The craft beer industry has grown substantially since the 1980s, with over 3,132 microbreweries opening across the United States (The Brewers Association). Of those thousands of breweries, less than ten percent of them have women brewers. Women working in the craft beer industry are a minority in comparison to men. Through my research I examine women working in the brewing industry and how they navigate their careers in a male dominated industry. I aim to understand the positions women hold in the current male-dominated craft beer industry, and how they feel they are perceived by coworkers and customers in the industry. I conducted an ethnographic study through interviews with women working in different breweries, as well as through participant observation at breweries and festivals. This combination of methods allowed me to further understand the complications that come along with being a woman working in a male-dominated industry. My results suggest that women in the craft beer industry come from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds that can allow them to succeed in the beer industry. I examine the effects class and gender have on success in the industry and explore how these factors allow women to gain personal empowerment despite working primarily with men.


Sikk, Helis

Second Advisor

McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Women, Brewing, Craft Beer

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Cameron S. Smythe