Updated on March 7, 2024

Imagine the last beer you drank. What did the beer taste like? Perhaps you had a hazy, and you found notes of grapefruit and citrus. What did the beer smell like? Maybe you enjoyed an imperial stout and noticed the aromas of coffee beans and chocolate. Now, picture the person that brewed that beer. What did they look like? Were they big and tall? Short and small? Blond-haired and blue-eyed? Most importantly, did you envision a man or a woman? Nine times out of ten, when asked to describe a brewer, people think of a big, burly man wearing a lumberjack flannel shirt and sporting a bushy beard. This is the exact stereotype that Hop Culture tries to break with its groundbreaking women and femme-identifying folx in craft beer festival Beers With(out) Beards, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2022, and since evolved into another festival series called Queer Beer. You can do your part by educating yourself about, drinking from, and supporting femme-identifying and women-owned breweries.

To honor International Women’s Day, a holiday celebrated every March 8th that recognizes the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, Hop Culture wanted to share 300+ femme-identifying and women-owned breweries that you could be supporting right now. But, most importantly, should support each and every day the year. Not just in March!

From stalwarts like New Belgium, Independence Brewing, Lady Justice, and Russian River to relative newcomers such as Back Home Beer, a women-owned brewery incorporating Irani ingredients into its beer, Shōjō Beer Co., a Nicaraguan- and Lebanese-owned brewery in Miami, Florida, and Ten Eyck, a brewery started by seven women responders and veterans, here are some amazing women-led breweries to check out.

For clarification, the breweries on this list include those that are owned by women or femme-identifying folx or breweries that may not be owned by women- or femme-identifying folx but have women or femme-identifying people in prominent roles on their staff or have expressed a commitment to equity and inclusion in the beer industry.

While this list is a great start, we know that there are so many more breweries out there, and we want to continually keep updating. Look, there are over 10,000 breweries in the country now, with more opening every day, so if we missed your favorite, feel free to hit us up in our DMs or at [email protected]. We’d be happy to add any breweries we missed to this list!

Hop Culture’s 300+ Femme-Identifying and Women-Owned Breweries to Support Right Now

Feel free to skip down to your favorite region:


Attic Brewing Company

Philadelphia, PA

Owner and president Laura Lacy started Attic Brewing Company as Germantown Philadelphia’s first craft brewery in over 100 years. And while we love that Attic Brewing is carving out a space for itself in Philly, what we love most is the brewery’s dedication to being a safe place for everyone to come enjoy really good beers.

Unsurprisingly, the brewery also focuses a lot of its attention on giving back to its community. You can see that clearly in Attic’s Give Back Series, which donates to local nonprofits. To date, Attic has raised over $25,000 for various organizations.

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Back Home Beer

Brooklyn, NY

Zahra Tabatabai hasn’t been brewery owner for too long, but she’s already made waves in Brooklyn. The founder of Iranian- and female-owned Back Home Beer, Tabatabai brings a unique background to craft, focusing on flavors and art from Iran and the Middle East.

Tabatabai, the daughter of Iranian immigrants whose grandfather homebrewed in Iran in the 1950s and ‘60s, started Back Home Beer to share the rich history of brewing in Iran. From the beginning, Tabatabai started homebrewing her grandfather’s old recipes. He used a lot of ingredients from his garden in Shiraz, Iran: sumac, salt, barberries, and dried limes.

Back Home Beer launched with Sumac Gose, a 4.2% ABV sour wheat beer that cures with sumac, tart cherry, and blue salt, picking up a 4.06 rating on Untappd. Tabatabai chose to release her Sumac Gose first because all of those unique ingredients tell a distinct story.

“In Iran, sour cherries grow like crazy,” she says. “They’re a popular flavor and fruit. They make a lot of different dishes with sour cherries, but mostly, they’re just eaten with salt. And some people put sumac on it. My grandfather also brewed a lot with sumac, so that’s when I had the idea to do a gose with this beer.”

Drinkers have responded to her narrative. Tabatabai’s Sumac Gose debuted to rave fanfare. It sold out from the shelves of many accounts within just a few hours.

In 2024, many breweries seem to think that “innovation” involves throwing as many cookies as possible into the mash tun. But thoughtful brewers like Tabatabai find creativity by looking at their heritage. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on what Tabatabai comes up with next.

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Backward Flag Brewing Co.

Forked River, NJ

backward flag brewing torie fisher
Photography courtesy of Backward Flag Brewing

A woman- and Veteran-owned brewery in South Jersey, Backward Flag works hard to raise awareness about veteran’s issues…and make terrific beer. Try the Something’s Missing IPA , with 100% of sales donated to Veteran-focused mental health charities. Or the flagship Oak Armored Ale, a crisp pale conditioned on toasted American oak.

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Baxter Brewing Co.

Lewiston, ME

As president of Baxter Brewing Co. Jenn Lever has quite a job…”to capture the spirit of Maine in a can,” as it says on Baxter Brewing’s website. That sounds like quite a task, but Lever and her team at Baxter Brewing elegantly accomplish this through beers that are distinctly Maine. Such as Coastal Haze, a hazy IPA, or HHowl Together, a pilsner. Each beer crafted at Baxter has Maine at heart. And that’s a beautiful story we will one hundred percent drink up any day.

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Belleflower Brewing Co.

Portland, ME

belleflower brewing co-founders nick and katie bonadies and zach and melissa page
Photography courtesy of Belleflower Brewing

We’ve spoken pretty highly of Belleflower, one of our “Best Breweries of 2023.” And for good reason.

Co-founders Katie and Nick Bonadies (who previously worked as the VP of brewing operations at Trillium), along with Melissa and Zach Page, were gracious enough to send us a package of beer last year.

Accordingly, Katie and Nick sent us a compilation of hazies, double IPAs, IPAs, and sours, showcasing ingredients like malt from Blue Ox Malthouse. Oh, and Flashlight Tag – Peanut Butter and Chocolate, an imperial stout with peanut butter and roasted cacao nibs that has been one of the best stouts we’ve tried all last year.

On the hoppy side, everything stunned us. Each one of Belleflower’s IPAs surprised and delighted. From Hexology, a 7.3% ABV DIPA with Mosaic, Citra, and BRU-1 expressing candied grapefruit and orange, to Barn Hex (Mosaic, Strata, El Dorado), a New England DIPA with oats that reminded us of an orange creamsicle.

After chatting with the quartet more, we quickly learned that, at Belleflower, almost every beer has a story like this, traced back to a memory, a place in time, or a story. And every decision and direction they take is thoughtful.

Stepping into their brewery is like opening up a scrapbook of stories.

From homebrewing to learning the ropes at Trillium in its earliest days to opening a brewery in a new city, the tale of Belleflower is an adventurous path of twists, turns, and thrills. Which you’ll learn through every excellent beer you drink—be that hazies and West Coasts to dunkels and stouts.

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Czig Meister Brewing Company

Hackettstown, NJ

Czig Meister Co-founder Laura Czigler helped start this well-known women-led New Jersey brewery with her son Matthew Czigler and husband Frank Czigler. Today, she serves as Czig Meister’s vice president and CMO, overseeing everything.

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Dorchester Brewing Co.

Dorchester, MA

dorchester brewing Massachusetts gayest brewery
Photography courtesy of Dorchester Brewing

Dorchester Co-founder Molly Mitton and Matt Malloy have made their brewery a pillar of the community. Massachusetts’ gayest brewery makes damn good beer, too.

Cool, modern, and relaxed, Dorchester Brewing has become a pillar of the sprawling Dorchester community since opening in 2016. Co-founder Matt Malloy and his husband moved there after leaving their South End home in 2006; like many other LGBTQ Bostonians, he craved the diversity for which the South End was once known. “Dorchester has been nothing but wonderful,” Malloy says. “It’s truly a community for everyone, not just black, white, but straight, gay.”

Although many people look at him strangely when he says he lives in Dorchester (it was once considered uniquely dangerous compared to other areas of Boston), diversity and inclusivity make it an attractive place to put down roots.

“Beer and community are really the same things,” Malloy says. “You don’t just build a brewery to make great beer, but to serve a community and make people happy.”

Malloy and the Dorchester Brewing Company (DBCo) crew take their responsibility seriously. DBCo serves the same gathering function as gay bars, which have slowly been disappearing from places where once they were cornerstones, leaving Queer people in short supply of spaces to call their own.

That means hosting gay-oriented events (like Bears, Brews, & Boys) and participating in citywide events (like the Boston Pride Parade, which awarded DBCo Best Float in 2019). Additionally, the brewery works with Boston BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth.

DBCo is the Queer-owned community space in Dorchester. And that’s exactly what Malloy has been trying to achieve.

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Dyke Beer

New York

Started by grassroots activists Loretta Andro Chung and Sarah Hallonquist, Dyke Beer “honors and celebrates LGBTQIA+ spaces and history.” Dyke Beer started when Andro Chung and Hallonquist saw a lack of good craft beer in lesbian bars. They thought they could create one.

“People could grab a Dyke Beer to go and bring home some solidarity with them,” Dyke Beer writes on its website. “Dyke Beer says, ‘You exist, and you are important.’” Beerwise, you’ll find each release supporting the community in myriad ways.

For example, most recently, Dyke Beer dropped Out Stout and participated in Have a Beer in NYC, a city-wide collab beer to raise awareness around and support reproductive rights in the NYC beer community.

Beyond the beer, Dyke Beer hosts events around NYC, including Queer brunches, battle of the bands, festivals, film screenings, and more.

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Fifth Hammer Brewing Co.

Long Island City, NY

It’s impossible to look at women pioneering the craft beer industry—especially in New York City—and not highlight Mary Izett. Her often colorful hair and vibrant personality to match have made incredible strides for women in craft beer. Her accolades stretch as far as the Brooklyn Bridge. She has served as the President of the Pink Boots Society chapter in New York and President of both the Malted Barley Appreciation Society and the New York City Homebrewers Guild, has authored the book Speed Brewing, and co-hosted the podcast Fuhmentaboudit.

In 2017, she added co-owner of Fifth Hammer in Long Island City, Queens, to that list. A 15-bbl taproom, Fifth Hammer constantly rotates through a selection of creative ingredient-driven ales.

Fun fact: Hop Culture Senior Content Editor Grace Weitz actually loves Fifth Hammer so much that she asked Mary to help her and her wife brew a beer for their wedding in October 2019.

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Garrison City Beerworks

Dover, NH

garrison city beerworks founder nicole gray
Photography courtesy of @garrisoncity

In the past several years, we’ve tried more IPAs than we can count: juicy IPAs, bitter IPAs, Milkshake IPAs, Cold IPAs, Black IPAs… You name it.

And frankly, if we want an elite IPA, we’re going with one from Garrison City Beerworks. Co-founder Nicole Gray has either studied some intense black magic, or she’s just that good—and since we have a pretty good eye for practitioners of the dark and deadly arts, we’d say it’s the latter. If you’re looking for one of the best breweries in New Hampshire, find a seat on Garrison City Beerworks’ outdoor patio and grab an IPA.

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Harlem Brewing Co.

New York, NY

Harlem Brewing Founder and craft beer godmother Celeste Beatty made her first batch of homebrew in a studio apartment across from Marcus Garvey Park in the 1990s. In November of 2000, she started Harlem Brewing, one of New York City’s OG craft breweries.

Over twenty years later, the brewery continues to make styles to please all palates, from the flagship Sugar Hill Golden Ale to the Renaissance Wit and the 125 IPA. Beatty even took her legendary beers down south, opening up Harlem Brewing South in Rocky Mount, NC.

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Hogback Mountain Brewing

Bristol, VT

Founded in 2015 by Kevin Hanson, Hogback Mountain Brewery was purchased by Sam and Jamie Sawyer in 2018. In Vermont, most folks have heard of The Alchemist and Lawson’s Finest Liquids (two amazing breweries for sure), but Hogback is an under-the-radar brewery churning out great local beer. Run in part by Sam, who is almost a mother of four, Hogback Mountain Brewery should be a must-stop on any trip through Vermont.

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Kraemer & Kin

Grand Isle, VT

Another Vermont brewery that could be considered a hidden gem, Kraemer & Kin is a family-owned operation that opened right before the global pandemic in February 2020. Founded by Heather, Levi, and Christie Kraemer, this Grand Isle-based brewery launched as the first in the Champlain Island region of Vermont. And it has been a pretty long journey for the trio (Christie and Levi are married while Heather is Levi’s sister). Eight years ago, the three started a hop yard on Christie’s family property, eventually graduating to a brewery to focus heavily on sustainability and brewing with the flora and fauna around them. This is truly a special place making some very special beers.

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Lamplighter Brewing Co.

Cambridge, MA

lamplighter in boston summer

Boston has a history of producing some of the best big-name breweries in the country, including Trillium, Tree House, and Night Shift. But we hold a deep appreciation for the more under-the-radar spots like Lamplighter in Cambridge, MA, that focus on hazy NEIPAs, unique barrel-aged sours, and special seasonals.

Cayla Marvil co-founded Lamplighter with her partner AC Jones in 2016 and, over the last eight years, has stormed the scene, earning a spot on Forbes “30 under 30” list for Food and Drink in 2020 and making pretty much any one of our own guides to the best breweries in Boston.

And a couple of years ago, Lamplighter opened its second location as a part of The Shed at Cambridge Crossing in Kendall Square. The 6,000-sq-ft taproom and production space, called Lamplighter Brewing CX, has carried on Lamplighter’s tradition of brewing exquisite hazy IPAs, barrel-aged sours, and more.

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Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Waitsfield, VT

Sean and Karen Lawson receive SBA award
Photography courtesy of Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Founded by wife and husband Karen and Sean Lawson in 2008, Lawson’s Finest Liquids produces a diverse lineup of beer. The brewery has long been praised for its hoppy beers Sip of Sunshine and the Super Session series.

Not only does Lawson’s produce excellent beers, but it has also become a significant part of its local community, making it one of our best breweries to visit in Vermont. For instance, Lawson’s is a member of the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility as well as the Mad River Valley Chamber.

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Long Live Beerworks

Providence, RI x Boston, MA

long live beerworks roxbury boston taproom
Photography courtesy of @longlivebeerworks

Celebrating its seventh anniversary at the beginning of 2023, Long Live Beerworkss is one of our favorite under-the-radar breweries in the Northeast for their playful pastry stouts, creative sours, and heavenly hazy IPAs.

