18 Woman-Owned Breweries To Toast Women's History Month

The history of making beer is ancient, dating back thousands of years. In these early origins, the practice of brewing beer was done almost entirely by women. Viking civilizations and the ancient Egyptians put women in charge of brewing for religious rituals, and a nun, Hildegard von Bingen, famously introduced hops to the brewing process in Germany in the 1100s. Throughout the first half of the second millennium, fermentation was largely part of the household tasks performed by women, as brewing beer was an inexpensive way for working-class homes to have a high-calorie beverage.

Unfortunately, women in beer-making took a sharp decline during the Protestant Reformation, as the kettles that women sold their beer from at marketplaces were ignorantly mistaken for witches' cauldrons. Suddenly, brewing beer was drastically dangerous for women, and, in some places, brewing was made illegal for women.

This wiping out of women in brewing has lasted centuries since. Luckily, however, women around the United States and beyond have taken to the craft once again. While all of the large beer corporations are still owned and run by men, the booming craft beer scene has provided an avenue for women to take charge. So, in honor of this Women's History Month, here are some of the best woman-owned breweries you should know about and support.

The Alchemist

There may be no brewery in the craft beer industry more widely revered and celebrated than The Alchemist. The brewery was founded in the early 2000s by the husband and wife duo of Jon and Jen Kimmich, and it has since accumulated a kind of allure because of its famous Heady Topper IPA.

The main reason for Heady Topper's mystique, besides it being an exceptional beer, is that outside of Vermont, it is very difficult to find. Plus, on the off chance that a beer store near you does get a shipment in, you would be lucky if it doesn't sell out by the next day.

Heady Topper is the holy grail of craft beer, and it makes The Alchemist one of the best breweries in Vermont. It has a perfect score of 100 on Beer Advocate, and with over 15,000 ratings, that number is no embellishment of its quality. If you like IPAs and craft beer, trying Heady Topper is an absolute must. It may seem ridiculous, but making the trip to Vermont for a four-pack would be worth it, and you will not be alone in doing so.

Twin Elephant Brewing Company

Twin Elephant Brewing Company was started by two homebrewers without any prior professional experience. Scott McLuskery and Tim Besecker had been homebrewing as a side hobby for years before teaming up with Cindy DeRama, and the three founded what is now one of the best breweries in New Jersey.

Along with McLuskery and Besecker's technical prowess, DeRama brought mindfulness and a knack for recipe development to the operation. With a rotation of beers constantly evolving, this combination of skillsets is definitely working well. No matter how many times or how often you go to Twin Elephants, you are almost guaranteed to see something new on the menu every time you are there. Hazy IPAs dominate the menu, but other beers like sours, lagers, and porters, to name a few, are on tap in accordance with the seasons.

Rhythm Brewing Co

Rhythm Brewing Co is a brewery in New Haven Connecticut that opened in 2018 and was founded by Alisa Bowens-Mercado. As craft beer grew more and more popular and breweries continued to pop up all over, Bowens-Mercado noticed a lack of diversity in the beer she saw.

So, instead of loading her brewery tap list with IPAs, Bowens-Mercado has gone a different route, focusing on American-style lagers. This celebration of the craft lager is inspired by the simple, straightforward beers that would always be enjoyed at family gatherings. No complicated brewing techniques or exotic ingredients, just good old regular beers.

Rhythm's flagship beer is Rhythm Unfiltered Lager, brewed with South African hops. This beer is crisp and quenching with a slight bite on the finish the way a classic lager should be. The other beer brewed and canned at Rhythm is the Rhythm Blue, a light lager, which is an even more approachable craft beer. If you find going to breweries or craft beer in general, to be overwhelming, Rhythm is keeping things simple and timeless.

Raleigh Brewing Co

Raleigh Brewing Co was founded and is owned by Kristie Nystedt, who became the very first woman to own a brewery in North Carolina when it opened in 2013. Since its opening a decade ago, Raleigh Brewing Co has grown and expanded into three different locations, including the original in Raleigh, another in Cary, North Carolina, and the third inside the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Nystedt has made Raleigh Brewing Co a staple in North Carolina simply by brewing great beer, and it looks as though it will only expand further.

