Women at the heart of "She's Crafty, Folks" beer curation at Centraal
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If you've made your way over to the bar at Centraal Grand Cafe & Tappery, you've probably taken note of its unique beer menu, which features special themed curations of beers from all over the nation and the world.
"We worked really hard to create a menu that could be read and used in a variety of different ways," explains Ileana Rivera, beverage director for Lowlands Group. "And part of it was about creating curations for which there was a great story to tell behind each beer."
This month, Centraal will introduce a brand new curation, called "She's Crafty, Folks," which pays homage to women in the brewing industry.
"It's an homage to women in beer," says Rivera. "It's an homage to Wisconsin, where beer is something you love, whether you're a man or a woman. And it's an homage to the way we operate at Lowlands Group. We have so many women in leadership here in terms of beer; and we have men who support the work that we're doing."
Each beer in the line-up has its own story. Some were brewed by women. Some are favorites of women in the industry. All of them are delicious.
Here's the line-up
- Liefman's Goudenband: This beer is on draft as an homage to Liefman's Rosa Merckx, the first female brewmaster in Belgium. Merckx was instrumental in bolstering the Kriek style, selling it as an entry level brew for U.S. women, who'd been traditionally targeted by the "Lite" beer market. Now in her 90s, Merckx is still involved in quality control for the brewery. This special Belgian brew is exclusive to Centraal Grand Cafe & Tappery.
- New Glarus Two Women: This beer is not only brewed at a woman-owned brewery. It's actually the favorite of New Glarus founder Deb Carey. It's also a collaboration between two beer companies led by women: New Glarus Brewing and Weyermann Malting. "Deb is an advocate for women," says Rivera. "She's an advocate for entrepreneurship and she's a role model in every single way. Her husband is awesome, but she is really someone with a presence. And this is her favorite beer."
- Renegade Redacted IPA: This balanced West Coast IPA made with 15 percent rye malt is not only delicious. It honors Ali Benetka, a prominent female brewer whose experience also includes work with Left Hand and Finch's. Under her leadership, Renegade was awarded the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their Hammer & Sickle Russian Imperial Stout.
- St. Feuillien Tripel: Subtly spicy Belgian yeast softens into a crisp, dry finish in this powerhouse brew that's approachable yet deceptively complex, much like Stéphanie Friart, founder of Brasserie St-Feuillien. Stéphanie was a strong woman and a great brewer who won numerous awards at both the Antwerp International Exhibition in 1894 and the International Exhibition of Food in Geneva in 1895. Today, the brewery still has a woman at the helm. Dominique Friart and her brother have been running the brewery for almost 30 years.
- Brewerji Huyghe Deliria: 2019 marks the sixth year for the release of this brew, which is made annually by a congregation of female brewers from around the world. The "strong blonde ale" is anything but ironic; in fact, it's meant to honor the idea of strong, independent female brewers.
Celebrate Women & the She's Crafty, Folks curation
The She's Crafty, Folks curation will debut on Wednesday, March 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. All guests attending the event will receive a free welcome smaak (5-ounce pour) from the curation along with complimentary snacks. There will also be prizes throughout the night. All are welcome to attend.
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