So we were thrilled to hear that co-founder Jessica deBray finally took this Providence, to a new location in Boston in early June of last year.

Located in a renovated 1850s piano factory, Long Live’s new splashy taproom will serve up the equally colorful beers that put Long Live on the map, even in the smallest state in the U.S.

Long Live is going big in Boston, offering a plethora of single, double, and DDH IPAs, plus an oatmeal stout, pilsner, and even something called “frozie” sours with fruited goodness.

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Love City Brewing

Philadelphia, PA

Melissa Walter started Love City Brewing with her partner Kevin Walter to be a place focused on “good people, good beer, and a good want to cap off the day,” as the brewery writes on its website.

In addition to running the brewery, Melissa has also served as a co-chair of the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP) Equity and Inclusion Committee, whose mission is to create more educational opportunities for People of color, women, those with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+ in the industry.

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Nonesuch River Brewing

Scarborough, ME

Symbolized in the namesake of the restaurant and brewery, the Nonesuch River is a body of water that runs through the seaside town of Scarborough, ME, connecting the town’s eight villages to one another.

Nonesuch is proud to be Scarborough, Maine’s first brewery, joining the ranks of the celebrated Maine craft beer scene. Nonesuch aims to combine well-crafted, approachable beer and cocktails with the abundant bounty of Maine’s local and natural resources to create a seasonally inspired menu in a lively, warm, and inviting atmosphere.

Shea Cusick, Heather Guglielmo, and Marina McGoon have propelled Nonesuch to the next level. Heather is the event and marketing manager, Shea is the brewery sales and merchandise manager, and Marina is the executive pastry chef. These women, along with others operating the front of the house, have made Nonesuch River Brewing a sought-after dining and brewery experience.

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Olive Pit Brewing Co.

Lisbon Falls, ME

When Christy Cain opened Olive Pit Brewing in Lisbon Falls, ME, she claimed the title of the town’s first brewery owner. Cain went off to brewing school after she and her wife had a hard time finding beers they liked. After earning a diploma in brewing science, Cain decided to brew them instead! And that’s the ethos at Olive Pit: to be a welcoming place for the female beer consumer and the entire community.

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Proclamation Ale Company

Warwick, RI

proclamation ale company co-founder lori whitham
Photography courtesy of Craft Collective

Lori Whitham took over running the business at Proclamation Ale Company after her husband and founder Dave Whitham passed away from cancer in December 2020. In the back, brewer Kate Goodson drives the brewing engine at this Rhode Island-based brewery. Which includes a 2,000-square-foot barrel aging and wood cellar for sour and mixed-fermentation ales, along with a 3,000-square-foot tasting room.

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Redemption Rock Brewing Company

Worcester, MA

As the CEO and co-founder of Redemption Rock Brewing Company, Dani Babineau has helped build an amazing culture at the brewery. Besides her three co-founders, Babineau leads a team of all women. Which makes sense because the brewery opened in Worcester, MA, in January 2019 with a simple slogan: Beer for People. According to Redemption Rock Brewing Company’s mission statement, “That is, we believe craft beer is at its best when it brings people together, and when it’s accessible, welcoming, and safe for everyone.” Since opening, Redemption Rock has worked to create a space that is welcoming and safe for all.

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Rhythm Brewing Co.

New Haven, CT

alisa mercado-bowens of rhythm brewing co
Photography courtesy of Rhythm Brewing Co.

When she’s not running a salsa dance studio, Rhythm Brewing founder Alisa Bowens-Mercado crafts lagers inspired by her grandmothers, who loved good, crisp beer. Bowens-Mercado, aka “Lady Lager,” also holds the distinction of being Connecticut’s first Black woman brewery owner. The Rhythm Blue Lager is an instant classic!

All in all, with Rhythm Brewing Bowens-Mercado is brewing to the beat of her own drum.

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Rising Tide Brewing Company

Portland, ME

Rising Tide Owner and Director of Operations Heather Sanborn earned a master’s degree in teaching and a law degree before running a brewery. As it says on the brewery’s website, “From financial projections to supply chains, Heather pulls a laboring oar in nearly every aspect of the brewery operations.”

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TALEA Beer Co.

Brooklyn, NY

talea beer co leann darland
Photography courtesy of Nachman Blizinsky | TALEA Beer Co.

We first met TALEA Beer Co. Co-Founders LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson before they even had one brick-and-mortar spot to their name. The all-woman and veteran-owned brewery consciously decided to cultivate an inclusive culture, from their packaging meant to attract all types of consumers regardless of gender to their incredibly friendly spaces—taprooms in Williamsburg and Cobble Hill that opened in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

In 2023, a bit of a banner year for TALEA, Darland and Hankinson continued to expand their brand, launching two new locations in Bryant Park and the West Village. The latter, on Christopher Street, sits two blocks away from The Stonewall Inn, the site of the Stonewall Riots, considered by many as sparking the Gay Rights Movement in America.

Retail sales also increased dramatically for TALEA, growing to 1,000 accounts, including some big hitters like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. As did production, topping out at 5,500 bbls compared to 1,500 in 2022.

Perhaps most impressive is the duo’s uncanny savviness and prowess to stay on top of the pulse of craft beer, collaborating with a host of brands, including Pine & Polk, Brooklyn Brew Shop, TCHO Chocolate, Runner’s World, OLIPOP, Fishwife, and more.

TALEA captured our hearts a long time ago, but this year, Darland and Hankinson have grown leaps and bounds, and we only expect them to warp drive in the year to come.

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The Alchemist

Stowe, VT

Alchemist Brewery Founder John Kimmich With Heady Topper
Photography courtesy of The Alchemist

Did you know that wife and husband duo Jen and John Kimmich started one of America’s most coveted and revered breweries together? I’m sure you’re familiar with the brewery’s groundbreaking Heady Topper, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll find Jen and her team driving one of the most robust sustainability programs in the country. A core pillar of the brewery, sustainable practices and ethos abound at The Alchemist from something as simple as composting to as complex as building their own wastewater treatment facility.

Jen’s work at the brewery has been instrumental, earning her the Terry Ehrich Lifetime Achievement Award from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) for honoring her commitment to the environment, workplace, and community in 2018. Sure, The Alchemist makes fantastic beer, but it’s Jen and John’s commitment to protecting our planet that earns them a spot here.

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The Seed: A Living Beer Project

Atlantic City, NJ

the seed a living beer project
Photography courtesy of The Seed

Atlantic City is usually associated with nightlife, casinos, and gambling. But Sean Towers and Amanda Cardinali’s brewery is a “living beer project” in a seaside adult playground that offers a different type of entertainment.

At The Seed, the interaction of naturally occurring microflora and fauna is on full display. The six-year-old brewery focuses on saisons and mixed-fermentation ales that have caught our attention back in 2020.

They specialize in “living beers” and rustic, earthier beers.

We told you to keep an eye on this brewery in 2020. And we were right! The Seed is a must-stop, even if you’re just in Atlantic City for high stakes.

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Throwback Brewery

North Hampton, NH

Founded by Annette Lee and Nicole Carrier in 2010, Throwback Brewery brews great beer while also celebrating and supporting local agriculture. An environmental engineer by trade, Annette attended the renowned Siebel Institute in Chicago in 2007. Completing Siebel’s World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology a year later while interning at Smuttynose Brewery, Annette eventually opened Throwback not long after. Likewise, Nicole had a different career before craft beer. Earning a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Economics and Math, and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Nicole worked as a former IBM executive before helping to launch Throwback.

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Tin Barn Brewing

Chester, NY

tin barn brewing lauren
Photography courtesy of Tin Barn Brewing

Started by head brewer and co-owner Lauren Van Pamelen, Tin Barn Brewing is an almost two-year-old brewery in Upstate New York that makes some of our new favorite regular, double, and even triple New England-style hazy IPAs, heavily fruited sours, and the occasional Willy Wonka-esque pastry stout.

Overall, Van Pamelen is a mad scientist in the brewhouse. After earning her certificate at the American Brewers Guild, Van Pamelen completed a stint at Oyster Bay Brewing Co. in Long Island, working for free as she shoveled out grain and scrubbed floors.

“It was the best transition I ever made,” she says. “I remember one week after brewing, lugging grain around, aching and sweating, thinking this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

After moving to the Hudson Valley in Upstate New York in 2015, Van Pamelen settled upon the name Tin Barn Brewing and eventually designed her dream brewery.

Appropriately operating as a farm brewery, Tin Barn leverages local ingredients as much as possible. Van Pamelen’s obsession and quest to brew the perfect hazy IPA means the brewery primarily makes New England-style hazies and double IPAs.
“I’m a mad scientist, so I love changing stuff up, and I hate following a recipe,” says Van Pamelen. “New England IPAs are supreme beings. I want a beautiful, hazy beer that’s opaque and glorious.”

This borderline compulsion means folks who venture to Tin Barn are treated to expertly crafted expressions of the style.

“So far, this brewery has been a wild monster,” says Van Pamelen. “But we’re on it for the ride, and it’s beyond anything I could have dreamed.”

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Triple Bottom Brewing

Philadelphia, PA

Founded by Tess Hart, her husband Bill Popwell, and Kyle Carney, Triple Bottom Brewing has the vision that “everyone in every community should have the opportunity to craft something great,” as the brewery writes on its website.

As co-founder and CEO, Hart drives the engine of Triple Bottom, working with foundations, social enterprises, and nonprofits to achieve the brewery’s mission to reach that triple bottom line: beer, people, and the planet.

For that reason, Triple Bottom is a Certified B Corp and member of Crafted for All, an organization striving for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the beer industry.

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Twin Elephant Brewing Company

Chatham Borough, NJ

You can thank Cindy De Rama, Tim Besecker, and Scott McLuskey for some of the juiciest IPAs in the Northeast. Located in Chatham, NJ, Twin Elephantcredits Cindy with “a proclivity for recipe formulation with unique ingredients.” A locally focused brewery with a (well-deserved) national reputation, Twin Elephant is one of those humble, hidden-gem breweries that deserves every bit of the acclaim they receive.

Such as the distinction of one of our “Best Breweries in New Jersey.”

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Unified Beerworks

Malta, NY

Owners and brewers Erika Anderson and Jeff Mannion created Unified Beerworks as two people with two styles and one vision. Mannion brews the hazy IPAs, pale ales, and stouts. While Anderson works magic with fruity sours and funky saisons. Together, they’ve made Unified Beerworks a space where everyone can come together to enjoy the alchemy of craft beer.

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Wild East Brewing Co.

Brooklyn, NY

wild east brooklyn
Photography courtesy of Wild East Brewing

Founded by Lindsay Steen, Tyler March, and Brett Taylor, Wild East Brewing Company opened its doors in February 2020. The brewery specializes in mixed-fermentation, wild, and sour beers such as saisons, pale ales, Berliner weisses, and more.

In a former restaurant supply warehouse on Sackett Street, Wild East’s taproom is a place where you can enjoy the fruits of the trio’s experimentation. And it’s one of our favorite breweries in Brooklyn, NY.

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Also Check Out*

🍻1820 BrewingPortland, ME – Robin Lapoint, Co-Owner
🍻Angry ErikNewton, NJ – Co-Owner, Heide Hassing
🍻Apponaug Brewing CompanyWarwick, RI – Co-Owners, Tamara McKenney and Kristin Waugh
🍻Bradley Brew ProjectBradley Beach, NJ – Co-Owner, Chelsey Ziolkowski
🍻Bravo Brewing CompanyPascoag, RI – Co-Owner, Brianna Hughes
🍻Crooked Current BreweryPawtucket, RI – Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Nichole Pelletier
🍻Grey Sail Brewing of RIWesterly, RI – Owner, Jennifer Brinton
🍻Great Rhythm Brewing CompanyPortsmouth, NH – Co-Founder, Kristen Thornton
🍻Hot Plate Brewing Co.Pittsfield, MA – Owner and Head Brewmaster, Sarah Real
🍻Little Dog Brewing Co.Neptune City, NJ– Owner nad Brewmaster, Gretchen Schmidhausler
🍻Moat Mountain Brewing Co.North Conway, NH – Co-Owner, Vicky Valentino, co-owner
🍻Montclair BreweryMontclair, NJ – Co-Owner and GM, Denise Ford-Sawadogo
🍻Northampton BreweryNorthampton, MA – President, Janet Egelston
🍻Oakflower BrewingMillington, NJ – Co-Owner, Leann McDonough
🍻Origin Beer ProjectProvidence, RI – Co-Owner, Erika Tessier
🍻Pivotal Brewing CompanyBristol, RI – Co-Owner, Rebecca Ernst
🍻Ragged Island Brewing CompanyPortsmouth, RI – Co-Owner, Katie Gray
🍻Sacred Profane BrewingBiddeford, ME– Co-Founder, Brienne Allan
🍻Tilted Barn BreweryExeter, RI – Co-Owner, Kara Richardson
🍻Twisted Fate BrewingDanvers, PA – Co-Owners, Kim McNamara and Erica Tritta
🍻Two Frays BreweryPittsburgh, PA – Co-Owner, Jennifer (Elmer) Onofray
🍻Whetstone Beer Co.Brattleboro, VT– Co-Founder, Amy Brady


7 Clans Brewing

Asheville, NC

7 clans brewing morgan crisp native american breweries
Photography courtesy of 7 Clans Brewing

Founded by Morgan Crisp, 7 Clans Brewing uses powerful imagery and beer names to represent her Eastern Band of Cherokee tribe in North Carolina. One of a handful of Native American-owned breweries in the entire country, 7 Clans represents the importance of clanship.

“I decided to use the [name] ‘7 Clans’ instead of the name ‘Cherokee’ because a lot of people use the name Cherokee and have nothing to do with it,” says Crisp. Additionally, the number seven has great significance in the tribe’s culture. During times when members of Crisp’s tribe were restricted from speaking their Native language and honoring their traditional customs, they often secretly included the number seven in everything from beadwork to pottery. It became a way of keeping their culture alive.

Today, Crisp keeps her tribe’s culture alive by brewing beers like 7 Clans Blonde Ale, which features Selu, the legendary first woman of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe. “She represents to me that matriarchy, that strong woman that will do anything for her family. And just survival,” says Crisp.

Other beers like Hop-Rooted IPA are a nod to Crisp’s childhood spent with her dad and grandfather, where she combed the mountains and dug into the earth looking for ginseng and bloodroot.

