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Women join Palouse beer conversation

Two local groups hope to involve more women in beer-related events

From+left%3A+Michelle+Pingree%2C+Homebrewers+of+the+Palouse+president%2C+Lisa+Jones%2C+incoming+president%2C+and+Erin+Hvizdak%2C+Girls+Pint+Out+founder%2C+taste+beers+at+the+Girls+Pint+Out+and+Homebrewers+of+the+Palouse%3A+Beer+Share+Potluck.
From left: Michelle Pingree, Homebrewers of the Palouse president, Lisa Jones, incoming president, and Erin Hvizdak, Girls Pint Out founder, taste beers at the Girls Pint Out and Homebrewers of the Palouse: Beer Share Potluck.

From left: Michelle Pingree, Homebrewers of the Palouse president, Lisa Jones, incoming president, and Erin Hvizdak, Girls Pint Out founder, taste beers at the Girls Pint Out and Homebrewers of the Palouse: Beer Share Potluck.

BONNIE JAMES | The Daily Evergreen

BONNIE JAMES | The Daily Evergreen

From left: Michelle Pingree, Homebrewers of the Palouse president, Lisa Jones, incoming president, and Erin Hvizdak, Girls Pint Out founder, taste beers at the Girls Pint Out and Homebrewers of the Palouse: Beer Share Potluck.

AUDREY HUDDLESTON, Evergreen reporter

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Saturday may be for “cracking open a cold one with the boys”, but Wednesday evening was for pints with the women.

Members of both Girls Pint Out and Homebrewers of the Palouse gathered at the Paradise Creek Brewery Trailside Taproom for a potluck.

Girls Pint Out is a national nonprofit organization, with over 100 chapters nationwide, that aims to bring women together for charitable, educational and social events surrounding craft beer.

Erin Hvizdak founded the Palouse Girls Pint Out chapter in March 2017. She said she is responsible for coordinating and leading events once every six weeks. These events are usually brewery tours or beer tastings.

Hvizdak said she wanted to start the chapter to give women of the Palouse a safe and inclusive place to learn about beer.

“Traditionally it’s been a very male-dominated industry, but it’s growing with women getting into brewing and working at breweries,” she said. “More women are coming out and [saying], ‘No, I like beer too.’ ”

Hvizdak said she thinks beer was previously marketed more toward men, but advertising is becoming more inclusive. She said advertisements still focus on men 99 percent of the time, but there is less objectification of women in these ads.

“It’s not traditionally been marketed toward us,” Hvizdak said. “The craft beer industry is [now] marketing toward all genders.”

Despite the progress, she said sometimes beer names and labeling can still be sexist.

Hvizdak said she wants more women to come, but it’s challenging if women feel uncomfortable coming alone. Her goal is to provide another social opportunity, because some may feel there’s not much to do on the Palouse.

“I want women that are by themselves to come,” Hvizdak said. “I want to be able to create a really inclusive community and a welcoming community.”

Lisa Jones, incoming president of HOPS, said the group is for people who brew their own beer. They meet once a month to taste it and talk about all things beer. The group started on the Palouse in the 1980s and came back in 2010 after a short hiatus.

BONNIE JAMES | The Daily Evergreen
Darren Brystorm pours a beer brought by members of the Homebrewers of the Palouse Wednesday night.

Current President Michelle Pingree said the meetings were traditionally at the Paradise Creek Brewery, but they started using the Trailside Taproom because it’s a larger venue.

HOPS strives to create a community of people who are interested in the process of brewing beer.

“I compare it to Dungeons and Dragons for beer people, because you get to kind of geek out and talk about the science behind it,” Pingree said. “We get into some of the technical aspects of it.”

Though many members of HOPS are homebrewers, Jones said this isn’t a requirement, and anyone with an interest in beer is welcome to join.

“You have to be up for the science part of it,” Pingree warned, “or you’ll be bored to tears.”

Pingree said to be an official member, anyone interested will need to pay annual dues of $30. She said members get a t-shirt, a tulip glass, a grunt glass, and the opportunity to participate in beer brewing competitions and attend member-only events.

Jones said the competitions occur quarterly. They select a style of beer to brew, and both official beer judges and the public try it in a blind tasting.

Pingree said the meetings that are open to the public take place on the third Wednesday of every month. She said the group is easily accessible on Facebook for anyone who wants more information.

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Women join Palouse beer conversation