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"Women are underrepresented in the beer industry, so while the celebration and education may look a little different this year, our mission to empower women never stops.”

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Beer of the Woman!

This week, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we have a guest blogger: Marketing Associate Casey McBride!

Have you heard?! March 8th is International Women’s Day! In its honor, the women of Cape May Brewing Company have brewed yet another beer to celebrate women’s extraordinary accomplishments in brewing and beyond: Beer of the Woman!

Brewed with peaches, apricots, and the tropical, citrusy Pink Boots Society Hop Blend, there’s no better way to celebrate the Year of the Woman than with this easy-drinking Belgian-style Blonde Ale, available Friday, only in the Tasting Room.

And we’ll be kicking off Beer of the Woman this weekend with a fundraiser this Friday, where we’ll be donating $1 from each pint sold to the Pink Boots Society. You won’t want to miss it!

For the past two years, the women of the brewery and Cape Beverage have designed and brewed two beers: Maybe She’s Brewed with It in 2019 and She the People in 2020. They usually start by deciding on the flavor profile before spending a day brewing the beer together, followed by a luncheon to hear from inspiring female guest speakers who focus on the importance of empowering women.

Unfortunately, getting together in-person to collaborate on this beer just wasn’t realistic. But with some adjustments, not even the ongoing pandemic could stop us from brewing a great beer and celebrating the women of the brewery for the third year in a row!

“Even though there is a pandemic going on, our work to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality is never over,” says Social Media and Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg. “We brew this beer and hold these events every year to bring people together. Women are underrepresented in the beer industry, so while the celebration and education may look a little different this year, our mission to empower women never stops.”

After input from the women in the company, we decided Beer of the Woman would be a Belgian-style blonde ale brewed with peaches, apricots, and the tropical, citrusy Pink Boots Society Hop Blend.

“I was extremely excited for the final choice of a fruited and dry-hopped Belgian Blonde, as I’m a big fan of the blonde style,” says Brewer Emily Siddall. “Add in a little apricot and peach mixed with the flavors picked up from our yeast, as well as the Pink Boots hop blend, and you’ve got a delicious, easy-drinking brew that I can’t wait to enjoy.”

But to some, as with any collaboration, there are bound to be sacrifices made. Lab Manager Lauren Appleman was hoping to see something less stereotypically female.

“I think there is this stigma that the only kind of beer that women like is something fruity, and the past three years we have done this, it has been a beer with some sort of fruit in it,” Lauren explains.

But despite her early doubts, Lauren came around to this Belgian-style blonde ale.

“I actually really like the subtlety of this beer,” she says. “The fruit is not overpowering, just enough to know that it is there, and the hops round out the beer very nicely. At 5.5%, this is highly drinkable.”

But Lauren is right: the women of Cape May Brewing Company do love fruity beers, and this year is no different.

“The hop blend we used this year is made of Cashmere, Ahtanum, Citra, Loral, and Sabro,” Lauren says. “This blend has a lot of tropical and citrus notes along with some herbal and woody notes.”

When it came to the malt bill, Emily says they kept it nice and simple.

“The idea is to have a ‘blank canvas’ to allow the unique flavors of the yeast really shine through,” she says. “We used almost 100% Pilsner malt, with a little bit of Acidulated malt to help us reach our target pH in the mash.”

For the yeast, they went with the Forbidden Fruit from Wyeast, which you’ll find in our year-round go-tos, Devil’s Reach and Cape May White!

But the process was a little different for Beer of the Woman.

“It is the same yeast that we use in Cape May White, but we were able to pull some different flavors and aromas from the yeast by changing the fermentation parameters,” Lauren explains. “We fermented this beer a little bit cooler than what we do for White, and that helped suppress some of the fruity esters we usually see in the White. The decreased ester profile allows the fruit and dry hop to show through a little bit more.”

Lauren gives a big shoutout to Warehouse Manager Polly Pollock-Bell, who assisted in the brewing and vlogged the entire process to share with the rest of the company.

“This may have been the first year that we have actually done a dry hop on the International Women’s Day beer. Big shoutout to Polly for doing that dry hop!”

While the women of Cape May Brewing Company look forward to the brew day every year, this is Emily’s first International Women’s Day with the brewery so we were curious to learn how she felt about the experience.

“From the beginning of this process, I’ve been very excited to collaborate with my female coworkers on producing a beer that we would all enjoy and be proud of,” Emily says. “This whole experience has made me even happier to be a part of a team that celebrates the women who make up a part of that team.”

As a woman on the team, I can say we are so happy to have Emily as part of the team, and we are so, so proud of this beer and everything it stands for.

While the brewing process looked a little different this year, we still think there’s no better way to celebrate 2021: Year of the Woman than with a cold Beer of the Woman! So, stop by the Tasting Room on Friday to join in on the celebration and participate in the first Fundraiser Friday of the year. We’ll be donating $1 from each pint sold that day to the Pink Boots Society, an organization created to assist, inspire, and encourage women professionals in the alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education. They also support their members by advancing their beer careers through scholarships and educational opportunities.

We’ll also have beer tasting suggestions from the women of Cape May Brewing Company and Cape Beverage while you rock out to a specially selected playlist, curated by the women of our companies. It’s going to be a great day!

Once you’ve tried the beer, check the blog next week for a recap of our International Women’s Day celebration with the women of Cape May Brewing Company and Cape Beverage! We’ll be recapping our beer tasting with Emily, Polly’s vlogging debut, and an empowering conversation with Julia Herz, CEO and Director of HerzMuses and former Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association.

Beer of the Woman will be available starting at noon on Friday, March 5, only in the Tasting Room. So grab a pint or a 4-pack and cheers to the women in your life! They deserve it.