“When I saw people could tell stories about who they were and where they came from through beer, it resonated with me,” says Crisp. “People will look at the can; they’re going to hopefully read something about our tribe, learn a little bit about us, and realize that Native people actually exist. We’re still here, you know?”

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Checkerspot Brewing Co.

Baltimore, MD

checkerspot brewing co-founders judy and rob neff with boston beer co founder jim kock at the brewing the american dream beer bash
Checkerspot Brewing Co-Founders, Judy and Rob Neff, with Boston Beer Co. Founder, Jim Koch, at the Brewing the American Dream Beer Bash | Photography courtesy of Boston Beer Co.

Named after the Maryland state butterfly, Checkerspot won Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Program Experienceship, an opportunity awarded every year to an up-and-coming brewery to provide mentorship and capital to food and beverage entrepreneurs.

In 2022, Samuel Adams chose Checkerspot for several reasons. First, at Checkerspot, they have beer brewing dialed down to a science. Co-owner Dr. Judy Neff received her Ph.D. in microbiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, so she is familiar with the capital ‘S’ Science.

You can see this across beers like Juniperus IPA, an IPA brewed with juniper berries that Judy perfected for three years to get the right amount of juniper berries, malts, yeast, and water. “To me, it tastes like pine candy,” says Neff in a previous article for Hop Culture.

Or Sip Happens, a sour with Earl Gray tea and lemon that “tastes like a very refreshing sour iced tea,” says Judy.

It’s an approach at the core of Checkerspot. “‘Something for everyone’ is our motto,” says Judy. And that extends beyond the taproom.

Samuel Adams also chose Checkerspot because they create a community for everyone.

“One of my favorite things is that you can use beer to do more, to give back so much more than you could as an individual,” says Judy. “From raising awareness to different groups to donating beer to many non-profit events to raising money.”

At the core of Checkerspot is a dedication to giving back.

Visiting Checkerspot is like stepping into your friendly neighborhood watering hole—comforting, welcoming, and warm.

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Denizens Brewing Co.

Silver Spring, MD

denizens brewing co co-founders julie veratti and emily bruno
Photography courtesy of Denizens Brewing Co.

Denizens is a trailblazing brewery.


When wife-and-wife team Julie Veratti and Emily Bruno set out to open a brewery in Silver Spring, MD, in 2013, the laws didn’t allow them to open as a taproom/production brewery. Instead, you had to operate as a brew pub.

That wasn’t what Veratti and Bruno wanted to do.

And, if you wanted to distribute beer, you had to sell it to Montgomery County first, and they’d sell it to other licensees.

That didn’t jive well with the duo.

So they rallied, reaching out to local county council people, local council executives, and county executives to make their case. Veratti figured out what committee of jurisdiction on the Senate and House sides in Maryland to target. “How do I get them to be supportive,” she says, arguing that changing the laws to favor the brewery would create jobs, increase tax revenue, create a community gathering place, and bring manufacturing back to areas it hadn’t been for decades.

Their strategy worked. Today, any brewery in Montgomery County benefits from Bruno and Veratti’s trailblazing work.

But honestly, this tracks. Because both are no strangers to breaking barriers.

In the early 2000s, Veratti worked for Mass Equality, an organization fighting to protect same-sex marriage rights in Massachusetts, which legally passed in May 2004. In four years, Veratti led the charge, turning 105 out of 200 legislators against same-sex marriage to 151 out of 200 for same-sex marriage.

“We were ruthless,” she says, recounting how they would go into neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and handing people cell phones to call their local legislators on the spot to share their support of same-sex marriage. “I was advocating for something I passionately believed in, which was same-sex marriage rights and just LGBTQ rights in general, making sure that our community was being protected and respected and doing it in every way possible.”

It worked.

Veratti used the same tenacity to change Montgomery County’s alcohol laws and grow Denizens.

After co-founding the brewery in 2014, Veratti and Bruno have been consistent advocates and voices for the Queer community in the craft beer industry. As one of Maryland’s only women- and minority-owned-and-operated breweries, Denizens focuses as much on community organizing as on their crisp lagers, hoppy IPAs, and barrel-aged stouts.

But Veratti is honest when she says that being a Queer-brewery owner is tough.

“We’ve never been the cool kid, and I don’t think we ever will be,” she says. “And part of that is when you look at the people who decide the cool kids, they’re not Queer women, right? It’s a bunch of straight white bro-y dudes, and they all bro out with each other.”

Which is crazy to us because Denizens makes crazy good beers.

denizens brewing company born bohemian pils
Photography courtesy of Denizens Brewing Company

Like its Born Bohemian Pils, which you’ll find in Hop Culture’s Queer Beer Box 2023.

A true-to-style Czech pils, Born Bohemian Pils, includes 100 percent Czech Saaz hops, a yeast strain from the Pilsner Urquell family, and Czech Bohemian floor-malted grain. Denizens even adjusts the water profile to mimic the iconic soft water of Plzen, Czech Republic, where the original pilsner was born.

One of the brewery’s top two beers, Born Bohemian Pils, scored a 96 from Craft Beer and Brewing in a blind tasting. “I’m pretty stoked about that,” says Veratti. “This is a beer that, in the summertime, you’ll see me drinking regularly; it’s just super crushable and easy to drink.”

Beyond the beer, the idea behind the brewery is to be a gathering place for all, often hosting craft fairs, trivia, live music, a running club, and drag shows.

And the brewery has often given back to specific LGBTQ+ organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, and the MoCo Pride Center.

Outside the brewery, Veratti served as chair of the Brewers Association’s Diversity Committee and received a presidential appointment to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In October 2020, Veratti joined us during our Women in Beer Leadership Roundtable during Hop Culture’s women in craft beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards.

And Veratti poured with us in Washington, D.C., last year for our first in-person Queer Beer festival.

So yeah, like we said, trailblazing. Denizens is a big deal, and you need to know about them.

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Elsewhere Brewing

Atlanta, GA

elsewhere brewing co-founders sara and sam kazmer
Photography courtesy of Good Grit Magazine

I’ve been trying to rack my brain to remember how I first connected with Sara and Sam Kazmer from Elsewhere Brewing. Sometimes, it just seems that a package of their beer magically ended up on my doorstep, and I’ve had the pleasure of drinking all of their mostly European-leaning styles ever since.

Everything has struck a chord. Which is probably why we named them one of our “10 Best Breweries to Watch in 2021.”

And don’t you just love it when you’re right?

Throughout the rest of that year, their beer continued to wow us.

Probably not surprising then that their German hefeweizen, Promised Marvels, made it on our “20 Best Beers to Drink in Fall 2021.”

And that their Grant Park Menagerie Belgian blonde landed on our “21 Best Beers We Drank in 2021.”

So I’ll just leave it at this: Whenever Sara or Sam hit me up saying they’d like to send me something new…I never say no.

But in November 2022, I finally had a chance to visit. To try their deceiving complex and thought-provoking beer from the source. And even better, I had the chance to grab a meal with Sara and Sam.

Literally, from the moment I walked in, we sat down, ordered a couple of Proletariat modern pilsners, and talked for something like four hours straight. Somewhere in between those hours, Sara ordered some food for us, and the rounds of beer kept coming.

In between bites of perfectly fried and delicately spicy Buffalo cauliflower and toast points with the South’s infamous pimento cheese, we talked about Sam and Sara’s eighteen-month journey traveling around South America and Europe. The R&D journey was meant as inspiration for starting Elsewhere after Sam medically retired from the Army and Sara quit her marketing job.

And in between sips of the brewery’s excellent slightly roasty but indulgently smooth Czech dark lager, Gest, we spoke about how surprising it is that beer has ended up being one of their best sellers.

Suffice it to say we shut down the place. Honestly, I probably stayed longer than I should have because I know all the incredibly friendly bartenders and staff wanted to go home on a Sunday night, but I just couldn’t help it.

Kind of one of those magical times you don’t forget.

Sara and Sam are the type of humble adventurers you want to drink beers with just to hear their stories. And in their gorgeous taproom, you could certainly while away a whole evening sipping everything from a Czech dark lager to a saison to a Belgian tripel to even a cream ale (and yes, there is a West Coast IPA and hazy IPA for all you hopheads).

I certainly did. And I already wish I could go back.

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Highland Brewing

Asheville, NC

highland brewing oscar wong and leah wong ashburn aapi-owned breweries
Photography courtesy of Highland Brewing

Highland Brewing is the de-facto godfather of Asheville’s craft beer scene. Started by the Jamaican-Chinese Oscar Wong, Highland has grown into the largest independent brewery in North Carolina.

This AAPI-owned brewery is a family affair with Oscar’s daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, taking over as president in 2015.

Under Leah’s guidance, the brewery opened a second taproom in downtown Asheville in 2019. Meanwhile, the original taproom has become a true destination located on a beautiful 40-acre hilltop in Asheville complete with three professional-grade sand volleyball courts, a nine-hole disc golf course (that will expand to eighteen holes this summer), and trails built by a professional trail builder.

Highland Brewing is a gem of a brewery not only for its location, but also for its beer. For example, Gaelic Ale, dubbed “Asheville’s First Beer” or Rising Haze IPA, a freshly unfiltered hazy IPA.

In a nod to the family’s Jamaican-Chinese heritage, for the past two years during the Chinese New Year, Highland has collabed with Asian-owned Lucky Envelope in Seattle, WA, to create beers such as Metal Rat and Water Tiger. Each named after the Chinese Zodiac that corresponds with the given year.

Highland Brewing has made an indelible mark on Asheville. If you visit this area you must pay homage to this beautiful brewery.

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Hopkinsville Brewing Company

Hopkinsville, KY

hopkinsville brewing co brewing the american dream
Photography courtesy of Hopkinsville Brewing Co.

On one of her worst brew days, Kate Russell, founder and head brewer at Hopkinsville Brewing Co. in Hopkinsville, KY, received a phone call. “I almost didn’t answer it,” says Russell. “The electrical panel wasn’t working right, the pump wasn’t working right, and everything that could go wrong was going wrong!” But the single mom and five-year brewery owner picked up. On the other end of the line was Jennifer Glanville, Brewer and Director of Partnerships at Boston Beer Co, who told Russell she’d been chosen as the eighth-ever winner of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Brewing Experienceship Program.

If you haven’t heard of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Program (BTAD), it was started by Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch as a way to provide resources and coaching to small businesses. In the past thirteen years, BTAD has partnered with the Accion Opportunity Fund to provide more than 3,200 loans totaling $65 million to food and beverage businesses in thirty-nine states. Additionally, the program has helped these businesses create more than 9,000 jobs and provided free business coaching to over 12,000 entrepreneurs.

But the crown jewel of the program is The Brewing Experienceship, in which one brewer is chosen every year to learn from Samuel Adams’ brewing and business experts such as Jim Koch himself. Furthermore, the winner receives financial support to check out the important business-building and industry networking events as well as the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with Samuel Adams.

And last year, Russell became the program’s eighth recipient.

Five years ago, Russell bought a run-down building in downtown Hopkinsville, a fading town in Kentucky. She wanted to start a brewery and poured her life savings into renovations. Even her parents took out a home equity loan to help her pay for the space. Additionally, she enlisted the help of her friend Jon O’Rourke, a homebrewer, who taught her how to brew, and joined Auburn University’s graduate program in Brewing Science and Operations. And on Labor Day 2016, Hopkinsville Brewing Co. opened its doors.

“I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy brewing and running a small business,” says Russell, who calls herself a very hands-on, DIY-project person. A former SIGNIT analyst (signals intelligence) in the U.S. Army, Russell decided early on that, “If this is what I’m going to do, I want to be as good as I can be at it.”

Almost a half-decade later, Hopkinsville Brewing Co. has helped revitalize the town of Hopkinsville. As the only brewery in not only Hopkinsville but the entire Christian County, Hopkinsville Brewing Co. has become a beacon in the community.

And that’s been very intentional.

“[Hopkinsville Brewing Co.] is about beer, but more so it’s about creating a space where everyone in the community feels welcome,” says Russell. “My goal is to create a place where if you weren’t from here or if you felt different you would feel welcome. This is a place to bring your kids, your family, or, if you’re a woman, to feel comfortable and safe by yourself. I’m very much about inclusion and making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable.”

Following that mantra, Russell includes small touches around the brewery, such as free tampons and diapers in the gender-inclusive restrooms. It’s little decisions like those that have a big impact in a craft beer industry that for so long has been predominantly dominated by men.

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Jackalope Brewing Company

Nashville, TN

Jackalope Brewing Company is a stalwart in the rapidly growing and developing Nashville craft beer scene. Founded by CEO Bailey Spaulding in 2011 after discovering her passion for beer while homebrewing, Jackalope has developed into one of Tennessee’s best breweries.

Over the years, Jackalope has continued to evolve alongside its city, producing modern and progressive beers across a variety of styles. Some fan favorites include core offerings like Sarka pilsner, Thunder Ann pale ale, and the seasonal Lovebird wheat.

After becoming the first Nashville brewery to can its beer in 2013, Jackalope also offers occasional limited releases in 16-oz cans.

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King Canary Brewing Co.

Mooresville, NC

For Andrea Gravina, co-founder of King Canary Brewing Co., running the brewery has been a story of tenacity and courage. Andrea opened the North Carolina-based brewery with her husband Matt Gravina in the late spring of 2018. With a focus on family and creating an environment where anyone can feel welcome on Lake Norman outside of Charlotte, NC, the brewery flourished. Matt handled the brewing while Andrea executed all of the branding design and layout.

In the summer of 2019, Matt unexpectedly passed away. Andrea stepped into the role of active owner, steering the new business through the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic less than six months after Matt’s passing.

In the fact of adversity, Andrea’s perseverance and determination has continued to help King Canary grow with elegance and grace.

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Resident Culture Brewing Co.

Charlotte, NC

resident culture brewing company illustrator maryssa pickett and graphic designer chelsi architzel
Resident Culture Illustrator Maryssa Pickett (on the left) and Graphic Designer Chelsi Architzel (on the right) | Photography courtesy of @residentculture

Spend only a couple of minutes with wife-and-husband duo Amanda and Phillip McLamb in their brewery in the booming Plaza Midwood community of Charlotte, NC, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped directly into their living room. Actually, that’s not a far-off analogy—Resident Culture put down roots in a building that previously housed Phillip’s family printing company.

Since then, they’ve expanded to a few more locations, but they still keep that warm, safe feeling for everyone at all of their spots.

