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Girl Power

In the world of craft beer, trends come and go. But while the industry flirts with triple IPAs and ghost chile beers, another movement appears to have staying power: More women are entering the industry. In Colorado brewing circles, the best-known female is Kim Jordan, co-founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins.

When, 22 years ago, she and her husband started the brewery, Jordan couldn’t have known that she was breaking ground for more gender equity. Today, women have become involved in all levels of the state’s booming industry—there’s even a collaboration beer, called “Ellegance,” made by local female brewers. A look at Denver beer’s feminine side.

Ashleigh Carter
Prost Brewing Company
Most folks aren’t used to seeing a woman clean out fermentation tanks or throw around 50-pound bags of grain—but that’s just part of the job for brewer Ashleigh Carter. “Some people look at me like I should be pouring them a beer. I can’t do that, but I can take them on a tour and tell them how we make beer.”

Anna Nadasdy
Great Divide Brewing Company
As the craft beer industry grows, more job opportunities open up. Anna Nadasdy, director of Great Divide’s sales and marketing, says it’s a joy to see more women getting involved in beer. “We’re not at parity yet, but it’s definitely great to see the transformation occur.”

Laura Vande Zande
Renegade Brewing Company
Taproom manager Laura Vande Zande partly attributes the rise of women to the evolution of craft brew. “[Beer] was about football games and drinking a Bud out of the back of the truck,” she says. “Now, it’s a 10-ounce pour of something rich and flavorful—it’s become more sophisticated.”

Carissa Miller
Black Shirt Brewing Company
Carissa Miller helped launch the River North neighborhood brewery—and she designed the interior, worked on beer recipes, and balanced the books. She also does nearly every job on site, from helping clean tanks to serving pints. “It’s important for me to keep my thumb on the pulse and be involved in the brewery and the delivery of our craft.”


All Praise the Colorado Beer Goddesses
In late February, eight beer-loving women rallied around a single mission: to create the first-ever all-female-brewed collaboration beer in Colorado. Named Ellegance, this Belgian-style brown ale (which was made at Wynkoop Brewing Company) became the official collaborative brew of March’s Colorado Craft Beer Week. Quaff a pint at the Wynkoop, Ale House at Amato’s, Star Bar, or the Denver Bicycle Cafe.

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Girl Power

This weekend, two events will lend a new meaning to “girls night out.” Three different groups will be represented at two all-female music events; it seems that Denver gals are banding together to put their girl power to good use.

Two Denver DJ collectives (a collective is a group of like-minded DJs who co-promote and perform together) of all-female DJs are hooking up for “Deck the Halls” at the Foxhole at 2936 Fox St. on Saturday. Three members of the Angelic DJ collective and seven members of Sister Mile High will all hit the decks, and the show will benefit Toys for Tots — just bring a new unwrapped toy for admission or pay the $5 cover charge. Each DJ has a different personal style, so expect everything from hard house to funky breaks and serious jungle beats throughout the night; with ten women spinning, you can plan on plenty of quick changes and sound switchups to keep the dance floor packed with fresh grooves.

If your style tends more toward the singer-songwriter type of music, head down to Benders Tavern (314 E. 13th) on Saturday night instead. A mini LILT festival is taking place that night — LILT is a summertime music festival that promotes all female artists, with a tendency toward acoustic rock flavors. Saturday’s lineup includes Mary Beth Abella, once a popular fixture on the local Denver scene who hit the road over a year ago to tour and try her luck as a full time performer. She’s just off the Seattle ROCKRGRL magazine festival, and will be on the move once again after Saturday’s performance. Joining her Saturday is rock songstress Melissa Ivey, plus Melanie Susuras and Jen Korte. Grab your $8 ticket at the door.

Whichever way your tastes lean, it’s a great weekend to go out and support the talented women in Denver’s local music scene.