Women step in to brew at Ore Dock

Women step in to brew at Ore Dock

MARQUETTE — Women gathered here at the Ore Dock Brewing Company Tuesday to take part in brewing a Berliner Weisse, called the Sour of Equality.

It will debut later this month at the 10th Annual Michigan Brewer’s Guild Winter Beerfest in Grand Rapids.

“I got to choose the beer,” said Anjila Holland, Associate General Manager at Ore Dock, “which I usually don’t have insight on what we’re brewing. That’s up to the boys and Nick, our brewmaster, but I got to pick the beer today, which will be a Berliner Weisse. It’s my favorite style. It also lends to a two-day brew day to allow more women to come in and help us.”

Started downstate, Fermenta includes those in the craft beer, cider and mead industries.

And you don’t have to be a professional brewer to join in on the experience.

“I have experience making my own beer at home through a hand-me-down system of buckets and carboy that I got from my father,” said Hilary Bloch, a home brewer and craft beer enthusiast. “It’s like a little city down here with all of the pumps and the tubes taking things from different kettles to tanks.”

For a long time brewing has been considered a labor intense, man’s job, and one of Fermenta’s primary goals is to make the industry more inclusive.

“I think it’s wonderful that women are getting so involved in craft beer,” Bloch said. “Most of my girlfriends love to drink craft beer and come and ask me to hang out and watch how I do it at home. It’s really important for women to come out and be a part of this because it isn’t just a boys club anymore.”

“It helps break up that stigma that it’s just a man’s job, and men drink beer and women drink the wine,” Holland said. “We even get some people coming in here that don’t like to drink out of a stem glass because they say it’s a woman’s glass and that really, really irks me when people say that because this whole industry is about community coming together, working together, men and women.”

The brew day continues Wednesday at noon when the Sour of Equality is transferred to the fermenter.