And, if you’ve ever had a Resident Culture beer in a can, then you’ve probably noticed the outstanding artwork courtesy of Resident Culture Illustrator Maryssa Pickett and Graphic Designer Chelsi Architzel.

Quirky, hand-drawn, sometimes a little dark, and always a bit funny, Resident Culture’s designs are unmistakable. We certainly noticed them, naming their Out to Pasture label one of our favorite designs of 2020. When you see a Resident Culture can on a shelf, you know it’s them.

It’s this magical sense of neighborhood and fun that still permeates everything at Resident Culture, from the cheery taproom to the unparalleled mixed-fermentation beers and West Coast IPAs constantly flowing out of the taps. Behind it all, you’ll find Amanda and Phillip and their team constantly exuding warmth and welcoming people from all communities into their quote-unquote home.

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Shōjō Beer Co

Miami, FL

shojo beer co
Photography courtesy of @shojobeerco

Early in 2021, we wrote about the story behind Shōjō Beer Co., a contract brewing project out of Miami, FL. Founded by Marilyn “Mari” Orozco and Haidar Hachem, Shōjō Beer Co. takes inspiration from Orozco and Hachem’s Nicaraguan and Lebanese cultures, respectively.

In 2021, we named them one of our 11 Best Breweries to Watch in 2022.

And we sure nailed that one. In August 2023, Shōjō grew from itinerant brewing to its own spot. Nicknamed the Dojo, Shojo serves its own beers and sake.

With a brewing pedigree from Lincoln’s Beard (one of Hop Culture’s Best Breweries of 2021) and Strange Beast Brewpub and Pizzeria, Hachem is no stranger to the brewhouse. And Orozco adds her marketing and storytelling talents to Shōjō’s incredible brand.

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Ten Eyck Brewing Company

Queenstown, MD

ten eyck brewing company breaking ground
Photography courtesy of Ten Eyck Brewing Company

Owned by a team of Queer women veterans, first responders, and ruggers (i.e., rugby players), Ten Eyck makes it a mission to bring delicious craft beer to their Eastern Shore community.

Ten Eyck features a standout crew of seven women making their mark in craft beer. We met many of them, including Yancy and her partner Jessica and Nicki Sener, at our fifth annual women in craft beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards (and they also joined us for Queer Beer last year). We can tell you unequivocally that this incredible group of people dedicates themselves to promoting inclusivity and equality in craft beer.

Like Tmave Pivo, which recently won a bronze medal at the 2023 World Beer Cup.

Or Betsy, a blueberry grisette that Next Glass Director of Strategic Business Development John Gross called his favorite of last year’s Queer Beer Fest!

The grisette foeder ferments with blueberries for six months before getting bottled, corked, and caged.

“People don’t understand why they should drink this beer, but then they taste it. … It’s the best beer ever,” says Sener. “It’s so complex, not out of reach or snobby.”

Sener says once this current batch of Betsy runs out, they’ll never make that beer again.

Just one example of how Ten Eyck approaches brewing: thoughtful, complex, yet approachable and down to earth. Much like its seven founders.

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Walking Tree Brewery

Vero Beach, FL

walking tree brewery co-founder brooke malone and hop culture editor grace weitz
Photography courtesy of Walking Tree Brewery Co-Founder Brooke Malone

Started in 2016, Walking Tree dazzles in its size (literally, the brewery posted up in an old Navy hangar that’s 24,000 sq ft), variety of impeccable beers, and sense of community.

Hop Culture Senior Content Editor Grace Weitz met up with Walking Tree Co-Founders Brooke and Mike Malone around 4 p.m. on a Friday in December of 2023. Quite a few beers, a shot of barleywine (yes, it’s a thing here, and yes, you can sip on it), and hours of conversation later, we felt like we understood why the residents of this sleepy little coastal town love Walking Tree.

The roots run deep.

By 7 p.m., the space was packed. We mean packed. All regulars posted up at the bar while a birthday party crowded into one of the long tables, and friends met up everywhere across the vast space—the place just buzzed with good vibes.

It all goes back to the culture Brooke and Mike created.

“Welcome to the most badass brewery in the state of Florida!” Brooke said to us when we first walked in.

And the beer backs it up. Mike ran a lumber yard for seven years before…turning over a new leaf and opening Walking Tree.

“We really focus on classic styles and quality; we are not a hype brewery,” he said. Instead, you’ll find beers like Babycakes oatmeal stout, which I tried on nitro during my visit and which won gold at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in 2021. This is the beer Brooke’s most proud of. “Hands down, we are crushing Florida with it,” she said.

Or Barnacled Manatee, a barleywine that won multiple Best Florida Beer Championship awards and a silver at GABF in 2019. And is Mike’s favorite. The bartenders at Walking Tree even started their own tradition, serving the barleywine in tall shot glasses: You hold the shot glass like a mug, cheers, tap the bar, and drink.

Somehow, after that 9.2% ABV barleywine, the next time we looked at our watch, three hours had passed. As the beer flowed, our conversation with Brooke and Mike rolled gently into politics, inclusivity, and engendering community in a typically conservative area.

Walking Tree has set the tone for Vero Beach, hosting a banger of a Pride party complete with an eighteen-foot dragon that Brooke built herself.

That’s just the spirit and magic of Walking Tree. Which is why we named the brewery one of our “Best Breweries of 2023.”

Mike told s the other day he poured his own concrete. And has needed, at times, to be his own electrician and plumber. Brooke and Mike have earned every square inch of this place. So, to see it fill up with crowds of people laughing and drinking on a Friday night warms the heart.

As Brooke introduced us to some locals at the bar, while we sipped on nitro Babycakes, a band started strumming. Every so often, we’d hear a raucous roar as Barnacled Manatee shots clinked.

Honestly, we didn’t want to leave. Walking Tree is just the kind of place you want to hang around all day and long into the night.

Seriously, if you are ever looking to see the forest through the trees in craft beer, we recommend branching out and stopping by Walking Tree.

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Woven Water Brewing

Tampa, FL

woven water brewing rising depths double blurry ipa hazy
Photography courtesy of @wovenwaterbrewing

In the past few years, Florida has become a hot spot for breweries. In fact, in 2019 we called Tripping Animals the hottest craft brewery of the year. And last year, Corporate Ladder in Palmetto, FL, made our list of the best breweries to watch in 2021. These breweries joined the ranks of already-established taprooms like Odd Breed, Unseen Creatures, Calusa, Civil Society, Hidden Spring, Aardwolf, J. Wakefield, 3 Sons, Angry Chair, and Cycle.

Now, a brewery in Tampa Heights has joined our “Best New Breweries of 2021” list.

Born in the pandemic, Woven Water Brewing opened in Tampa Heights on Oct. 17th, 2020.

Started by Ciara Jones and her husband Jay Jones and Niki and Eric Childs, Woven Water focuses on creating a third space—i.e., a place outside of home and work where the community can come together.

From a brewing perspective, Woven Water specializes in what they call “blurry” IPAs. There’s Photonic, a blurry IPA dry-hopped with Strata, Mosaic, and HBC 586. And Lost Current, a Vitamin Sea collab and blurry IPA dry hopped with Vic Secret, Nelson Sauvin, Kohatu, and Rakau hops.

You’ll also find a few crazy dessert-inspired fruited sours such as Banana Split Fusion, a sour conditioned on bananas and strawberries with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry soft serve (but no lactose!). And Blue Hawaiian Fusion, a sour conditioned on pineapple, cream of coconut, and lime (this one does have lactose).

Go for the vibes. Stay for the sours and blurry IPAs. And above all, have an amazing time in one of the hottest beer states in the country.

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Also Check Out

🍻7venth Sun BreweryDunedin, FL – Owner, Devon Kreps
🍻Apocalypse Brew WorksLouisville, KY – Co-Founder, Leah Dienes
🍻Azalea City Brewing CompanyPalatka, FL – Owner, Andrea Conover
🍻Bike Lane BrewingReston, VA – Co-Owner, Anne Mader
🍻Birdsong Brewing Co.Charlotte, NC – Co-Founder, Tara Goulet
🍻Blackberry Farm BreweryMaryville, TN – Co-Founder, Mary Celeste Beall and Owner, Sharon Oldham
🍻Bombshell Beer CompanyHolly Springs, NC – Co-Founders Ellen Joyner, Jackie Hudspeth, and Michelle Miniutti
🍻Caboose Brewing CompanyVienna, VA – Co-Founder, Jennifer McLaughlin
🍻Caledonia BrewingDunedin, FL – Co-Owner, Dawn Dally
🍻Cherry Street BrewingCumming, GA – Co-Owner, Alisa Tanner
🍻Cueni Brewing CompanyDunedin, FL – Co-Owner, Bren Cueni
🍻Dirt Farm BrewingBluemont, VA – Co-Founder, Janell Zurchmeide
🍻First Magnitude Brewing CompanyGainsville, FL – Co-Founder and President, Christine Denny and Co-Founder, Meg The Losen
🍻Free Range BrewingCharlotte, NC – Co-Owner, Sarah Alexander
🍻Front Page Brewing CompanyBartow, FL – Co-Founder and owner, Johnnie Levin
🍻Hidden Spring Ale WorksTampa, FL – Co-Owner, Jacqui Garman
🍻Hillman BeerAsheville, NC – Co-Owner, Brandi Hillman
🍻Intermission Beer CompanyGlen Allen, VA – Co-Founder, Courtney White
🍻Lake Anne Brew HouseReston, VA – Co-Owner, Melissa Romano
🍻Legacy Ale WorksJacksonville, FL – Co-Owner, Liz Jacobs
🍻Liquid Intrusion Brewing CompanyBrandywine, MD – Co-Founder, Jasmine Dill
🍻NoDa Brewing CompanyCharlotte, NC – Owner, Suzie Ford
🍻Ono Brewing CompanyChantilly, VA – Co-Owner, Cyndi Hoffman
🍻Peak Drift Brewing CompanyColumbia, SC – Co-Founder, Sara Middleton
🍻Pilot BrewingCharlotte, NC – Co-Owner and Head Brewer, Rachael Hudson
🍻Proof BrewingTallahassee, FL – Co-Founder, Angela Burroughs
🍻Raleigh Brewing CompanyRaleigh, NC – Owner, Kristie Nystedt
🍻Replay BrewingFort Mill, SC – Co-Founder, Leah Tellier
🍻Riverwatch BreweryAugusta, GA – Co-Owners, Brey and Anne Sloan
🍻Salud CerveceriaCharlotte, NC – Co-Owner Dairelyn Glunt
🍻Shippingport Brewing CompanyLouisville, KY – Co-Owners, Amelia Pillow and Sue Franklin
🍻SJ Brewing CompanyYulee, FL – Co-Owner, JoAnn Stewart
🍻The Florida Brewery, IncAuburndale, FL – COO, Julie Williams and CFO, Stacey Oakley
🍻The Lost DruidAvondale Estates, GA– Co-Owner Stacia Familo-Hopek
🍻Tradesman Brewing CompanyCharleston, SC – Co-Founder, Sara Gayle McConnell
🍻Wild Heaven BeerAvondale Estates, GA– Co-Founder and EVP, Sarah Young
🍻Wooden Cask Brewing CompanyNewport, KY – Co-Owner, Karen Schlitz
🍻Woodwright Brewing CompanyDunedine, FL – Owner and Head Brewer, Eunice Painter
🍻Yazoo Brewing CompanyNashville, TN – Co-Founder, Lila Hall


2nd Shift Brewing

St. Louis, MO

2nd shift luggage combination schwarzbier
Photography courtesy of John A. Paradiso

St. Louis’ 2nd Shift Brewing is a relatively under-the-radar brewery offering understated beers across a variety of styles. Helmed by co-owners Libby and Steve Crider, 2nd Shift has made a name for itself by brewing excellent IPAs, dangerously drinkable lagers, and robust stouts. And while 2nd Shift may not earn the same hype as their neighbors at Side Project, they have earned a passionate local and national following. Or, their cats have.

Libby Crider initially realized early on that the brewery’s cats garnered quite a bit of praise on social media and went on to incorporate that feline love into more aspects of the brewery. Since then, Crider has become a significant leader in the craft beer community with a rich knowledge of the industry and a passion for craft beer.

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Alma Mader

Kansas City, MO

alma mader brewing premiant czech style pils slow pour
Photography courtesy of @almamaderbrewing | Alma Mader Brewing

One of our “14 Best Breweries of 2022”, Alma Mader Co-Founders Tania Hewett-Mader and Nick Mader focus on IPA, stout, and, perhaps most importantly, lager.

What you’ll find at Alma Mader is a brewery taking a deep dive into brewing lager with intention. “I really loved how deep you could dive into lager brewing with how much every little detail mattered,” Mader told me. “I wanted that to be a part of the brewery.”

Which is why Mader installed a Czech side-pull Lukr faucet. His friend Neil Witte, owner and co-founder of Tapstar and Craft Quality Solutions and a Master Cicerone, imported one from the Czech Republic just for him.

Out of the Lukr side-pull faucet, Mader can slow pour a pils, a technique of pouring a beer over five to seven minutes to build up an intense almost whip-cream-like head of foam.

“I knew I wanted a side-pull faucet when opening,” he says. “I wanted it because it’s so completely different from every type of faucet; it’s massive. I wanted people to ask, ‘What’s that? I want what’s being poured off of that.’ If that helps us get more people to try our pilsners, then that totally justified the cost.”

So far, the reception has blown Mader away, with people often coming back just to try their Czech pils called Premiant, which Mader often chooses to slow pour from that beautiful side-pour faucet.

But, you’ll also find a great Italian pilsner, and one of “The 27 Best Beers We Drank in 2022,” called New World Geography.

And for those hop-heads, Mader still delivers with hazy pale ales and a plethora of IPAs.

But really, if you head to Alma Mader and leave without trying a slow-pour pils or lager, you’ve missed out.

It can take five to seven minutes to pour. But trust us; it’s worth the wait.

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BKS Artisan Ales

Kansas City, MO

bks artisan ales co-founders mary and brian rooney
Photography courtesy of BKS Artisan Ales

One of our “Best Breweries of 2023,” BKS Artisan Ales started with a Mr. Beer Kit turned one-barrel brewing basement system and a fateful road trip.

During a drive to Oklahoma in 2012, Mary started mapping out a potential business plan in the car. Five years later, BKS opened in the Brookside neighborhood (BKS is an acronym for the area).

