If You Go
What: Inaugural Boulder Barley's Angels meeting
When: 7 p.m, Wednesday
Where: Sanitas Brewing Co., 3550 Frontier Ave., Boulder
Info: To register, visit barleysangelscolorado.com
Wine is often seen as the alcoholic beverage choice of women while beer-drinking is regularly sold as the more masculine endeavor.
But Deborah Cameron, a Frederick resident who has become a big fan of the burgeoning craft brewing scene in Boulder County, said it doesn't have to be that way.
"Women don't always think they like craft beer — they think it's for their boyfriends or husbands," she said. "Wine does a great job of marketing to women and pairing itself with food. We want to create an environment where women feel comfortable experimenting with craft beer."
To that end, Cameron has launched a local chapter of Barley's Angels, a Portland, Ore.-based organization with the goal "to advance the female consumer craft beer enthusiast." She has scheduled the chapter's inaugural get-together today in Denver at the Wynkoop Brewing Co. followed by the first Boulder rendezvous at Sanitas Brewing Co. on Wednesday.
Cameron said this week's meetings will feature food and beer pairings. In the case of the Boulder event, John Scaggs of Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese will lead a beer pairing class featuring Sanitas varieties. The women will get four 4-ounce beer tasters and a cheese plate.
The event at Sanitas starts at 7 p.m. and costs $15. Registration is available at barleysangelscolorado.com.
"There's a lot of thought put into these meetings - they are educational and high quality," said Cameron, who plans to schedule more get-togethers at various breweries in Denver and Boulder during the last week of the month.
Michael Memsic, co-founder of Sanitas, said he will meet with folks from Haystack before Wednesday to ensure they can put together a series of interesting beer and cheese pairings for the Barley's Angels group.
"The flavor profiles of beer are so much more extensive than wine and there are so many more options for what you can do with it," he said.
Memsic said the meeting is a good idea because microbrew presentations often reel in beer geeks or home brewers who are more interested in the technical aspects of beer-making than the nuances of flavor and the overall presentation of beer in a social setting.
"It gives us the opportunity to familiarize women with our beer on a first-hand basis in as non-intimidating a way as possible," Memsic said. "This is a demographic that wants that education and that experience but wants to do it in a comfortable atmosphere."
Barley's Angels Executive Director Christine Jump said her organization, which launched in 2011 and now has 62 chapters in six countries, is all about providing comfort to women during the beer-sampling experience.
Jump said she's not aware of any one particular type of beer - saisons, IPAs, stouts - that appeal more to women than men. But she said she grew tired of the mass market beverage industry pushing lighter, fruitier beers to women when the microbrew scene has such an extensive and interesting variety of flavors - from bitter to sour to sweet.
"You can get a fine craft beer to put on a white tablecloth with a fine meal," she said. "There are hundreds of different styles and there is something in there for everyone. Give me a full-bodied beer with a complex character."
Julia Herz, a spokeswoman for the Boulder-based Brewers Association, cited a July 2010 Gallup poll that found that the percentage of women who said they prefer beer over wine or liquor is 27 percent, up from 6 percent the year before.
She said there are already established women's tasting groups in Boulder County at Left Hand Brewing Co. and Oskar Blues but there is always room for more.
"It's part of a larger trend," Herz said. "Craft beer is helping bring women back to the beverage of beer."
Contact Camera Staff Writer John Aguilar at 303-473-1389 or firstname.lastname@example.org