beer" for Brewery Vivant, Kelli Finchem, owner of Dutch Girl Brewery, a not-yet-opened brewery in Spring Lake and Angela Steil, Certified Cicerone and beer director at Gravity Taphouse and Grille.

“I think it’s a really great representation of different women at different capacities in the industry,” says Zost. “That’s what this is all about.”  

Along with the panelists, people representing the larger beer community in Grand Rapids will be present. Members of Fermenta, a Michigan-based craft beer nonprofit, Founders Brewing and Right Brain Brewery will all be in the audience, ready to ask questions and take part in discussion.

“It’s going to be really great for people to tell their own stories for a little bit and then open the discussion up to the public,” says Zost. 

Women and men who are involved with the community, interested in beer or simply want to learn more are all invited to take part in the discussion.

There will be a cash bar available that represents all of the breweries of the panelists as well as food for people to enjoy during the event.

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