On Thursday 8 March, some of the brilliant and inspiring women of Fyne Ales once again joined together to create a new special release beer for International Women's Collab Brew Day.
Dark Eden is a 4.6% ruby porter brewed with whole oats - it's smooth and rich and very easy-drinking and it's out in cask now. It's great and so are the women who brewed it. This blog is about them.
Yvonne Wernlein, Technical Brewer
"My grandfather was a brewmaster, my father is a brewmaster and I don’t have any siblings so I think for me it was an easy choice to become a brewer! In Germany, it’s still quite uncommon for women to be brewers - during my studies I was the only woman in a class of thirty and during my apprenticeship I was one of three in a group of sixty, but in the UK it seems to be much more widespread and that’s a great thing.
With Dark Eden, I wanted to create something very smooth, drinkable, not too hoppy and I knew I wanted to brew with oats, as I never had the chance to in Germany and I really like porridge. We had access to whole oats, husks and all, and I didn’t want to make it too roasty so we used chocolate malt and some crystal rye to give a nice soft body and ruby colour. I took a mini-cask home and everyone really liked it, so I’m quite proud of it!"
Tuggy Delap, Founder
"We had some empty farm buildings, and a lot of rain water and a desire to create employment in the glen, and given Jonny (Delap, founder) and the boys were drinking a lot of beer, it seemed like a good idea to me! I think they thought I was mad.
We worked as a partnership - I was the brewery’s driving force and Jonny was the brakeman who knew when to slow me down and stop me trying to do too much. Although I was never a brewer, I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty - I was the one loading up the trailer and delivering the beer around Scotland for the first few years!
I think it’s fantastic to have Yvonne on board - I don’t think she’ll mind me saying she has that level of German precision that can only make our beer better and I’m excited to try this year’s International Women’s Day beer."
Sam MacPhee, Credit Control
"I think it’s great that there are more and more women who are passionate about beer in the industry and, compared to twenty years ago, more women enjoying beer.
I think that what it means to be a ‘beer drinker’ has changed - when you see all the things that are going on with different styles and experimentation and food pairing and exciting flavours, beer is much more accessible to more people now."
Katie O’Donnell, Brewery Tap & Events Manager
"It’s probably the best time to be a woman working in beer. There’s still some things that we need to address and work on as an industry, but I can only see it getting better and better in the next few years.
I think we’re past the point where there’s a need to name beers after double entendres or put sexualised pictures of women on the pump clips - it just isn’t necessary anymore. It’s about being inclusive as possible and the excuse that ‘it’s just a bit of fun’ doesn’t really cut it when it’s not something that women find funny.
Brewing to me is a brilliant mix of manual work and technical thinking and processes - it’s a bit like cooking - getting to work with the other women of Fyne Ales for the International Women’s Collab brew was lots of fun!"