Co-Founders Mary and Brian Rooney envisioned their neighborhood brewery as a tiny spot to serve their drinking community, open only on Saturdays. After just two months, BKS shifted gears entirely. Or, as Brian says, “It changed before we even opened.”

Looking back, Brian asks, “Why was anybody really interested in what a homebrewer would do in Kansas City?”

At the time, Boulevard bottles (yes, bottles, and that’s important) dominated the beer market in this Midwestern city.

But Brian made an intelligent decision before the brewery even opened.

“I would just give cans to some of my friends,” he says. “And they would give them to other people.” And other people. And other people.

“I was just homebrewing, putting it in cans, and giving them away for free,” he laughs. “It got around town, and I think people thought it was really good.”

This pipedream of running a two-person brewery? Well, that turned unsustainable pretty quickly.

Word had gotten out.

People loved BKS, and the Rooneys couldn’t keep up with the demand, which often meant lines out the door for the four hours they opened every Saturday.

Within two months, both left their full-time jobs, dedicating all their time to BKS.

The little neighborhood spot snowballed into so much more. Over the past seven years, BKS Artisan Ales has picked up numerous awards, including a silver at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for Clouds DNEIPA and a gold at the 2022 GABF for Rockhill & Locust English mild ale, which we also named one of “The Best Beers We Drank in 2023.” Craft Beer & Brewing named Pivo Project Bohemian-Style Pilsner one of its “Best 20 Beers in 2023.” And Thrillist named Countercultre IPA one of “The 38 Best IPAs in America Right Now.”

Several years ago, Brian started Pivo Project, an extension of BKS Artisan Ales dedicated only to lagers, where he tinkers and toys to his heart’s content, putting out award-winning pilsners and cold-fermented beers.

One day, Brian hopes to open a spot dedicated to Pivo Project. For now, and lucky for us, the Rooneys are no longer open just on Saturdays but every day of the week.

Going to Kansas City and not stopping at BKS Artisan Ales would be like visiting and forgetting to eat barbecue. One might say the brewery has become the beating heart of craft beer in the ‘Heart of America.’

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DankHouse Brewing Company

Newark, OH

We first met Heather and Josh Lange, co-owners of DankHouse, back at our Columbus, OH festival in 2018 (where they were a fan favorite). Spoiler alert: We loved them too. That year we named them one of our “12 Best New Breweries of 2018.” Perhaps relatively unassuming, DankHouse makes…well, pretty dank and extremely juicy beers, but also intensely fruited sours. Over the past few years we have tried a lot of New England IPAs and sours, so the fact that a Newark, Ohio-based brewery caught our attention says something about their beer.

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Giant Jones Brewing Company

Madison, WI

giant jones brewing company bottles
Photography courtesy of Giant Jones Brewing Company

Queer-, Trans-owned Giant Jones Brewing is the creation of Erika and Jessica Jones, who opened the certified organic brewery in Wisconsin in 2018. Since the beginning, the brewery has made bold moves, focusing on big beers like its Double International Pale Ale and putting its beer in returnable bottles, encouraging folks to bring them back to the brewery for credit to buy more beer.

Giant Jones also focuses on giving back to the local, national, and international community, joining the Brew for Ukraine initiative last year, and hosting a Cookie Grab that raised more than $34k to support women’s health and abortion rights. They also participated in Black Is Beautiful, brewing a beer that raised funds for Freedom, Inc., an organization centered on fighting for racial, gender, and Queer justice for the Black and Southeast Asian communities in Madison.

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Guardian Brewing Company

Saugatuck, MI

Another one hundred percent LGBTQ- and women-owned brewery, Guardian Brewing Company “is for everyone,” as they proudly proclaim on their homepage. Kim Collins and Dr. Catherine Bishop co-founded the Saugatuck, MI-based brewery in 2018.

The beer is indeed for everyone, with twenty-two taps dedicated to year-round, seasonal, one-off, and barrel-aged beers across various styles. For instance, fresh cans of the kettle sour Authentic Self.

But way beyond the beer, Collins and Bishop have dedicated Guardian to supporting the community, donating to organizations like the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, Out on the Lakeshore, and Drag Queen Story Hour, while also hosting their own events.

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Scratch Brewing Co.

Ava, IL

scratch brewing gruit
Photography courtesy of Scratch Brewing Company

There are few breweries as idyllic as Scratch Brewing Co. Located in Ava, IL, a long five-hour drive south of Chicago, Scratch Brewing prepares everything from Scratch. Literally.

Scratch is one of the last few true American farmhouse breweries. Co-owner Marika Josephson is a prophet, spreading the good word about saisons. Josephson and the Scratch Brewing Co. team source all of their ingredients locally, relying on foods grown on their farm or foraged in the wilderness nearby.

And the result of Josephson’s hard work is a stunning beer that will leave an indelible mark on any drinker.

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Servaes Brewing Co.

Shawnee, KS

servaes brewing company courtney servaes queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Servaes Brewing Company

Queer-owned and woman-owned Servaes (pronounced like service) in Shawnee, KS, is helmed by Courtney Servaes. Courtney started homebrewing in 2012 before eventually turning her hobby into a professional career, opening Servaes Brewing in April 2019. The 2,700-sq-ft brewery and taproom have become Courtney’s mad scientist laboratory. There she cooks up crazy sours and barrel-aged beers with everything from red velvet cake to pumpkin pies. Courtney has even pioneered a line of craft sodas named after her son (who loves soda). Aaron’s Craft Soda features unique flavors inspired by her family.

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Speciation Artisan Ales

Grand Rapids

speciation artisan ales taproom
Photography courtesy of Speciation Artisan Ales

The glorious Speciation Artisan Ales, started by Whitney and Mitch Ermatinger, consistently experiments with mixed and spontaneous fermentation. Meaning these wildly fermented beers offer a funky kick by taking advantage of local Michigan flora and fauna.

Take the brewery’s extremely popular The Laurentian Series, a round of spontaneously fermented beers left to cool by each of the Great Lakes. But currently, you’ll find on the tap list beers like Blackberry Incipient (2023), a foeder-aged sour ale with blackberries, where a portion of every year’s Incipient ends up in that same oak barrel foeder. And Prime Mover (2023), a foeder-aged saison with orange zest and ginger.

In the past, Speciation’s Genetic Drift farmhouse ale made our list of the best honey beers for its unique balance of funkiness, sweetness, and tartness.

A focus on Michigan-grown ingredients means Speciation lets the natural elements take the wheel. Named one of our Top 7 Craft Breweries in the Midwest, Speciation should one hundred percent top your list of breweries to visit in Grand Rapids.

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The Big Rip Brewing Company

North Kansas City, MO

big rip brewing company co-founder bri burrows we belong session ipa collab w. vine street brewing
Photography courtesy of @bigripbrewingco

Big Rip Head brewer and Co-Owner Bri Burrows, who identifies as a Queer woman, didn’t find it easy to break into beer. In a predominantly straight, white, cis-male industry, Burrows found that she was often overlooked or ignored. But she persevered, working her way up from assistant brewer to head brewer at Big Rip, eventually becoming part owner of the brewery in January 2020.

At this fantastic Queer-owned brewery, Burrows finds ways to support the Queer community, whether hanging a Pride flag in the taproom to make people feel safer and more welcome or working with local Queer-, female-, or BIPOC-owned businesses.

Back in November 2022, Big Rip combined forces with BIPOC-owned Vine Street Brewing (which will open its own brick-and-mortar this year) to brew We Belong, a session NEIPA supporting the black and LGBTQIA+ community in Kansas City’s beer community.

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Urban Growler Brewing Company

St. Paul, MN

urban growler brewing company
Photography courtesy of Urban Growler Brewing Company

The first women-owned craft brewery in Minnesota also happens to be Queer owned. Helmed by partners Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch, Urban Growler Brewing Company is the perfect example of breaking through industry barriers. Pavlak and Loch had a dream: to open a brewery. But banks wouldn’t take them seriously. “We heard ridiculous things like, ‘How will you girls carry those big heavy bags of grain? How will women your age keep those late-night hours? What if you get divorced?…’ Would you ask that of a heterosexual couple?” said Pavlak in an article for October magazine. But the couple never quit.

They brewed beer, printed t-shirts, sold shares in their future brewery, and raised over $500,000. Still, the banks turned them down. Finally, at the suggestion of a friend, the ladies visited Pioneer Bank in Mankato, MN, and secured their loan. Seven years later, Urban Growler has become a beacon in the industry. Their annual Pride beer Let’s Dance, a lavender lemon summer ale, celebrates the Queer community. But the story here of perseverance and tenacity makes Urban Growler such a special place.

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Also Check Out

🍻9 Foot BrewingBlue Springs, MO – Co-Owner and Brewer, Teri Cartwright
🍻Antiques on HighColumbus, OH – Co-Owner, Jen Burton
🍻Art History BrewingGeneva, IL – Co-Founder and VP of Sales, Cindy Rau
🍻Bang BrewingSt. Paul, MN – Co-Owner and Co-Brewer, Sandy Boss Febbo
🍻Bent Paddle Brewing Co.Duluth, MN – Co-Founders, Karen Tonnis and Laura Mullen
🍻Black Husky BrewingPembine, WI – Co-Founder, Toni Eichinger
🍻Brewery FaisanDetroit, MI – Co-Owner, Rachel Szlaga
🍻Brewery NyxGrand Rapids, MI – Founder, Jess Stricklen
🍻Brewery VivantGrand Rapids, MI – Co-Owner, Kris Spaulding
🍻Church Street BrewingItasca, IL – Owner, Lisa Gregor
🍻Columbus Brewing CompanyColumbus, OH – Co-Owner, Beth Bean
🍻Covert Artisan AlesSioux Falls, SD – Co-Founder, Stacey Berry
🍻Delta Beer LabMadison, WI – Co-Owner, Michelle Riehn
🍻Drafting Table BrewingWixom, MI – Co-Owner, Kristin Rzeznik
🍻Duesterbeck’s Brewing CompanyElkhorn, WI – Co-Founder and CCO, Laura Johnson
🍻Earthen AlesTraverse City, MI – Co-Owner, Kidwell-Brix
🍻Eris Brewery & Cider HouseChicago, IL – Co-Owners, Michelle Fork and Katy Pizza
🍻Fenceline Beer LabHuzley, IA – Owner and Head Brewer, Susan Frantz
🍻Fibonacci Brewing CompanyColumbus, OH – Co-Owner and President, Betty Bollas
🍻Forager BreweryRochester, MN – Co-Founder, Annie Henderson
🍻Getaway Brewing Co.Columbus, OH – Co-Owner, Jen Burton
🍻Gezellig Brewing CompanyNewton, IA – Co-Founders Betsy Duffy and Mindi Vanden Bosch
🍻Goshen Brewing CompanyGoshen, IN – Co-Founder, Amanda Sensenig
🍻Harmony Brewing CompanyGrand Rapids, MI – Co-Owner, Heather Van Dyke-Titus
🍻Hopewell Brewing Co.Chicago, IL – Co-Founder, Samantha Lee
🍻Hoppy Girl BrewingWabasha, MN – Co-Owner, Brenda Pearson
🍻Jefferson Beer SupplyJefferson, SD – Co-Founder and Director of Brewing, Nicki Werner
🍻McFleshman’s Brewing CompanyAppleton, WI – Co-Founder, Allison McCoy
🍻Mikerphone BrewingChicago, IL – Co-Founder, Lisa Pallen
🍻N.E.W. Ales BrewingMiddletown< OH – Co-Owners, Nikki Heupel and Elizabeth O’Hara
🍻New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus, WI – Co-Founder and President, Deb Carey
🍻North Channel Brewing Co.Manistee, MI – Co-Owner, Dawn Ford
🍻Olentangy River Brewing CompanyLewis Center, OH – Co-Owners, Darci Henry, Bethany Schweitzer, and Sarah Wilkins
🍻Peace Tree Brewing CompanyKnoxville, IA – Founder and CEO, Megan McKay
🍻Piney River Brewing CompanyKnoxville, IA – Co-Founder, Joleen Senter Durham
🍻Rabid BrewingHomewood, IL – Co-Founder, Raiye Rosado
🍻Rare Bird BrewpubTraverse City, MI – Co-Owner and Head Brewer, Tina Schuett
🍻Riverbank BrewingCouncil Grove, KS – Co-Owners, Deidre Knight and Lindsay Grant
🍻Sandy Springs Brewing CompanyMinerva, OH – Co-Owner, Amanda Conrad
🍻Scarlet Lane Brewing CompanyMcCordsville, IN – Co-Founder, Elise Lane
🍻Seventh Son Brewing CompanyColumbus, OH – Co-Owner, Jen Burton
🍻Side Project BrewingMaplewood, MO – Co-Owner, Karen King
🍻Silver Spruce BrewingTraverse City, MI – Co-Owner, Leah Tyrell
🍻Six Mile BridgeMaryland Heights, MO – Co-Owner, Lindsay Sherring
🍻Skeleton Key BreweryWoodridge, IL – Co-Owner, Emily Slayton
🍻Sketchbook Brewing Co.Evanston, IL – Founder, Amy Wilkinson
🍻Taxman Brewing CompanyBargersville, IN – Co-Founder, Leah Huelsebusch
🍻Third Nature BrewingRockford, MI – Co-Founders, Hayley Zitzelsberger, Donghee Zitzelsberger, and Lisa Roebke
🍻Tie & Timber Beer Co.Springfield, MO – Co-Founder, Jennifer Leonard
🍻Tumbled Rock Brewery & KitchenBaraboo, WI – Co-Founder, Michelle Koehler
🍻Vintage Brewing CompanyMadison, WI – Co-Founder, Brittany Kraemer
🍻Waypost Brewing Co.Fennville, MI – Co-Owner and Brewer, Hannah Lee
🍻Whiner Beer Co.Chicago, IL – Co-Founder, Ria Neri
🍻Witch’s Hat Brewing Co.South Lyon, MI – Co-Founder, Erin Cottongim
🍻Wooly Pig Farm BreweryFresno, OH – Co-Owner, Jael Malenke
🍻Yellow Springs BreweryYellow Springs, OH – Co-Owner, Lisa Wolters


Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Albuquerque, NM

bow & arrow brewing co co-founder shyla sheppard
Photography courtesy of Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Partners in business and life, Shyla Sheppard and her wife, Missy Begay, opened their Native-, women-, and Queer-owned brewery in New Mexico to incorporate ingredients and culture from their Native American heritage. Born and raised on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, Sheppard is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, while Begay is the granddaughter of Navajo silversmiths and weavers. Together this dynamic duo weaves delicate threads of Native American customs and legacy combined with a vision for the future across their entire brewery.

