International Women’s Day Fundraiser
3 years ago, our inaugural International Women’s Day beer and fundraising event began as many ideas do in the brewing world: two friends brainstorming over a couple pints. One of our sales reps, Jenna, approached me with the hope to conceptualize and brew a beer in honor of Int. Women’s Day 2018. Her intent: gather any interested women at WRB and empower them to take on brewing a beer in celebration of women in our industry. While women comprise parts of nearly every department at WRB, we don’t have any female brewers (a trend that’s unfortunately all too common in this industry nationwide). We wanted to change that, even if it was just for a single beer – you have to start somewhere, right?
The Beer – A tribute to the bold women who imbibe bold brews
After some back and forth with the team, we decided to brew a darker, stout version of All the Breakfast, an Imperial Breakfast Style Cream Ale that had become a big hit for WRB in 2017. Given the style of the beer and the idea to satirically nod to the song “Ladies Who Lunch” from the 1970’s Broadway Show Company, we decided to call our beer Ladies Who Brunch. When we approached our head brewer Chris with the idea, he couldn’t have been more excited at the prospect of this project and was happy to collaborate. The brewery team welcomed about a dozen WRB women into the brewhouse to make the inaugural batch of Ladies Who Brunch. They showed us the ropes of brewing, step by step, making it a truly engaging collaboration between different departments in the pursuit of a common goal: brew a kick ass beer.
The Fundraiser – beer for a cause
While the initial idea for this beer was to champion women at our brewery and in the brewing industry as a whole, we decided the purpose and impact needed to go beyond our community. What if we didn’t just brew a women’s beer? What if we really blew this thing up into a fundraising event with greater purpose? These ideas propelled us to seek out a local non-profit that we could partner with to give back and pay it forward. After some searching, we landed on working with the YWCA Columbus, as their historic track record of empowering young women and women in need inspired us. They enthusiastically joined the project, and the rest is history. We hosted a big tapping party and public fundraiser in Taproom on March 8th, 2018, donating a portion of proceeds from Ladies Who Brunch to the YWCA Columbus. In 2019, we upped the ante, brewing and bottling a 2nd batch of Ladies Who Brunch along with a new concoction: Protégée, a light and delicious Strawberry Table Saison.
2020 Event – onwards and upwards
This year, our aim is to throw an event that makes an even bigger impact for our non-profit partner. The more beer we brew, the more expansive our footprint can be for the cause. This year, we’re brewing over 60bls of beer to celebrate our Int. Women’s Day event, which includes a special Bourbon Barrel Aged Ladies Who Brunch variant on draft and in bottles! We also brewed and will be canning a larger batch of Protégée. Once again, we’re hosting the public tapping party & fundraiser on Sunday, March 8th in our Taproom and Hickory Room events space. A portion of sales from draft and packaged sales of both beers will be donated to the Leadership and Social Justice programs of YWCA Columbus, which specifically aim to educate and empower the next generation of young women so our city can march towards equity and inclusion for all. Learn more about what the YWCA Columbus does for women of our city.
Cheers, and hope to see you on March 8th!
Marketing & Communications, Lover of Beer