Tonight: Lady Birds Beer Club

Thanks to local Allagash sales rep and former beer journalist Suzy Woods, Philadelphia was one of the first cities in the world to host its own women-in-beer group, which invited women to hang out and learn about beer in a social, female-only environment.

But the group has been mostly quiet for a few years, choosing to host twice-annual coed gatherings for the time being instead of its regular meet-ups of yore. A national women-in-beer organization tried to form a chapter here, but its efforts largely failed. Active groups exist in the western and eastern suburbs, and Victory runs an occasional Girls Just Wanna Have Suds series but the city itself has recently lacked any substantive focal point for beer-loving women.

Until now.

It’s welcome news to this community that Yards is launching its own group for women tonight, called Lady Birds Beer Club. The Lady Birds will meet from 5-7pm, the first Wednesday of every month for educational and non-educational events like sensory demos, cooking-with-beer classes, knitting lessons, blackjack strategy and clothing swaps, plus the obligatory but fun yoga sessions in the brewhouse. Events are PAYGO, with attendees’ first beer of the night on the house. Men are welcome, “as long as they appreciate great beer and great women,” reads Yards’ website. No reservations needed.

Tonight the group is releasing Unite Red Ale, a beer that was brewed according to the same recipe by teams of women all over the world on International Women’s Day. In true craft beer collaborative style, Yards brewers worked with two current and former scientists at Victory to brew its version of Unite this year, and Victory is helping to promote the Lady Birds on its website. (Fun fact: Whitney Thompson, one of the Unite collaborators, contributed to the very first known all-female collaboration beer, which spawned the annual international brew day, several years ago.)

The area’s breweries sorely lack women in ownership or lead brewing roles, save for Rosemarie Certo of Dock Street; Christina Burris, who co-owns St. Benjamin’s; Jamie Queli, co-owner of Forgotten Boardwalk, and a very few others. There is, however, a strong core of female sales reps who socialize together and plan the bi-annual women’s get togethers, and Home Sweet Homebrew co-owner Nancy Rigberg has been hosting the Ladies Beer Tea during Philly Beer Week for years.

After tonight, the next big women’s event is the Sweets & Treats with the Master’s Baker at Victory on April 14.

Lady Bird Beer Club [Facebook]