Throughout the course of the calendar year, there are a few times that the worldwide beer community comes together.
Sometimes it’s for competition, such as with the World Beer Cup® or World Beer Awards®, others it’s for celebration, like with Oktoberfest. But for one day in March, brewers honor the impact of females on the brewing industry.
IWBC was born in 2013 when member Sophie de Ronde of Project Venus, a British organization dedicated to continuing the education and collaboration of women brewers across the country, decided she wanted to take their mission global.
Ronde felt certain there would be interest as Project Venus was already based off another female brewing organization from the United States – the Pink Boots Society. She wanted the take both group’s missions of empowering women brewers to a global level, while also bolstering networking and development opportunities for women in the field. So, Ronde reached out to Denise Ratfield, a member of the Pink Boots Society who ran its social media, and together they created IWBCD.
The event would center around brewing, of course. Each year would have a theme and the theme would be focused on a specific ingredient that was new, experimental or popular in the community. Women across the world could enter their brewery, or brewing location, as a participant and anyone interested could show up on the day to brew together. They could interpret the theme and ingredient as they liked. Ronde created a map online where all locations could be found, while Ratfield used social media to publicize the event. Artist Monarose Ryan then entered the picture as well, offering her services creating a logo and artwork for the beer. The first theme was Unite Pale.
The first IWBCD took place in 2014. Sixty women brewers created a version of Unite Pale. Since then hundreds more have joined.
The choice to hold IWBCD on International Women’s Day was deliberate, as the women felt it was yet another example of the contribution women have had in our society. This year’s theme is Unite Tribute. While the interpretation remains open as always, the organization says perhaps the beers can be a tribute to an individual, region, country or aspect of brewing that has been an inspiration.
Whether professional, or homebrewer, all women are invited to take part. To find an event near you, visit IWBCD online.