The beauty of this synergy explodes in the can with beers like Native Land, a project designed to increase awareness about ancestral Native land and raise funds for current Native communities and organizations.

Or Denim Tux American Pilsner inspired by the classic symbol of the American West and made with premium New Mexican blue corn from Santa Ana Pueblo Farms.

Or Funk Sloth, a mixed-culture beer with wild yeast from New Mexico that they’ve split into variations such as a small batch with locally foraged Newmexicanus hops.

Although Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. wanted to make wild ales from the very beginning, Sheppard told us it took a while for them to branch out.

“We felt, out of the gate, pressured to do traditional styles and do them really well to just be accepted,” she says. “It took longer to gain traction because we were these other things. There were people who wouldn’t even come by because they didn’t take us seriously. It’s that bias. … We’ve had great beers for years, but only fairly recently people are taking notice.”

Sheppard notes, though, that she likes to focus on the positive. “I’m really thankful for the folks who come and support us, not only because we have great beer but because they recognize the importance of diverse perspectives,” she says. “We’ve gotten feedback on being a safe place for gay folks and women because, in a lot of ways, it’s really powerful just to normalize it. This is who we are. … We started this, and we’re here and visible!”

Now celebrating its seventh anniversary, Sheppard confidently describes Bow & Arrow as “we make wild, sour, and Southwest-inspired beers in the heart of the American Southwest.”

For all the above reasons, Bow & Arrow is one of the most amazing Queer-owned breweries in the country.

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Huss Brewing

Phoenix, AZ

Huss makes award-winning beer like Scottsdale Blonde, a 2016 and 2018 U.S. Open medal winner, which Arizona residents also just voted Best Of The Valley, and The Husstler Series Milk Stout, which won at the Great American Beer Fest in the Sweet Stout Category.

Opened in 2013 by Jeff and Leah Huss, Huss Brewing has become a favorite among locals for being family-owned, locally brewed, and focused on Arizona. So much so that the brewery is now one of the state’s largest independent breweries!

With a combined thirty years of experience in the beer industry, Jeff and Leah craft cult favorites like the Koffee Kölsch, the traditional light-bodied style with a kick of cold-steeped roasted caramel and hazelnut coffee beans. And the Hopaloosa Hazy IPA (named for the Native American Appaloosa horse), a wild ride of Falconer’s Flight, Amarillo, and Citra hops.

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Independence Brewing Co.

Austin, TX

independence brewing amy cartwright
Photography courtesy of Independence Brewing

Founded by Amy Cartwright in 2004, Independence Brewing Co. has been setting the standard for craft breweries in Austin for just shy of two decades. One of the longest-standing breweries in Central Texas and the eighth-largest craft brewery in the state, Independence Brewing Co. is a force to be reckoned with.

Cartwright herself is no stranger to climbing through the ranks of predominantly male industries, with a former career in tech and now in beer. Cartwright has become a role model for women looking to break into the industry not only in Texas, but across the country.

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Keeping Together

Santa Fe, NM

averie swanson keeping together
Photography courtesy of Averie Swanson

Keeping Together is the latest project from Averie Swanson, who had previously helmed the brewing program at renowned Texas brewery Jester King before moving to Chicago.

The move from Austin, TX, to up north brought many changes in Swanson’s life, but one of the greatest was the ability to put her vast knowledge and experience to the test at her very own place. And the project, which produces mixed fermentation beers, is bringing (and keeping) together people of all backgrounds.

Originally setting up Keeping Together in Chicago, IL, Swanson has since relocated to Santa Fe, NM, and will be working to bring Keeping Together to the Southwest.

Swanson remains one of the most talented brewers in the industry and continues to earn acclaim for thoughtful, exciting beers that demonstrate her skill and dedication to the craft.

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Vista Brewing

Driftwood, TX

A twenty-one-acre brewery located just outside of Austin, TX, Vista Brewing is a one-of-a-kind craft beer experience. Founded by wife-and-husband team Karen and Kent Killough, Vista Brewing has become a destination in Central Texas.

Karen handles all aspects of operations at Vista, from marketing and social media to programming and private events, HR, merchandise, and more. On the board of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and active with the Pink Boots Society, Karen even earned a scholarship from Pink Boots to travel to and attend the Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference.

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Also Check Out

🍻1912 BrewingTucson, AZ – Co-Owner, Alicia Vasquez
🍻Baa Baa BrewhouseBrookshire, TX – Co-Owner, Kinga Wunderle
🍻Barking Armadillo BrewingGeorgetown, TX – Co-Founder, Amanda Trimm
🍻Big Beach Brewing CompanyGulf Shores, AL – Co-Owner, Julie Shamburger
🍻Bitter Sisters Brewing CompanyAddison, TX – Co-Owners, Courtney McHugh Ehiner, Melissa Scott McHugh, Carrie McHugh Strickland, and Kelly McHugh Moody
🍻Bluebonnet Beer CompanyRound Rock, TX – Co-Owner, Clare Hulama
🍻Blue Heron Brewing Co.Embudo, NM – Co-Owner, Dawn Rini
🍻Blue Owl BrewingAustin, TX – Co-Owner, Suzy Shaffer
🍻Button Brew HouseTucson, AZ – Co-Owner, Erika Button
🍻Copper Brothel BrewerySonoita, AZ – Co-Owners Cheryl and Sammie Jesser
🍻Dark Sky Brewing CompanyFlagstaff, AZ – Owner, Larami Sandlin
🍻Equity Brewing CompanyNorman, OK – Co-Owners, Suzette and Hannah Grillot
🍻Fitzhugh BrewingDripping Springs, TX – Co-Founder and GM, Kerbey Smith
🍻Gravity BrewWorksBig Flat, AR – Co-Founder and Assistant Brewer, Tony Guinn
🍻Great Raft BrewingShreveport, LA – Co-Founder, Lindsay Nations
🍻Greenwood BrewingPhoenix, AZ – Co-Owner and Founder, Megan Greenwood
🍻Guadalupe BrewingNew Braunfels, TX – Co-Owner, Anna Kilker
🍻KinderHill Brew LabBryan, TX – Co-Founder and Brewer, Laura Hill, Phd
🍻Künstler BrewingSan Antonio, TX – Co-Founder and Brewer, Vera Deckard
🍻Peoria Artisan BreweryTucson, AZ – Co-Owner, Alicia Vasquez
🍻Pueblo Vida Brewing CompanyTucson, AZ – Co-Owner, Linette Antillon
🍻Roughhouse BrewingSan Marcos, TX – Co-Founder, Alex Pasternak
🍻Second Line BrewingNew Orleans, LA – Co-Owner, Karen Logan
🍻Second Pitch Beer CompanySan Antonio, TX – Co-Owner, Samantha Hansen
🍻Sedona Beer CompanySedona, AZ – Co-Owner, Kali Gajewski
🍻Siluria Brewing CompanyAlabaster, AL – Co-Founder, Tammy Sample
🍻Slackers Brewing Co.Austin, TX – Co-Founder, Haley Peck-Law
🍻Superior Bathhouse BreweryHot Springs National Park, AR – Owner and Founder, Rose Schweikhart
🍻Texas Beer CompanyTaylor, TX – Co-Founder & CEO, Megan Klein
🍻The Brewtorium Brewery & KitchenAustin, TX – Co-Founder and CEO, Whitney Robers
🍻Tractor Brewing Co.Albuquerque, NM – Owner, Skye Devore
🍻Vacancy BrewingAustin, TX – Co-Owner, Sara Hamza Watson

Mountain West

Atrevida Beer Co.

Colorado Springs, CO

atrevida beer co latinx-owned breweries
Photography courtesy of Atrevida Beer Co.

One of our favorite Latine-owned breweries in the country, Atrevida Beer Co. . uses cultural influences and ingredients from founder Jessica Fierro’s Mexican heritage in its beers.

Founded by Fierro in 2018, Atrevida Beer Co. in Colorado Springs, CO, strives to also be a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the industry.
It’s a testament to Fierro that she put her head down and built a business her way. Which included hiring an all-women and one-male brew crew and naming the brewery Atrevida, which means a bold, daring, or audacious woman.

“I didn’t need anyone’s permission to tell me I could be a part of this industry,” says Fierro. “I wanted to set myself up for success to provide opportunities for other women and underrepresented communities and give folks a safe space to learn and professionally develop.”

In fact, Fierro has a phrase plastered across her front door: Diversity. It’s on Tap.

It’s the first words you see when you walk in, and it’s all over her brewery, from the merchandise to the walls. “That is my company culture, and with everything we do, that’s the message: diversity, inclusion, and equity,” says Fierro.

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Bierstadt Lagerhaus

Denver, CO

bierstadt lagerhaus slow pour pils
Photography courtesy of Ashley Knotek | Bierstadt Lagerhaus

Bierstadt Lagerhaus has made a name for itself by making lagers…and only lagers.

Co-owners Ashleigh Carter and Bill Eye love lagers—love making them, love drinking them. And they stuck to their guns when they opened Bierstadt in 2016.

Now the brewery is world renowned for inventing beers like the Slow Pour Pils, a beer that takes seven minutes to pour (trust us, it’s worth it).

Whatever you order, just know it’s going to be made laboriously with love and it’s going to be probably one of the best beers you’ve ever had.

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Goldspot Brewing Co.

Denver, CO

goldspot brewing company and everywhere is queer out loud beer project
Photography courtesy of Goldspot Brewing Company

A one hundred percent Queer- and women-owned brewery in Denver, CO, Goldspot Brewing Company has become a pillar in the community. It’s a brewery with an exciting trajectory. For example, Goldspot wasn’t always Queer- and women-owned. Now-owner Kelissa Heiber (who identifies as Queer) moved to Denver to attend the Applied Craft Brewing Program at Regis University in 2012. After school, a stint at TRVE Brewing led to a bartending job at Goldspot Brewing, where Heiber would move on to assistant brewer and then head brewer. At the time, Matt Hughes and Alex Sward owned the brewery. But in 2018, the duo sold to Ryan and Winnie DuBois, with Heiber purchasing a thirty-percent stake. In February 2021, Heiber bought out the DuBoises to assume full ownership, making Goldspot a one hundred percent Queer- and women-owned brewery.

Accordingly, Heiber has been able to lay the groundwork for the brewery as a community-driven, inclusive business, which meant hosting the first-ever festival dedicated to LGBTQ+ causes called Big Queer Beerfest, featuring Pride-focused beers, last year. Or hiring an entirely Queer staff and posting signs around the taproom that say racism and homophobia won’t stand.

At Goldspot, Hieber hired Safe Bars to train her entire staff, giving them tools to handle situations in the taproom.

“If you have someone being misogynist and … saying it so loudly to the group of people they’re with so that the whole taproom can hear it … how can you safely de-escalate that?” says Hieber. “What is the line that’s breaking our community standards? If someone is doing any of that stuff, [we want] to kick them out of the taproom because everyone can hear and see that.”

Although Hieber emphasizes that, with an entirely Queer staff, she only encourages employees to act if they feel safe.

The taproom has become a hub for the Queer community, with Goldspot hosting everything from Queer Dungeons & Dragons to craft markets featuring Queer-owned businesses to open mic nights with Queer performers and gay dance parties.

One of Hieber’s favorite events, Homos and Homies, invites a BIPOC vegan food truck and a Queer-owned one, along with Queer artists and vendors, to set up on Goldspot’s patio. Ten percent of all sales that day go to a different local food justice or advocacy group. Goldspot raised $300 during the last Homos and Homies, but each participating vendor donates too, bringing the grand total to a couple of thousand dollars. Hosting one every quarter, Hieber says, “It’s the most racially diverse that you’ll ever see at the brewery, especially in Denver. … It’s really diversifying the type of people that come into the space. … You’re just hanging out with friends, raising money; it’s always a poppin’ time. … Everyone is in a good mood; the vendors are doing well; it’s very cool.”

Additionally, over the last few years, Hieber shares that Goldspot has donated tens of thousands of dollars to various organizations from their benefit beers or events.

For instance, Gender Fluid originally started as a beer to raise money for one of her bartender’s gender-affirming surgery. Matching the amount raised from $1 per pint poured, Hieber morphed that beer into a series, donating to a different organization every time, such as Denver Community Fridges or the Transformative Freedom Fund.

Most recently, Hieber started the Out Loud Beer Project with Everywhere Is Queer, a collaborative beer recipe open to anyone to brew as long as they donate twenty-five percent of all profits to Everywhere Is Queer and a Queer non-profit of the collaborating brewery’s choice.

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Lady Justice Brewing

Aurora, CO

lady justice brewing co co-founders
Photography courtesy of Lady Justice Brewing Co.

Queer- and woman-owned and Latina-founded Lady Justice Brewing Co. in Aurora, CO, set out to make beer for a better world across all genders, nationalities, races, and sexualities. Founded in 2010 by Betsy Lay, Kate Power, and Jen Cuesta, Lady Justice holds the distinction as the world’s first fully female-owned and philanthropic brewery when it opened.

The entire model of the brewery is to give back consistently. They call it Pouring Goodness, so $1 from every 13oz pour of the Pouring Goodness tap in a given month goes to a local organization. Since opening, Lady Justice has raised $50,000 and counting for over ninety organizations, according to Lay.

“We exist particularly to give that money away,” Lay told us. “If Lady J stopped doing that, I think Lady J would have to close because that’s not our mission.”

Helping places such as Women’s Wilderness, whose mission is to cultivate courage, confidence, connection, and environmental stewardship among girls, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community through year-round outdoor immersions; and The Gathering Place, the only daytime drop-in center in Denver serving transgender individuals experiencing poverty.

In addition to donations, Lady Justice employs a Queer staff, creates a safe space for Colorado’s LGBTQIA+ population, and brews a Pride beer with rainbow glitter that has benefited the Transformative Freedom Fund

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New Belgium Brewing

Fort Collins, CO + Asheville, NC

new belgium brewed for all
Photography courtesy of New Belgium

An absolute craft pioneer, Kim Jordan founded New Belgium in 1991. With the brewery, she brought her social work and homebrewing experience to the big brewing stage. For almost thirty years, Jordan blazed a trail for women in the industry, establishing New Belgium as one of the top breweries in the country.

