By David Diehl of FLX Words
On March 8th, International Women’s Day, all over the country women were coming together to celebrate their role and their strength within the brewing community.
In the Finger Lakes Region, Kim Porter, Manager of Naked Dove Brewing in Canandaigua, also assembled a group of strong female leaders in the beer and restaurant industry to collaborate on a specialty brew in celebration of the IWD.
“I have always wanted to shine a light on women in the brewing industry. I actually went to our staff about a year and a half ago and said that I wanted to do something like this, and they encouraged me to make it happen,” says Porter. “I started reaching out to women in the industry, and then more women and more women got involved. This was scheduled to happen last year, but then we all know what happened with the pandemic.”
“This year, considering social distancing, we have sixteen women from fourteen different establishments in the region including the New York State Brewers Association, beer managers, restaurant managers, to brewery owners and sales representatives,” she continued.
This core group got together at the Naked Dove Brewery to contribute in producing the Impact IPA. All participants took on every role in the brewing process and the finished product will be available the week of April 3rd.
“Everyone involved has done everything in the brewing process today. We all want to have our hands on this,” Porter explains. “Most of us here are not brewers and have not brewed before. It’s a nice chance for all of us to have a hands-on part of the process.”
Along with showing a solidarity within the community and highlighting women in the business, Porter chose SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) Program as a cause that she hopes Impact will bring more attention to and manifest assistance.
During the process of these exams, forensic nurses often have to pay out of pocket to provide victims with essential garments. When this was brought to Porter’s attention, she looked into statistics, and found that there was a great need for help in the area.
“I said that I think we can do better. I thought we could raise money, and everything we raise, I am going to go and purchase the garments that the locations need,” Porter explains. “And for those that can’t make it out to purchase the beer or just want to help out, there is an Amazon ‘Wishlist’ or it can be shipped here. People are already responding. It’s amazing.”
With great cause and great company, the extension of the Impact project further reached into the arts. Employed to provide the can art was local artist, Amy Colburn, and it was her thinktank with Porter that provided the perfect look to make visual the empowerment of women in the community and the region.
“Amy Colburn and I chatted and she asked about what I wanted to see,” Porter recollects. “We talked for hours and came up with how to describe women and how I wanted women in this industry to be seen.” That is reflected in the can’s cover art.
The Impact IPA will be available in the beginning of April, not only on draught at Naked Dove, but at the other participating breweries, and at Wegmans in the custom cans as well. We will be doing a spotlight on the beer that week for Brewing in the FLX, and hope that everyone goes out and supports.
“We want to put a spotlight on the women in this industry,” Porter concludes. “That we are holding the same roles as men, and to put notice on our strengths, creativity, and determination. And to hopefully bring more women into this industry.”
While you wait for the Impact IPA to hit the shelves, here are a few other Finger Lakes breweries you can support where women are brewers or owners:
- Young Lion Brewing Company (24 Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 412-6065, younglionbrewing.com/brewery)
- Prison City Pub and Brewery (28 State Street, Auburn, 13021. 315-604-1277/Dawn@prisoncity.com. www.prisoncitybrewing.com)
- Grist Iron Brewing Company (4880 NY-414, Burdett, 14818. 607.882.BREW (2739). gristironbrewing.com)
It was always a goal for David Diehl to return to the Finger Lakes and make an imprint on the beer culture of the region. A Hobart & William Smith Colleges graduate, Diehl spent over a decade in Brooklyn and is excited to be back and taking on Finger Lakes craft beer reviews and commentaries for EdibleFingerLakes.com. He has also been published in Inked Magazine, YRB Magazine, Nerve.com, and The Finger Lakes Times. You can follow his work at FLXWORDS.com.