I have made no secret of my long love affair with beer. Since my first sip from my dad’s can of Bud-heavy as a child to my first [legal] sip of Tucson’s Nimbus Nut Brown in ’98… beer and me? We go waaaay back.
I started this humble little website in 2009, and a few doors started opening for me as Momma Needs a Beer slowly morphed from a parenting blog into… well… sing it with me: it’s all about that beer, ’bout that beer, no babies. Ok, ok, so I still talk about my babies on occasion. It’s my space — whateva — I do what I want.
Local brewers and bartenders are not only fellow craft beer lovers, but some are parents themselves, and can relate to my words; they know I’m not just writing for the sake of that so-called “free beer” — I actually enjoy talking about beer, the people behind the beer, learning about the craft, and wrapping my brain around the process. And, maybe the biggest shockers of all, I enjoy hanging out with people who can kick back and celebrate with a craft beer in hand.
This wonderful world of craft beer has led to many opportunities that didn’t exist a few years ago. I love that.
Less than a year ago, I was introduced to a new Women’s Craft Collective here in Michigan: Fermenta. Check it out, whether you’re in Michigan or not, even if you’re not female. It’s pretty badass. Michigan, as a whole, favors collaboration over competition. A concept that has trickled down into this new female-empowered-collective — which I am geeked about.
I recently had the opportunity to brew 2 beers [out of 20 total Fermenta brews] for the upcoming Michigan Winter Beer Fest. Brewmasters Manda Geiger at Pike 51 in Hudsonville and Ed DeGalan at Our Brewing in Holland did a fantastic job walking us through the brewing process. Some of us had experience with home-brewing, a few were brewers at other breweries, others had never brewed a day in our lives. It didn’t matter. We were in it together. We boiled the water, stirred the mash, sanitized and cleaned the tanks, dropped in ingredients like barley, malt, hops, oats, chocolate, caramel, salt, etc! We got our hands dirty, talked dirty, (ok, so maybe that was mostly me) broke a sweat, and damn, it felt good to be a brewster.
Hey, if you’re a woman in Michigan, you can sign up to be a member of Fermenta here!