BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The craft brewing industry is booming in Buffalo. But in a field traditionally dominated by men, a local group of women is working to change the face of brewers in western New York.
“It’s a group of women who love beer, I guess, at its heart,” said Tracey Maciejewski, of Wheatfield. She’s treasurer of the Buffalo Beer Goddesses, who raise money to pay for scholarships to send women through brewing education.
What started as a few get togethers likely no bigger than a few women, has grown into movement that could change the face of western New York’s exploding craft brewing industry.
“It was very grassroots, very small,” Maciejewski said. “Do you like beer? Are you in a woman in the beer industry? Here’s a place for you. Now it’s much, much bigger than that.”
“The group includes everyone from people who are just figuring out their palates, to avid homebrewers, to people who are doing their 9 to 5 working in the brewery world,” said Parrish Gibbons Herzog, of Lockport, a founding member, Buffalo Beer Goddesses.
These women aren’t just gathering to promote the love of great brews, but they support the craft industry locally, and promote the growth that’s been happening for years.
“I think at our core, we want to promote local,” Maciejewski.
Jeannie Alexander started as a homebrewer. She’s now on the payroll as a brewer for Community Beer Works.
“Craft beer, even in the last four years, has seen this gigantic renaissance,” Alexander said. “It’s shocking that we’re in the 21st century and there’s still this huge segregation.”
But, she says, a lot of that is changing thanks to the mantra of craft beer.
“Most of the breweries that I know of are openly trying to go for people that don’t fit the typical craft beer demographic,” she said. “Most of the breweries that I know of are openly trying to go for people that don’t fit the typical craft beer demographic.”
The Buffalo Beer Goddesses will host a monthly guest chef and craft brew event at Hydraulic Hearth. The first takes place at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 29. The cost is $65, and includes a three-course meal and three paired beers. Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information.