How the other half lives and brews

Brewery |

How the other half lives and brews
You might be forgiven for thinking that brewing was a male dominated affair but on Wednesday March 8th - International Women’s Day - we will be proving there are plenty of ladies out there doing great things in the brewing business and inviting everyone along to taste the evidence!

As part of a special day to celebrate the growing role women are playing in the world of brewing, two separate events will allow visitors to find out more about their beer, sample them and match them with different foods. The first event kicks off at midday in the award-winning Brewery Visitor Centre, where visitors will be able to sample a wide range of new beers crafted by women, known from medieval times as ‘brewsters’.

Alongside a Berliner Weisse produced by Kim Buckenauer, there will be beers to try out from brewsters from Marston's, Skinner's, Woodforde’sJoseph Holt and Fuller's amongst others.

Kim will be at hand to talk about her work along with her female colleagues from the Brewing team, Sam Cornelius - Bottling Team Leader, Sam Elmer – Bottling Operator and Bryony Smeath – Laboratory Technician.

If that weren’t enough, St Austell’s Julie McFeat, one of a very few female beer sommeliers in the UK (and the country’s only granny sommelier!), will be on hand to give a tutored guide to beer appreciation and food matching. Refreshments will be available for a donation to the Brewery’s Charitable Trust and a tour of the interactive Brewing Experience will also form part of the day’s entertainment.

Meanwhile, in the evening, a special ticket-only event will be led by Toni Ryman, Brewing Team Office Manager and trainee beer sommelier including beer tasting and beer tapas in the Visitor  Centre with all proceeds going to the Charitable Trust.

The tradition of women and brewing actually goes back to the earliest of days, with the first written evidence of ale production being a Babylonian poem written to honour the goddess of fertility (and beer), Ninkasi. In ancient Egyptian times, beer was almost entirely brewed by women while a German nun actually discovered that putting yeast into beer would increase its shelf-life, giving rise to large scale commercial brewing.

In 2011, Project Venus was conceived by Grantham brewster Sara Barton, designed to celebrate the rising number of females in the brewing industry. Since that time, a number of collaborative ales have been produced through the project and today, hundreds of brewsters are working in the industry at all levels, crafting new beer styles and breweries from scratch.

Come along to St Austell Brewery on March 8th to help us celebrate the nation’s fine tradition of brewsters, try some of their delicious beers and help raise money for charity at the same time. For more information and to book your seat at the daytime event, from 12pm-2pm, please email Lorella Jacinto on but book early as places are limited and strictly on a first come, first served basis.

For information about the evening ticketed event (£20 per person with proceeds going to the Brewery's Charitable Trust), starting at 7pm, please contact Toni Ryman to book your place Again, numbers are limited so early booking is advisable.

Beers to sample on the day include:

Kim Buckenauer – Shift Brewer, St Austell Brewery – CORNISH TIERGARTEN Berliner Weisse

Jane Kershaw, Marketing Manager/ Brewer Joseph Holt Ltd.  – HUMDINGER Golden Ale

Paola Leather, Head Brewer, Skinner’sLUSHINGTON Pale Ale

Belinda Jennings, Head Brewer, Woodforde’s LtdREEDLIGHTER American Pale Ale

Emma Gilliland, Brewing Director, Marston'sFREE FALL Farmhouse Saison

George Young, Head Brewer, Fuller's - WILD RIVER Double-hopped Pale Ale & BENGAL LANCER India Pale Ale