International Women’s Day is a day that celebrates and commemorates the movement for women’s rights every year on 8th March.
Fifty percent of our team at Cloudwater are women, working across all departments of the business, so celebrating progress, highlighting inspiring women, and calling for change is vitally important to us.
Can you tell us about how you got into brewing?
I studied chemistry at the University of Manchester, always knowing I wanted to go into a job that made a product of some sort. My first job was working in the lab at J.W.Lees Brewery, working on beer and micro analysis. I worked there for two years but wanted a more hands on role that actually required being involved in making of the beer. I’ve now been at brewer at Cloudwater for two years. Whilst my degree isn’t necessary to become a brewer I think it enabled me to get the lab role, and take a first-hand look into the beer scene. I am currently studying for my brewing diploma which goes into a lot of the science behind brewing so my previous degree is also useful there too.
If you could redesign your learning and career journey to this point, would you? And if so, what changes would you make?
I probably would of chosen more biochemistry modules that would better link to my job now! And some more practical/real life uses modules during my chemistry degree, there is so much chemistry behind food and drink production that we never touched on.
What advice would you give to women looking to move into brewing, particularly those whose education and career thus far hasn’t been completely linear?
Brewing is a role in which you can be practical and creative. You don’t need any university education to get a start at a lot of breweries, and can come from any industry. You just need a hands on, practical drive as it does require a lot of manual work and busy days. But being able to be rewarded with a great product that you’ve had a hand in making is worth it. Also it’s never too late to get into it! Networking at brew days or beer festivals is a great way to get talking to people in the industry and potentially getting some hands on experience.
Side note from the wider team - If you want any detailed advice on getting into the industry, or just want a supportive network to help you take make the most of your role, reach out to us! From grain to glass we’re passionate about helping UK craft beer become more inclusive. Email us here, and the best person to field your enquiry will get back to you.
In your experience, is there anything that you think businesses could do to be more supportive of women in the workplace? Or is there anything that you think is really positive in your workplace?
As always women just want equal salaries and equal opportunities!
What do you do outside of work?
I really enjoy going out to eat and drink with friends and family. I play netball every week, and also enjoy yoga and walks.
Why do you think there are fewer women in your industry than men? What steps do you think will help to shift this balance?
Whilst more women are getting into brewing, and we have plenty here at Cloudwater, we are definitely still the minority in the wider industry. I think a combination of the lad culture that persists around beer drinking, and it being a physically demanding job can be a bit off putting, but if you find a good team and a progressive company, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
Amy Booth is running a special one off tour, on Saturday 18th March. You'll learn about our brewing process, get to take a peek behind the scenes and see the science behind brewing. After the tour we will head to the taproom and taste the IWD beer. Free for students.