International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day Unites Women in Male-Dominated Beer Industry

Monday 05th, March 2018 / 07:00
By Dayna Mahannah

VANCOUVER – March brings a new concept to brewing: collaboration. It may sound like an old philosophy, but it also may change the way you look at craft beer. International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day is exactly that: a chance for women to get together and make beer, whether brewing is a simple curiosity or a full-blown passion.

“I want to take some of the mystery out of this,” says Diana McKenzie. “I want it to be accessible to people.”

McKenzie is the co-owner of Callister Brewing, another innovative idea in the industry. Started in 2015 with her partner, Chris Lay, the small brewery is a “collaborative co-working space” which allows brewers to rent space for one year at a time to create and sell their product.

“It’s really the first of its kind in Canada,” McKenzie says. The concept was inspired by a commissary kitchen in Houston, Texas. Housing a small pilot system, home-brewers were invited to use the space and sell their beer in the cafe out front.

With a philosophy like this, Callister’s decision to host IWCBD is not out of character. The event itself began back in 2014 with the idea of bringing women together on a global scale and de-stigmatizing their prominence in a male-dominated industry. Unfortunately, sexism in the workplace has not evolved into oblivion.

“It’s there,” McKenzie nods. “One of my goals is to get women connected with like-minded people. Part of the battle is building a community – it’s connecting people with other people who are having the same challenges.”

The event will take place within Callister Brewing, with McKenzie guiding the group through a user-friendly tutorial on brewing from start to finish.

“I will be talking about what’s happening and why,” she says. “It’ll be more about networking and learning… sort of an introduction.” McKenzie will also cover home-brewing and other community-minded options, like VanBrewers. Of course, there will be time at the end of the day for a cheeky pint.

The 2018 IWCBD theme is the ambiguous “Unite Exotic.” For McKenzie, this means a spin on a Belgian Golden Strong Ale – the recipe will include coriander, ginger, and grains of paradise.

For those who have ever wanted to demystify beer, the IWCBD at Callister Brewing is a solid initiation point.

“Let’s make it a positive stepping stone for getting into beer.”

Cheers to that.

Callister Brewing is located at 1338 Franklin Street. International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day is held on March 11 from 11-5pm. Register at Space is limited.

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