Beyond iconic brands like Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger IPA, New Belgium stays at the forefront of creating change in a predominantly white, cis-male industry. New Belgium was one of the first breweries to hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist, and start programs like brewing a beer called Biere de Queer that celebrated National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQIA+ awareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to “come out of the closet” and celebrate their sexual identity. It’s one of the reasons they’re also one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly breweries in the country.

Using beer as a vehicle to break down barriers and build up community, New Belgium stands for more than just delicious craft beer.

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Novel Strand

Denver, CO

novel strand brewing company co-foudners tamir danon, chantel columna, and ayana coker
Photography courtesy of @novelstrandbrewingco

Israeli native Tamir Danon met his eventual wife, Chantel Columna, and Ayana Coker while studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. They’d all meet up at a bar to drink beers and talk about one day opening a brewery. All three eventually partnered together to start Novel Strand.

At Novel Strand, the trio encourages you to put down your phone, pick up a pint, and participate in a conversation, whether about beer, the world, your views on life, your passions, or anything else.

“When we drink a beer, hopefully, we can share a moment of our time together and maybe leave each other better than when we found each other and with a little bit more knowledge about someone who is not exactly the same as you,” Danon told us when we visited a couple of years ago.

“Yes, we are a BIPOC-owned and -operated brewery, but first and foremost, we are a brewery dedicated to crafting good beer and educating people on good beer,” Coker says.

By taking that approach, Novel Strand can allow for those deeper conversations to happen in their space.

“We never brought focus to any minority aspect of any of the three owners,” says Columna. “Everyone else said that.”

She hopes the narrative gets back to why Novel Strand started in the first place: coming into the neighborhood to create community.

“We want to go about it collectively in a way that makes sense for the community, not simply just putting a tag on it and, because of that, you should support me,” says Columna. “We actually care about making changes proactively in our way, and that is authentic to us.”

And at Novel Strand, the beer really does speak for itself. Hit the button below to read this trio’s story and see exactly what we mean.

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Outer Range Brewing Co.

Frisco, CO

outer range brewing co.
Photography courtesy of Grace Weitz

Founded by wife-and-husband team Emily and Lee Cleghorn, Outer Range Brewing Co. is known for doing two things exceptionally well: Belgian beers and hazy IPAs. And while that combo may seem contradictory, take a look at Lee’s past, and it’ll make sense. Raised in Belgium, Lee cut his teeth in the American brewing scene at Other Half in NYC. Makes sense, huh?

Emily and Lee share their passion for the great outdoors in every beer they brew.

Even taking that passion across the pond to the French Alps, where they just opened up a new taproom, inviting people in to try their incredible beers with incredible mountain views.

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Also Check Out

🍻300 Suns BrewingLongmont, CO – Co-Owner, Jean Ditslear
🍻4 Noses Brewing CompanyBroomfield, CO – Co-Owner, Megan Bibliowicz
🍻Barrels & Bottles BreweryDenver, CO – Co-Owner, Abby George
🍻Bear Island Brewing Co.Boise, ID – Founder, Beth Bechtel
🍻Big Choice BrewingBerhoud, CO – Co-Owner, Andrea Miller
🍻Black Shirt Brewing Co.Denver, CO – Co-Owner, Karen Dodson
🍻Black Sky BreweryDenver, CO -Owner and GM, Lila Mackey
🍻Bond’s Brewing CompanyLaramie, WY – Co-Founder, Mallory Bond
🍻Bozeman Brewing CompanyBozeman, MT – Co-Owner, Lisa Scott
🍻Brewability LabEnglewood, CO – Owner, Tiffany Fixter
🍻Burns Family Artisan AlesDenver, CO – Co-Owner, Laura Worley
🍻City Star BrewingBerthoud, CO – Co-Owner, Whitney Way
🍻Cheluna Brewing CompanyAurora, CO – Co-Owner, Jennifer Perez
🍻Coal Mine Avenue Brewing CompanyLittleton, CO – Co-Owner, Erica Baca
🍻Cohesion Brewing CompanyDenver, CO – Co-Owner, Lisa Larkin
🍻Copper Kettle Brewing CompanyDenver, CO – Owner, Kristen Kozik
🍻Craft Canary BreweryWalsenburg, CO – Owner and GM, Aubrey Lykins
🍻Cranky Sam BrewingMissoula, MT – GM and Queen of the Pub, Jennifer Heggen
🍻Dry Dock Brewing CompanyAurora, CO – Co-Owner,Michelle Reding
🍻The Empourium Brewing CompanyDenver, CO – Co-Owner, Sara Fetzer
🍻Goat Patch Brewing CompanyColorado Springs, CO – Co-Owners, Cate Baze and Jen Grant
🍻Golden City BreweryGolden, CO – Co-Owner, Janine Sturdavant
🍻Holidaily Brewing Co.Denver, CO – Owner, Karen Hertz
🍻Horse and Dragon Brewing CompanyFort Collins, CO – Co-Owner, Carol Cochran
🍻Howlin Wind Brewing & BlendingRollinsville, CO – Owner and Brewer, Melissa Nicholson
🍻KettleHouse Brewing CompanyBonner, MT – Co-Founder, Suzy Rizza
🍻>Lewis & Clark Brewing Company – Helena, MT – Co-Owner, Karen Pigman
🍻Local Relic Artisan AlesColorado Springs, CO – Co-Owner, Melissa
🍻Locavore Beer WorksLittleton, CO – Co-Owners, Jen and Cindy
🍻Lost Friend Brewing CompanyColorado Springs, CO – Co-Owner, Alyssa France
🍻Mirror Image Brewing CompanyFredrick, CO – Partner and Head Brewer, Theresa Schirner
🍻Mother Trucker BreweryThornton, CO – Owner, Deb Trucker
🍻Mountain Tap BrewerySteamboat Springs, CO – Founder and Partner, Wendy Tucciarone
🍻Odell Brewing Co.Fort Collins, CO – Co-Founders, Wynee and Corkie Odell
🍻Outworld BrewingLongmont, CO – Co-Owner, Brenda Fuller
🍻Over Yonder Brewing Co.Golden, CO – Co-Founders, Jessica and Ashleigh Bilodeaux
🍻Pat O’Hara Brewing CompanyCody, WY – Co-Owners, Norfleet Gifford and Ariel Fishman
🍻Raíces Brewing CompanyDenver, CO – Chief Operating Officer, Tamil Maldonado Vega
🍻Reverence Brewing CompanyDenver, CO – Co-Owner, Linds McAlpine
🍻Second Dawn Brewing Co.Denver, CO – Co-Owner, Amy Koenigs
🍻Verboten Brewing and Barrel ProjectLoveland, CO – Co-Owner, Angeline Marie Grenz

West/Pacific Northwest

Around the Horn Brewing Company

Groveland, CA

around the horn brewing company
Photography courtesy of Around the Horn Brewing Company

Founded by Shirley Horn, Rachel Sabatine (nee Horn), and Andrew Sabatine, Around the Horn is a Gold Rush-themed brewery located twenty-five miles from Yosemite National Park’s Big Oak Flat entrance.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Business with an MBA, Rachel moved with Andrew to Groveland, CA, to join her mom, Shirley. And by 2020 the trio had converted an old corporate Subway franchise building into a rustic taproom and brewhouse.

Currently, Rachel serves as the COO of Around the Horn, while Shirley, as the CMO, handles many of the marketing responsibilities. Expect everything from dark lagers and fruited sours to hazy and American IPAs.

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Bale Breaker Brewing Company

Yakima, WA

ales for als bale breaker
Photography courtesy of Bale Breaker

Here is why we love Bale Breaker Brewing Company. In 2013, the co-owners of Bale Breaker Brewing Company—Meghann Quinn, her husband Kevin Quinn, and Meghann’s brother Kevin Smith (known as “Smitty”)—helped start the Ales for ALS™ program with Mike and Cheryl Smith from Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) Hops and Loftus Ranches.

Designed to raise awareness and money to find treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), the initiative personally hit home for the Quinn and Smith family. Meghann, Smitty, and their parents have nine family members who have passed away from the disease.

“Ales for ALS™ is really near and dear to our hearts,” says Meghann. “Our biggest goal is to find a cure.”

Every year, the family’s hop farm—Loftus Ranches—donates hops to create a unique blend. Another big hop purveyor in the area, YCH, scales things up, adding to the blend, pelletizing the hops, packaging them, and shipping them to any brewer around the country who asks. In receiving the free hops, the brewery agrees to brew a beer using the blend. Additionally, they donate at least one dollar from the sale of every pint to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the rare nonprofit biotech and comprehensive drug discovery lab dedicated to researching treatments for ALS.

So far, the program’s impact has far exceeded everyone’s expectations. In the last eight years, Ales for ALS™ has raised over $3.5 million dollars to find a cure for ALS.

For starting an annual nationwide initiative with a huge impact, we named Meghann and her family one of our “10 People to Watch in Craft Beer in 2022.”

Oh, and did we mention Bale Breaker makes some of the best beers showcasing world-class hops from the Yakima Valley?

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Crowns & Hops

Inglewood, CA

crowns and hops co-founders beny ashburn and teo hunter
Crowns & Hops Co-Founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter | Photography courtesy of Crowns & Hops

Crowns & Hops has always done things differently.

Co-founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter (who we named to our list of “Top 15 People to Watch in Craft Beer in 2024”) didn’t come from a background in beer; they didn’t quit finance jobs to stoke their homebrewing passion full-time; they didn’t go to any brewing schools or take part-time jobs washing kegs on the weekend.

Hunter worked in creative production for the entertainment industry. And Ashburn cut her teeth in marketing and advertising at companies like Beats Electronics and Sony.

But that’s exactly why they’ve come into the beer industry and completely turned it on its head like a snow globe, shaking things up something fierce.

Because both believe that the status quo, the placid image of this white-washed industry that has been burned into everyone’s minds for so long, doesn’t or shouldn’t apply anymore.

The two focused on their strengths—creativity, marketing, and storytelling—to build brands and later a brewery—Crowns & Hops—that goes far beyond making beer.

Essentially, the pair “built an entire craft beer brand that sold in four states from an Instagram handle,” Ashburn told us. “I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.”

Crowns & Hops has completely disrupted the industry, fighting for racial equity while proving that Black and Brown people love beer, drink beer, and have existed here in beer since the very beginning.

Ashburn and Hunter understood they needed to build trust and consistency with people before even making one single beer. “We didn’t start with a product; we started with a brand. We didn’t start with a product; we started with a community. We didn’t start with a product; we started with visualization and storytelling,” says Ashburn.

Sure enough, layer by layer, Ashburn and Hunter started to redefine what craft beer culture looked like.

“If we’re looking at the old-school definition of craft beer, it was bearded, white men,” says Ashburn. “That excluded everyone who didn’t live in that space or in that particular age demographic.”

Today, the world is different.

“What if there is a new definition of craft beer culture?” queries Ashburn. “What if craft beer culture today is not necessarily about the brewers but about the brand in a space where you can actually see yourself?”

For example, while searching databases for license-free images, they couldn’t find one single image of a Black hand and beer. “It did not exist,” says Hunter. “Think about the significance of that. … The world didn’t even see … us in beer.”

So, using each other as models, they created imagery with Black hands and Black people—“all the scope of colors that exist,” says Hunter. “It didn’t exist, so we have to be it.”

They also started programs like the 8 Trill Pils Initiative, which raises money to provide support for Black- and Brown-owned breweries. In its first year, Crowns & Hops raised $100,000 they awarded as micro-grants to five different Black-owned brands.

And they encourage folx in the industry to shift their mindset.

“Instead of saying we’re less than 1% Black-owned breweries in this country, our goal is to achieve 13% Black-owned breweries in this country, which is the percentage of Black people in America,” says Hunter. “It’s a big goal; it’s a big number, that’s 1,500 breweries, but if they’re 10,000 Black-owned and white-owned breweries, we feel that’s achievable.”

No one gave Ashburn and Hunter a place to call their own in craft beer; they made it.

They made it so that others following behind could have that sense of community, feeling empowered to disrupt and create their own.

“As we always say: If there’s no room at the table, build a bigger f**king table,” says Ashburn.

We know without a doubt that Hunter and Ashburn will continue to shake things up in 2024, including opening up their own brick-and-mortar in Inglewood. We’re hard pressed to find two people more dedicated to disrupting the industry than Hunter and Ashburn.

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Fort Point Beer Co.

San Francisco, CA

fort point beer co coven
Photography courtesy of @fortpointbeer

Founded by Dina Dobkin (Chief Brand Officer) and her husband Justin Catalana (CEO), Fort Point Beer Co. is a San Francisco brewery through and through. Named for the historic Fort Point masonry below the Golden Gate (which the brewery overlooks, in fact), Fort Point brews a variety of traditional beers packaged in sleek, modern cans. Indeed, the branding and marketing for Fort Point incorporates simple illustrations and sketches that are evocative in their subtlety.

But there’s nothing subtle about Coven, the beer the women of Fort Point recently brewed in part for International Women’s Day on March 8th. The beer first started during the second COVID-19 lockdown several years ago, when Dobkin brought together all the women in the brewery to reconnect. Annie Rainey, the production manager at Fort Point, helped develop the recipe, creating different concentrated herb syrups to blend and pair to find the right combination. Sage and lavender made the cut combined with the Pink Boots Society hop blend and a touch of citrus peel for a burst of brightness.

This brewing experiment perfectly captures why Fort Point makes our list of the best women-led breweries to support right now.

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Fox Tale Fermentation Project

San Jose, CA

fox tale fermentation project
Fox Tale Fermentation Project Co-Founders Wendy Neff and Felipe Bravo | Photography courtesy of Ginger Fierstein, San Francisco Chronicle

Spend any amount of time talking with Fox Tale Fermentation Project Co-Owners Wendy Neff and Felipe Bravo, and you’ll be magically transported down a rabbit hole.

Here’s just a taste of what I mean: At Fox Tale, our “Best New Brewery of 2022,” Bravo has been magically whipping up beers with ingredients like candy cap mushrooms, lacto-fermented lemons, or pawpaws.

For example, a new light rice-based beer called Head Space includes those aforementioned lacto-fermented lemons, green tea, and locally foraged leaves from a Ginkgo Biloba tree in the neighborhood. “You have tartness from the lemon rind, fruity aromatics from the jasmine green tea, and herbalism from the Gingko Biloba,” says Bravo, who says this is his favorite beer he’s made this year. “We’re trying to use all these ingredients to create something special.”

