Harsha Maragh, left, and her husband Jesse Brown own Wah Gwaan Brewing Co., which opens in Denver on June 19 (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
A recent settlement of sexual harassment in the American craft beer scene is causing shock waves across the country – including here in Colorado.
Women from all areas of the industry have come together in solidarity to exchange their experiences and propose possible solutions. One way drinkers can help is by supporting female-owned beer companies, like the 10 listed below.
RELATED: Women in Colorado’s Craft Beer Industry Take a Stand Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Here’s a toast to the ladies of the local beer.
Daring Beer Co.
At this Colorado Springs facility, it all starts with the name. The word atrevida means a brave or brave woman in Spanish, said founder and brewer Jess Fierro, who uses her Latin heritage to infuse every brew.
Drink this: Fierro recommends Fantasma Del Sol, a medium-bodied Belgian ale made with hibiscus and honey and a stunning red color.
204 Mt. View Lane, Suite 3, Colorado Springs. atrevidabeerco.com
The Slow Pour Pils is a staple in the Bierstadt Lagerhaus. (Photo by Andy Cross, The Denver Post)
Bierstadt chief brewer and co-owner Ashleigh Carter has specialized in the meticulous art of storage for almost a decade. Their precision is shown in this RiNo hotspot, which opened in 2016 and creates exclusively crisp German styles.
Drink this: Carter recommends you come for the slow pour pils and stay for the light.
2875 Blake St., Denver. bierstadtlager.com
Special educator Tiffany Fixter opened the Brewability Lab in 2016 to hire and oversee Coloradans of all abilities. Customers order beers according to the colors assigned to them on the menu and the tap handles are equipped with Braille for employees with visual impairments, to name just a few of the special features of the brewery.
Drink this: Fixter recommends the Red, a light blonde ale that is fermented on fresh strawberries and has a hint of sweetness.
3445 S Broadway, Englewood. brew-ability.com
Burns Family Artisan Aless
Big, boisterous beers are all the rage at this brewery, courtesy of brewery partners Laura Worley and Wayne Burns. Expect a variety of options that are 10% and above alcohol, including barrel-aged models in bottles for take-away, as well as more session styles on tap.
Drink this: Worley recommends NP Pils, a gold medalist at the Great American Beer Festival 1999, which she describes as “pure refreshment”.
2505 W 2nd Avenue, # 13, Denver. burnsalesdenver.com
Sister and brother Laura and Christopher Bruns share the stage and their brew kettle with a changing cast of guest brewers in the Factotum. About 40% of the beers available at any given time are made in partnership with a brewing partner, Laura said, adding that no style is prohibited.
Drink this: Laura recommends the Big Don Imperial Kentucky Common, a gentle sip that she says is tough.
3845 Lipan St., Denver. factotumbrewhouse.com
Goldspot Brewing Co.
This brewery off Tennyson Street is proudly queer owned. Owner Kelissa Hieber, who started out as a bartender at Goldspot, took over sole ownership in February and has set herself the goal of building a truly inclusive brewery that brings underrepresented communities into the craft beer scene.
Drink this: Hieber recommends the Pon de Floor Pina Colada Pale Ale, which was brewed in collaboration with the Wah Gwaan Brewery. The proceeds will go to the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network.
4970 Lowell Blvd., Denver. goldspotbrewing.com
Karen Hertz is the founder of Holidayily Brewing Co. in Golden. (Photo by Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post)
Holidayily Brewing Co.
After Karen Hertz was diagnosed with melanoma, thyroid cancer, and autoimmune thyroid disease in 2008, her doctors advised her not to consume gluten. This led to Hertz, who was then working at Coors Brewing Co., founding Holidaily Brewing Co. in 2016, which specializes in gluten-free beers made with alternative grains such as millet and buckwheat.
Drink this: Hertz recommends the Only Prettier Pomegranate Blonde Ale, a fruity riff from its flagship Blonde Ale, which will hit the taproom on June 24th.
801 brick circle, golden. Urlaubbrauerei.com
Lady Justice Brewing Co.
Almost every beer Lady Justice releases gives back to organizations that support women, and in 2021 the brewery has raised more than $ 11,000 for nonprofits to date. Although founders Betsy Lay, Kate Power and Jen Cuesta have been bringing out beers since 2016, their taproom in Aurora is only a year old, which makes this summer the perfect time to visit.
Drink this: Lay recommends the flagship Liberty Lager, which is described as bright, crisp, and refreshing.
9735 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora. ladyjusticebrewing.com
Novel Strand Brewing Co.
Co-owners Chantel Columna, Ayana Coker and Tamir Danon opened Novel Strand in Denver’s Baker neighborhood in 2018. The space is a café during the day (run by different owners) and a brewery during happy hour with a rotating selection of barrel and can options and a specialization in hop-forward styles.
Drink this: Columna recommends Popular Demand, a sitting cellar pilsner lager brewed with Riwaka hops from New Zealand.
305 W 1st Avenue, Denver. romanstrand.com
Wah Gwaan Brewing Co.
Harsha Maragh founded the Wah Gwaan Brewery with her husband Jesse Brown, which opened on June 19, to combine their passion for local craft beer with their Indo-Jamaican heritage. Maragh wanted to bring the warm and friendly vibe of her immigrant neighborhood, which grew up in the Bronx, to a common space in Denver stocked with tropical beers and Jamaican food trucks.
Drink this: Maragh recommends Washbelly, a sweet and sour pomegranate and wheat ale called on Jamaican patios – “washbelly” is an affectionate term for the youngest child in a family.
925 W. 8th Avenue, Denver. wahgwaanbrewingco.com
Josie Sexton contributed to this story.
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