International Women’s Day – Compassion in a Turbulent World
This year, International Women’s Day falls today, Monday 8th March. We also celebrate International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD).
While most of us will know the first day, many of us will not have heard of the second.
Which makes it all the more fascinating to share with you what IWCBD is all about.
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day highlights women in the brewing industry. Brewing the same craft beer recipe across the globe, it’s a chance for women to network and learn together.
This year the IWCBD theme is compassion. Rather apt for the turbulent year we have all experienced.
In common with many countries, we have been in lockdown since the beginning of the year. For us here in the UK, today signals the gradual start back to some semblance of normality. Children are going back to school. It feels good to focus on the future.
Usually, we’d take ourselves off to the pub for a pint of beer, or a glass of wine to celebrate. But, this year our socialising is a drink at home, unable to spend time with friends and family.
Women Brewers in Cornwall
It’s easy to overlook the contribution of women to the brewing industry. We tend to think of it as a man’s world. So let’s take a look at women brewing here in Cornwall.
One of the largest companies, St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales, employs many women within its organisation. Not least, Georgina Young. Georgina was promoted to Brewing Director last year. A significant role within the company.
It’s clear Georgina knows her stuff and brings all her experience to her new role. It takes effort to rise to the top in a traditional, corporate environment.
St Austell Brewery Championing Women
Yet, St Austell Brewery is well known as a company promoting women. 1916 saw Hester Parnall as doyenne of the company; could Hester have set the tone for the coming century?
By all accounts, she was a formidable lady, but history also tells us that women brewed beer in the home. Centuries earlier, baking for her family, she would brew beer at the same time. Beer was safer to drink than water in those days!
Passion at Driftwood Spars
Let me introduce you to another prominent lady brewer, Louise Treseder. Louise is the owner of Driftwood Spars in St Agnes.
The story of Drifty, as the locals call it, sums up the passion to be found in this small, seaside village on the north coast of Cornwall.
Brewing beer has been particularly stressful for the team this past 12 months. Louise remains upbeat despite losing their chief brewer, Peter Martin and lockdown’s galore.
Focus is on their Crowdfunding efforts to fund a 70 litre Pilot Brew Kit. This means they will be able to bring you a greater range of craft beers, flexibility to create bespoke beers, and experiment with British ingredients.
Exciting times for the beer industry as a whole, across the County.
So, tonight when you raise your glass of beer, spare a thought for all our lady brewers. And give a cheer for the new flavours and tastes we can look forward to this coming summer.
Here’s to the successful rollout of our route out of lockdown!
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