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Neff oversees the fermented foods. Leveraging her background leading the Superfoods program at Facebook Headquarters, she creates dishes that engender exploration and nourishment. “I want people to walk away having tried something they’ve never tried before and learn about something they would have never eaten before.”

For example, an avocado toast. Ubiquitous right? Not at Fox Tale Fermentation. Something you think you’ve seen in every form transforms under Neff’s wizardry.

Firebrand sourdough gets topped with California avocado: One gets pickled beets, Guindilla peppers, and sage cream. While the other includes cultured seed and a fermented ratatouille “chopenade.”

“It’s easily one of my favorite things I’ve ever made,” says Neff, who takes tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and basil from a Portuguese and Spanish family farm and ferments them all together. “It turns into this very cool, colorful, rich, flavorful spread,” she says. “These are flavors everyone knows, but in a way they’ve never had.”

And we haven’t even mentioned the mocktail program. I’ve never seen someone go to such lengths to make a non-alcoholic drink.

Neff’s process for one drink often includes creating a fermented syrup, making a fermented tea, and adding a whimsical rim with ingredients like toasted coconut sugar.

The most popular, according to Neff, is a fermented strawberry lemon verbena syrup mixed with butterfly pea flower rose hips and violet. It comes with a rim of lemon paste and sugar infused with rose hibiscus and damiana, an herb known as a powerful aphrodisiac. Neff calls it her “love potion.”

“It’s a deep dark purple base that’s sparkling with a super beautiful hot pink syrup,” says Neff. “It is so refreshing and decadent at the same time.”

But that’s just the ethos at Fox Tale.

They want to create an inclusive space that supports local ingredients through beer, food, kombucha, mocktails, and more, where everyone from the community can come and be a part of their magical world.

Fox Tale Fermentation isn’t just breaking the rules; they’re fermenting them. As Neff says, “The fun part is deciding whatever rules were made before, we have no obligation to follow them, and we can create our own new way of doing things.”

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Fremont Brewing

Seattle, WA

If you love stouts (and supporting the accomplishments of women in the beer industry), look no further than Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, which maintains one of the best barrel-aging facilities in the country.

The brewery, located in Seattle, WA, was co-founded by Sara Nelson and her husband, Matt Lincecum. In addition to award-winning stouts, the brewery’s proximity to the Yakima Valley gives it unparalleled access to fresh hops, and thirsty fans arrive by the droves during harvest season for their wet-hopped IPAs. So whether you enjoy the roasty, more structured flavors of stouts or the bitter bite of an IPA, you’re set at Fremont Brewing.

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Hana Koa Brewing Co.

Honolulu, HI

Started by partners in life and business, Chrissie Pinney and Josh Kopp, Hana Koa should be a paragon for other breweries. This duo built the Honolulu-based brewery to be an inclusive place for everyone, including women, People of Color, Indigenous peoples, Queer folx, and more.

Which means putting their work where their mouth is. Hana Koa has started a ton of collaboration beers benefitting various organizations. Such as Shine a Light, a beer benefitting End the Backlog, an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation aiming to end the backlog of untested rape kits in the United States. Or Rainbow Mist, a beer benefitting Hawaii’s LGBTQ Legacy Foundation supporting LGBTQIA+ folx in Hawaii.

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Local Brewing Co.

San Francisco, CA

Like the aforementioned Fort Point, Local Brewing Co. is a favorite among SF residents. Co-founded in 2010 by Sarah Fenson and Regan Long, Local whips up delicious, inventive craft beers and serves fantastic food on-site.

Unfortunately, a fire ripped through and destroyed Local’s brick-and-mortar taproom last year, but the brewery had rallied through the challenges, continuing to find ways to distribute its beers around the Bay Area.

Local brews across a variety of styles but the common theme is accessibility. From citrus-forward hazy IPAs to rich, robust black lagers, there’s something for just about any drinker. Plus, the brewery releases exciting limited-edition offerings in colorful, artistic cans.

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Lost Coast Brewery

Eureka, CA

lost coast founder barbara groom
Photography courtesy of Lost Coast Brewery

Lost Coast is a foundational member of the craft beer scene in Northern California. Founded in 1989 by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom, Lost Coast Brewery has since expanded twice, reaching a capacity of a 120-barrel system.

Lost Coast’s success is directly attributed to Groom, who has led the brewery to success throughout its thirty-plus years of operation.

Now based in Eureka, CA, Lost Coast is well known for its colorful, gripping label artwork and approachable beers. Eschewing transient trends for stability, Groom focused on Lost Coast’s core offerings and has, as a result, risen to a prominent position in an industry historically dominated by men.

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Mujeres Brew House

San Diego, CA

mujeres brew house co-founder carmen velasco-favela
Photography courtesy of Mujeres Brew House

One of the most amazing Latine- and women-owned breweries in the country, Mujeres Brew House is an all-female-run brewery and taproom started by Carmen Velasco-Favela.

The taproom has immediately brought a sense of place to the Latina and overall women-drinking community. “I dedicated my time and energy to empower women in craft beer and create diversity in the industry because that is what is needed,” says Velasco-Favela.

Although Mujeres Brew House might be slightly newer to craft beer, expect big things from this creative and influential brewery redefining the industry narrative.

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Russian River Brewing Company

Santa Rosa, CA

russian river brewing company pliny the younger bottled first time 2020 co-founder natalie cilurzo
Photography courtesy of Santiago Mejia | The Chronicle

Few American breweries have the same reputation as Russian River Brewing Company, founded in its present incarnation by Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo in 2004. The Northern California brewery has become one of the most iconic in the entire country.

According to legend, Vinnie brewed the world’s first commercially available double IPA back in the mid-nineties when he worked at Blind Pig Brewing, and Russian River undoubtedly helped kickstart the sour revolution. The Santa Rosa and Windsor, California, brewpubs have become a mecca for the craft-minded, who come from all over the world to try Russian River’s renowned sours and IPAs. Come February, they line up around the block for Pliny the Younger one of craft’s most storied beers

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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Capitola, CA

Beer fans know about Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, in Capitola, CA, that has also opened up taprooms in Santa Cruz and downtown Oakland. But at the OG spot, sea, sun, and sours come together at the epic tasting room, known for producing some of the best sours in the world. Co-founded by Adair Paterno and Tim Clifford, SARA (as it’s called by connoisseurs) offers a little taste of Belgium in Northern California.

This brewery captured our eyes and hearts a long time ago but continues to impress year after year, making it onto our list of “Best Breweries of 2023.”

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Stoup Brewing

Seattle, WA

Robyn Schumacher, who identifies as a Queer cis-woman, co-owns Stoup Brewing in Seattle, WA, with husband-and-wife team Lara Zahaba and Brad Benson. A former high school science teacher turned brewer, Schumacher became the first woman in the state of Washington to become a Certified Cicerone. Today, Schumacher and the brewery continue to strive to create a safe, equitable space for all to drink whether that’s hosting a Queer as Funk Tea Dance Party or brewing a Stoup Pride month IPA.

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The Ale Apothecary

Bend, OR

ale apothecary
Photography courtesy of The Ale Apothecary

Like the aforementioned Scratch Brewing Co., The Ale Apothecary is brewing some of the finest farmhouse ales in the country. Utilizing the groundwater from the property, native yeast from the surrounding flora, and locally sourced barley and malt, The Ale Apothecary is an ode to the beauty of nature.

Founded by wife-and-husband duo Staci and Paul Arney, The Ale Apothecary is off the beaten path but well-regarded by those in the know. In fact, one of our favorite breweries in Bend, OR, The Ale Apothecary has members in their bottle club from all over the country who would fly in annually to celebrate the brewery’s anniversary.

Focused on the history of traditional brewing styles and a love of the outdoors, Staci and Paul Arney have transformed their home into one of the most stunning breweries in the country.

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Three Weavers Brewing Company

Inglewood, CA

Pride. Unity. Fairness and honesty. These are just a few of the core values at Three Weavers Brewing Company, one of the largest independent craft breweries in Los Angeles country.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Lynne Weaver and brewmaster Alexandra Nowell, the brewery was named for Weaver’s three daughters and serves as an example of a business that puts people above profits.

Currently, the brewery holds a World Beer Cup Gold Medal from 2016, a GABF Silver Medal from 2017, a European Beer Star Bronze from 2017, and the Australian International Beer Awards Best IPA and Champion International Beer from 2018.

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Also Check Out

🍻Alaro Craft BrewerySacramento, CA – Co-Owner, Annette Ballestero
🍻AleSmith Brewing CompanySan Diego, CA – Owner, Chief Culture and Community Advocate, Vicky Zien
🍻Badass Backyard BrewingSpokane Valley, WA – Co-Founder and Head Brewer Charlene Honcik
🍻Beachwood Brewing & BlenderyLong Beach, CA – Co-Owner, Lena Perelman
🍻Benny Boy BrewingLos Angeles, CA – Co-Founder, Chelsey Rosetter
🍻Block 15 Brewing CompanyCorvallis, OR – Co-Founder, Kristen Arzner
🍻Bootlegger’s BreweryFullerton, CA – Co-Owner, Patricia Barkenhagen
🍻Brams BeerLos Angeles, CA – Co-Owner, Cindy Chen
🍻Bruehol BrewingBenecia, CA – Co-Owner, Natalie Keller
🍻Calapooia Brewing Co.Albany, OR – Co-Owner, Caitlin Prueitt
🍻Chapman Crafted BeerOrange, CA – Co-Owner, Carisa Chapman
🍻Chuckanut BreweryBurlington, WA – Co-Owner, Mari Kemper
🍻Claim 52Eugene, OR – Co-Owners, Mercy McDonald and Jeannine Parisi
🍻Claremont Craft AlesClaremont, CA – Co-Owner, Emily Moultrie
🍻CraftHaus BreweryLas Vegas, NV – Co-Founder, Wyndee Forrest
🍻Crooked Lane Brewing CompanyAuburn, CA – Co-Owner and Brewmaster, Teresa Psuty
🍻Crowing HenCarlton, OR – Co-Owner, Michelle Rhea
🍻Cursed BrewingSeattle, WA – Owner and Brewer, Rhyann Davis
🍻de Garde BrewingTillamook, OR – Co-Owner, Linsey Hamacher
🍻Faction BrewingAlameda, CA – Co-Owner and Director of Operations, Claudia Pamparana
🍻FiftyFifty Brewing Co.Vista, CA – Co-Owner and Managing Partner, Alicia Barr
🍻Five Suits BrewingSacramento, CA – Co-Owner and Operator, Kandy Corona
🍻Garden Path FermentationBellingham, WA – Co-Creator/Chief, Amber Watts
🍻Grand Fir BrewingPortland, OR – Owner and Brewmaster, Whitney Burnside
🍻Gyppo Ale MillShelter Cove, CA – Owner, Julie Peacock
🍻Homage BrewingPomona, CA – Co-Owner, Lauren Garcia
🍻Icicle Brewing CompanyLeavenworth, WA – Co-Founder, Tracy Burlotte
🍻Leikam BrewingPortland, OR – Co-Founder, Sonia-Marie Leikam
🍻Little Beast BrewingPortland, OR – Co-Founder, Brenda Crow
🍻Local Craft BeerTehachapi, CA – Co-Founder, Katie Southworth
🍻Mammoth Brewing CompanyMammoth Lakes, CA – Co-Owner, Joyce Turner
🍻Mindscape FermentationsRocklin, CA – Microbe Manager, Lauren Price, Data Director, Lauren Houston, and Enzyme Executive, Charlotte Crott
🍻North 5th Brewing Co.North Las Vegas, NV – Owner, Amanda Payan
🍻Ojai Valley BreweryOjai, CA – Co-Owner, Elizabeth Haffner
🍻Otherwise BrewingSan Francisco, CA – Co-Founder, Stellar Cassidy
🍻Perihelion BrewerySeattle, WA – Co-Owner, Karin Paulsen
🍻Pizza Port Brewing CompanySolano Beach, CA – Co-Founder, Gina Marsaglia
🍻Propolis BrewingPort Townsend, WA – Co-Founder, Piper Corbett
🍻Rooster’s Brewing CompanyOgden, UT – Co-Owner, Kym Buttschardt
🍻Rueben’s BrewsSeattle, WA – Co-Founder, Grace Robbings
🍻Shades BrewingSalt Lake City, UT – Co-Founder, Alexandra Ortiz
🍻Six Rivers BreweryMckinleyville, CA – Co-Founders Talia Nachshon Clare and Meredith Maier
🍻Smog City Brewing Co.Torrance, CA – Co-Founder, Laurie Porter
🍻Spider City BrewingBend, OR – Co-Owner and Brewmaster Melanie Betti and Co-Owners Michele Betti and Tammy Treat
🍻Tailsman Brewing CompanyOgden, UT – Co-Founder, Joann Williams
🍻Threshold Brewing & BlendingPortland, OR – Co-Owner, Sara Szymanski
🍻Thunder Island Brewing CompanyCascade Locks, OR – Co-Owner, Caroline Lipps
🍻TPK Brewing Co.Portland, OR – Co-Owners, Jess Hardie and Dana Ebert
🍻Wild Fields BrewhouseAtascadero, CA – Co-Founder and President, Jacque Fields
🍻Xicha Brewing Co.Salem, OR – Co-Owner, Maggie Antunez


Japas Cervejaria

São Paulo, Brazil

japas cervejaria fuji best fall beers
Photography courtesy of Japas Cervejaria

An all-star team of Brazilian women of Japanese descent, Japas Cervejaria began when Fernanda Ueno, Maíra Kimura, and Yumi Shimada decided to open their own brewery. The name Japas Cervejaria actually comes from a Brazilian slang term for a person from Japan. With that in mind, this triple-threat brewery breaks through so many boundaries and barriers in the industry. Since launching in 2016, the three women have brewed creative works from an American pale ale with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops and wasabi to imperial porters made with rice and witbiers including ginger and orange zest. An amalgamation of heritage and culture, Japas Cervejaria breaks the mold at the forefront of innovation in craft beer. Hit the button below to read their incredible story. Seriously, read this one!

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*Editor’s Note: These sections put together with recommendations from our team, those we know in the industry, and references from Jeff Alworth’s incredible Diverse Breweries database and Work For Your Beer’s 300+ WOMEN-OWNED BREWERIES TO SUPPORT (SORTED BY STATE)

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