Raleigh Brewing Co is another brewery where you will have much more to choose from than just IPAs. Among the brewery's signature beers, which are available year-round, are a Scotch ale, a Belgian strong ale, and a Czech-style pilsner, to name a few. Current seasonal brews include a range of fruited sours to encourage the coming of warmer weather as well as an Imperial Stout to help drinkers keep warm during the final weeks of winter.

First Magnitude Brewing Company

First Magnitude Brewing Company is a brewery located in Gainesville, Florida that was founded in 2014 by Christine Dewey and three friends. The aim from the beginning was to not only brew great beer and share that beer with as many customers as possible but also to create space shared by artists to express themselves and showcase their creativity. The operation started out with just five beers. Now, First Magnitude brews over 100 different beers every single year.

The brewery was constructed as a conversion of an abandoned warehouse, which is now a hub for creativity and community engagement. The brewery hosts monthly art exhibitions, it is the first carbon-neutral brewery in the southeast, and it has raised over $60,000 for the Florida Springs Institute. First Magnitude has become an anchor in Gainesville and is worth supporting for reasons beyond its great quality and variety of beer. If you want to feel like a local, call it First Mag.

Eris Brewery and Cider House

What makes the craft beer scene so great is that people of all backgrounds and experiences can make it, regardless if that experience has anything to do with brewing or not. For Michelle Foik, her experience consisted of a decade and a half in the corporate business side of the beverage industry. Now, however, she is captaining the ship at Eris Brewery and Cider House in Chicago and is proving that no matter how successful you have been in the past or what your past has included, pursuing your passion is always possible.

Not only does this spot brew great beer and cider, but it also serves some excellent food for all diets, including vegan, pescatarian, and gluten-free. Eris Brewery and Cider House is a place where you can eat, drink, and be merry in the best way possible.

Beers currently on tap include one IPA, one double IPA, a pale lager, and a luscious, decadent espresso stout. These beers are even mixed with the lineup of ciders as specialty drinks, such as the blend of its Berrimint Cider and Citivia IPA, a bright and refreshing combination that is crushable and vibrant.

Speciation Artisan Ales

Speciation Artisan Ales started out in 2016 when it was founded by Whitney and Mitch Ermatinger. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Speciation takes pride in and takes advantage of its surrounding environment, utilizing its natural resources to make beer, cider, seltzer, and even wine. In regards to its beer, this brewery is keen on and experimental with fermentation and aging, which results in some very unique brews.

Some of these beers, under in the "Wild Beer" section of its menu, include a sour aged in ex-gin barrels, a foeder-aged sour, and a wild ale made with locally foraged grapes. More conventional beers on tap include an IPA, lager, and imperial stout, so if you are not into the funkiness of sours or aged beers, this spot still has you taken care of. Even if beer isn't your thing at all, not only can you enjoy a seltzer, but you can enjoy a range of seltzer smoothies, another Speciation favorite.

Giant Jones Brewing Company

Giant Jones is owned and operated by the spousal team of Erika and Jessica Jones, who opened up Giant Jones Brewing Company in 2018. Giant Jones prides itself on being a place you can feel comfortable and welcome, all the while with a great glass of beer in hand. Giant Jones wants its customers to enjoy its beer so much, in fact, that it actually strives to export 80% of the beer it makes, notes Our Lives Wisconsin, meaning to sell its beer to-go so customers can enjoy wherever they like.

The lineup of beers at Giant Jones is vast and diverse, and features beers categorized by country. American IPAs, Belgian Strong Ales, English-style IPAs and barleywines, and German altbiers and weizenbocks can all be found in this one tap room. If you like beer in any way, shape, or form, Giant Jones will have something familiar and new for you to sip on.

