Cheers to Beers With(out) Beards, the largest celebration of women in the beer industry! For the third year in a row, the program went off without a hitch. Only this year, because of COVID-19, we went digital. So now Hop Culture not only throws the largest celebration of women in the beer industry, but the largest digital celebration as well.

Beers With(out) Beards got started in the mind of Grace Weitz, Hop Culture’s current Head of Partnerships. But this story begins way back in 2018, when Grace was only an Editorial Intern.

Between graduate school classes at NYU, Grace took the Q train to Hop Culture’s office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where she helped the editorial department and worked on her thesis. That’s all anyone knew — that between intern hours, Grace worked on a thesis. No one knew the topic, or the theme, though we all supposed it had something to do with food and drink, as Grace was in the NYU Food Studies department. But the exact nature of said thesis remained a mystery.

That is, until the Hop Culture team showed up at NYU to listen to Grace’s thesis presentation. Because of the impression Grace had made on the team, everyone wanted to support her. And imagine our surprise when she presented a program called Beers With(out) Beards, a weeklong celebration of women in the beer industry.

After the presentation, I remember asking Grace if she wanted to work for Hop Culture full time and put her plan into action.

Her response?

“Yes, that’s why I wrote the thesis.”

There’s no doubt that Grace’s work has fundamentally changed the beer industry, making it a more fun, dynamic, and equitable environment for women all over the world. Over the past three years, she has organized dozens of talks, panels, tastings, and presentations, all centered around that theme. But perhaps most importantly, she has been an open, public, and friendly figure in the industry, demonstrating through her actions that beer belongs to everyone.

Despite rainstorms and COVID, the past three Beers With(out) Beards programs have been incredible, and I look forward to many more to come.

Join me in raising a glass to Grace Weitz, Beers With(out) Beards, and the achievements of women throughout the industry!

Head to for a full recap of the Beers With(out) Beards 2020 events.

Liked this article? Sign up for our newsletter to get the best craft beer writing on the web delivered straight to your inbox.