Interview with Rose Finkel regarding Pike Brewing Company’s Women in Beer event and why it is as necessary as ever.

Pike Brewing Company’s Women In Beer is an annual celebration of craft beverages, local foods, and the women who make them, in benefit of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest & Hawaiian Islands. So I could learn more about this event, I chatted with Rose Ann Finkel. She’s the founding co-owner of Pike Brewing, and helped devise Women In Beer, as well as assisting with the brewing of Pike Morning After Pale.

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What was the impetus for treating the Women in Beer Event?

We wanted to attract people to an exciting event as a part of Seattle Beer Week and to introduce them to the idea that beer was not only for men. There were women involved in all aspects of beer: owners, brewers, marketers, and likewise in food, wine and spirits not receiving the recognition they deserved, so given our own history and that Pike was invited to brew the first commemorative Seattle Beer Week in 2008, a double IPA, we set about to bring attention to women in the hospitality industry. Throughout the 10 days of Seattle Beer Week breweries, pubs and restaurants all over town devised their own Beer Week events. These included a collaborative opening pub jump, tutored beer dinners and tastings, Barleywood Squares, a parody on a well-known TV quiz show featuring beer-focused questions, celebrity tastings by brewers and brewery owners, events devoted to individual styles of beer, and many other beer-centric events. As we have done each year since, Pike hosted and participated in several events throughout the duration of the event.

How does this event tie in to Pike’s Brewing’s community missions?

Pike’s community mission is focused on being good and doing good. Whereas brewing great beer is in itself a laudable goal, it is our mission is to provide employees with a happy, artistically driven, and soul satisfying experience. To build a team of diverse employees who share our vision to be good community citizens, supporting non-profits whose mission is in concert with ours.

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How have you seen this event evolve over the years?

Women in Beer has grown exponentially over the years. What began as a smaller gathering of a vendors and guests has grown into the biggest event of Seattle Beer Week. As we have grown, we have improved the offerings of beers from Pike and other breweries, included more restaurants (many of Seattle’s best), local wines and spirits. All share their support of diversity, and particularly the recognition that women play an important and significant role in that community. Many of the suppliers are women owned or employ women in important positions.

Why is a women in beer event still needed?

Woman in Beer is needed now more than ever before. As Women in Beer has grown from an idea to a not-to-be-missed event with or without Seattle Beer Week, it is more and more topical and pertinent. With the knowledge of the inequality of women in the workplace, the #MeToo movement, misogyny in the political arena, and recognizing the overwhelming success of women in politics, the subject has reached a fever-pitch…so too has the need for an event that celebrates women and their beer-related contributions.

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How did you choose Planned Parenthood as the charity?

In past years, our co-founder, and my husband, Charles Finkel, served on the board of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands. He and I are personally ardent Planned Parenthood advocates and supporters. While many worthwhile non-profit organizations exist, Planned Parenthood stands at the apex, providing women with vital services and health care at a time when the government is attempting to restrict access to the health care services provided by Planned Parenthood here and abroad. Though Women in Beer is focused on celebrating women, the support and participation of men is heartwarming.

Why is Pike Morning Pale selected as the Beer for this event?

Pike Morning After Pale is a delicious beer created and creatively named by the women of Pike. It is a tongue-in-cheek name celebrating and demystifying the need for knowledge and information on contraception, much in the same way that the Planned Parenthood volunteers give away “Hap-penis” and “Vajoyna” t-shirts and multi-colored condoms at the event. During the time that it is available, Morning After Pale is featured at supportive pubs and restaurants who contribute a portion of their proceeds of the sale of this beer to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands. The recipe features different hops each year, and this year, the label art will be updated to feature the Planned Parenthood pink and blue. In addition to our usual kegs, a limited run of cans will also be produced in 2019.

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This year’s Women in Beer event will be held on May 13, 2019 from 5pm to 8pm.

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