Slackers Brewing Co

Slackers Brewing Co started out as a simple idea for a bar for people's downtime, where customers can relax and enjoy a drink or two to just unwind and chill. In 2021, that idea finally came to fruition when Haley and Derek Law opened up their brewpub for the very first time. While craft beer was never originally part of the equation, Derek Law's discovery of home brewing and ensuing obsession became the fuel of the whole operation. Now, Slackers is serving up great beer and food in Austin, Texas.

The flagship beers are Slackers include two IPAs, a Belgian blonde, Kolsch, a nitro milk stout, and a very unique Ghost pepper porter. The beers cycled in on rotation include a black Kolsch, a peach blonde ale, and a strawberry-rhubarb cream ale, to name a few. Slackers is the perfect place to relax with so much beer to choose from, all of which will wind you down in no time.

Equity Brewing Co

Equity Brewing Co was founded and is co-run by the mother-daughter team of Suzzette and Hannah Grillot, who opened up the very first all-woman-owned brewery in the state of Oklahoma. The Grillots are passionate about turning the tide of industry conventions toward a more even playing field as well as using their craft to being people together. They are doing so exceptionally with their superb lineup of beer that is diverse and includes different styles for everyone type of beer drinker.

The names of Equity Brewing Co's beers champion these same ideals, such as its Solidarity Saison, The People's Porter, and the Collective Action Kolsch. Other beers include the Apres Vous Apricot Cream Ale, which is fermented with fresh apricot for a subtle sweetness, as well as the dangerously crushable Georgia Peach Pale Ale. Equity also teams up with other local organizations to do good work in the community, such as donating a percentage of a certain beer's sales to a charitable cause as part of the brewery's Taps for Humanity series.

Bow & Arrow Brewing Co

In 2013, Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay founded Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. Both were raised on Native reservations, Sheppard in North Dakota and Begay in the Navajo Nation, and they have both utilized their unique perspectives to develop and operate Bow & Arrow.

One way they are doing so is through the brewery's Native Land Beer Collaboration. 2023 is the second year Bow & Arrow announced the effort to celebrate Native American History Month with breweries across the country. Since it began in 2021, the Native Land Collaboration has raised over $90,000 for native non-profits and inspired the participation of nearly 50 breweries.

The brewery, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a lot else to offer. Everything from mixed-culture farmhouse ales to Mexican-style dark lagers is on the tap list. Bow & Arrow's signature brew, however, is the Denim Tux, an American-style pilsner made with New Mexican blue corn. It'd be difficult to find a more Southwest-inspired beer than that.

Novel Strand Brewing Co

Novel Strand Brewing Co is a Denver-based brewery that was founded in 2016 by Ayana Coker, Chantel Columna, and Tamir Danon. Opening up their own brewery had always seemed like a pipe dream, but when they finally decided to go for it, they made sure to do it without any bells and whistles. They simply wanted to make great beer, and that is what they are doing.

The tap list at Novel Strand is divided into classic-style beers, hoppy beers, and the always intriguing sour beers. The not-so-classic section includes beers like an open-fermented Dusseldorf-style Altbier made with carbon dioxide. The other beers on this menu are further testaments to the interesting coming together of unconventional simplicity, which is what makes this brewery so great in our opinion.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus

Speaking of German beer, Bierstadt Lagerhaus in Denver, Colorado is keeping the class of beer as traditional as possible in the best way possible. While there almost always comes a newer, better way to do things in the eventual future, the Reinheitsgebot of 1516 remains completely intact and practice for good reason.

Also known as the Purity Law, the Reinheitsgebot was ordered by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria and is the world's oldest known food regulation to this day. It orders that beer in Germany can only be made with water, yeast, malt, hops, and nothing else. For Ashleigh Carter and Bill Eye, they figured if it ain't broke, why fix it?

The philosophy behind Bierstadt Lagerhaus is simple. Brew beer in accordance with Purity Law and good things will happen. Beers here include a German-style pils, a Helles, or light lager, a Dunkel, or dark lager, a Vienna-style lager, and a traditional Kolsch. If you want a classic beer, nobody does it better than Germany, and Bierstadt Lagerhaus is making its beer's heritage proud.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales was founded and owned by Adair Paterno and Tim Clifford who opened up their brewery after years of learning about and tasting as much beer as they possibly could. The result is a truly unique brewery experience pushing the limits of mixed fermentation and barrel-aged brews. The philosophy beyond Sainte Adairius mostly comes from the traditional Belgian approach to brewing, which has been applied in tandem with a modern American one.

