|We are starting a new series of interviews on Sans Pareil: Interesting Women we interview. This is a space where we will (starting with New Zealand) interesting women from an array of settings across the country. |
I came across the Beer Baroness through another amazing women I know (Alix McEntegart owner of Cupid bar) and was instantly enthusiastic to feature her. A woman beer brewer is rare in such a male dominated industry, not to mention one with such a cool product!
1. Love your name, 'The Beer Baroness'! How did you think of it/ where does it come from?
It was a bit of a joke by my sister. I was such a beer nerd at the time that she nicknamed me it and it stuck. When I started the brewery it made sense at the time! Now, its a little different as there's more of us.
2. Tell us a bit about your business. What's the background, how did you get started?
I started Beer Baroness 10 years ago. I run my families pub, Pomeroys and we commissioned a brewery on site so it was a ‘why not’ moment. At the time, I wanted to learn even more about beer and decided starting my own brand was the perfect way to learn. It then continued as a wee side project for 5 or so years as the main focus has always been the pub however when Andi came onboard with me, it started to get a little more serious as she had the time to commit to it. Now its very much a full time operation.
3. What inspired you to take your interest in beer to the next level?
I just really loved beer and it made perfect sense to try and create a brand that could reap the rewards of my passions!
4. It's rare (and awesome!) to see women in the beer industry. What do you think you bring as a woman that's unique to a male dominated industry?
Thankfully, its not as rare as it used to be! The industry is growing and with that, a lot more amazing women within it. I think women bring exceptional palates and as we’re a minority, a hunger to push boundaries / stereotypes and produce bloody great beer.
5. What difficulties do you encounter because you're a woman in this industry?
There's sometimes the vibe that a man could do it better or at least expects themselves to be able to do it better but I think we’re lucky in NZ as the industry is pretty small and caring. There's still a way to go however its nice to see breweries looking to their codes of conduct and ensuring all workplaces are inclusive and equal opportunity.
6. Are there any other women in the industry you look up to? Any businesses we should check out?
Tracy Banner is an icon in our industry. I have always looked up to and loved Jayne Lewis from Two Birds. But honestly, any woman in the industry giving it a go is a legend to me.
7. If you weren't running your business, what would you like to be doing? What are your interests, outside of beer?
I’m a mama to 3 little humans and as a result my focus and passions is definitely in that world at the moment. I would love to one day look at birth education as well as anything in women’s hormonal health. I am lucky though as with the pub and cafe, I get a beautiful amount of variation in my role.
8. Can you recommend a good beer for our readers? Is there a particular food you would pair it with?
Drink seasonally! Look for beers that breweries are just releasing. Pair good beer with good company. If you’re enjoying well made beer with beautiful food then you can’t go wrong.
Make sure to check her out on Instagram and try it yourself anywhere craft beer is sold (in New Zealand).