If a women’s place is in the kitchen, then why do men get celebrity chef status?

This age-old question, although archaic, still has some validity when you take a moment to study the statistics on which gender tends to hold more power in the culinary arena. Of course, we can acknowledge and celebrate the legions of legendary women who have risen to the top of the food world, but we should also not forget to keep asking ourselves if things are truly equal.

This holds true in beverage circles as well.  The list of iconic winemakers, distillers and brew masters heavily tilts to male.  So where are the ladies?  Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is helping to turn the tide.  Opened in 2005 by wife and husband Emily Thomas and Chad Brill (she actually taught him how to brew), they are all organic, integral to the local community, and work to promote beer education through a myriad of events throughout the year.  The second annual Strong Women Brew Day took place on a rainy weekend during SF Beer Week, and the turnout was heartening despite the downpour.  Strong women gathered to learn about, taste and craft the next batch of the brewery’s Belgian Wit. In between hauling canfuls of mash, forklift trips and temperature checks, owner and brewer Emily Thomas ducked inside to talk with me about women and beer. Read more