At this brewery, you can expect to find simple beers made in a nuanced way. Saisons aged in oak barrels, some with honey, others with fruit, mixed fermentation, or dry hops are just some of the extraordinary beers at Sante Adiarius. If you are ever in Santa Cruz County, stopping into this brewery will most definitely give you the chance to taste something you have never tasted before.

Second Chance Beer Co

The great beer at Second Chance Beer Co in San Diego, California is only half of the reason why this brewery is awesome and deserves support. The other is that it has raised over $257,000 for dog rescue organizations in its eight years of business. Owners and founders Virginia Morrison and Marty Mendiola are passionate about craft beer and helping forgotten dogs find new homes, so they started the "Seize a pint, Save a pup" program, which donates 1% of sales from two of its beers to animal rescue efforts. In 2022 alone, the program raised over $47,000.

As if helping dogs find the loving homes they deserve was not enough, the beer at Second Chance is just as admirable. A West Coast-style IPA, American lager, hazy IPA, fruited sour, amber ale, and a porter is all on the menu here, all of which are classic, straightforward brews that are simply a great addition to the amazing work this brewery does beyond them.

Three Weavers Brewing Company

Three Weavers Brewing Company was founded in 2013 by Lynn Weaver in Inglewood, California as an homage to Weaver's three daughters. The brewery and tap room include interior and exterior seating, a beer garden, and a patio and is the ultimate hang-out for Los Angeles breweries. As if the great beer was not enough, Three Weavers host a different Los Angeles-based food truck every single week.

At Three Weavers, you can expect the typical lineup of craft beers done very well. Hazy IPAs, West Coast IPAs, Imperial IPAs, sour ales, German-style lagers, and others are all on tap here. Three Weavers strives to be a focal point of togetherness in its community, and it knows no better way to do so than with great beer. Most of all, Three Weavers is passionate about upholding the high standards now in place in the craft beer scene, so any beer you try from here is guaranteed to be the best they have to offer.

Interboro Spirits and Ales

This Brooklyn-based brewery actually doubles as a distillery, the first of its kind in the New York City borough. Interboro Spirits and Ales was founded in 2016 by Laura Dierks and Jesse Ferguson, who wanted to open a business where patrons' options were never limited, a single location where anyone can come, hang out, and spend time together.

Despite operating as both a brewery and distillery, the tap list at Interboro is long and diverse. There are plenty of IPAs to choose from, stouts of different styles and alcohol content, sours, and simplistic lagers as well. There are also plenty of bottled beers available to go, including a variety of barrel-aged sours and stouts. If you are interested in the spirits side of the project, Interboro also offers canned cocktails to go, made with spirits distilled on-site such as Gin and Tonic, Negroni Spritzer made with the Goodwin Hill Gin, and a whiskey sour with a blend of its amaro and whiskey.

New Belgium Brewing

Belgium is a country with a rich and very distinct beer history and style, and New Belgium Brewing Company is somehow able to straddle the line between traditional and new. This is no simple task, but this brewery is well fit for adhering to the traditional brewing that inspired it as well as the innovation and modern waves that keep it going.

New Belgium was founded by Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch following a bike trip through the country of Belgium. Upon their return to Fort Collins, Colorado, they were eager to bring the incredible beers they enjoyed abroad to their hometown. So, they began home brewing and eventually opened the brewery in 1991.

The traditional style ales New Belgium was built on are still their signature brews. These include a Belgian Trippel, dark ale, and others, but its Fat Tire Amber Ale and Voodoo Ranger IPA series have become quite popular as well. New Belgium has become one of the largest craft beer brands in the industry for a reason, and its widespread availability is a testament to its quality.