Beer Man

First of its kind: Ernie's will host a thirty-tap takeover of beers made only by women

Be careful about making assumptions next time you meet a woman at a beer festival. Warns Ashleigh Carter: "You might be looking at the brewer -- not the secretary."

Or the girlfriend, or any number of other stereotypical labels that people may hang on women working for breweries. And that's part of the reason why Carter is organizing what could be a first in the craft-brewing industry -- a thirty-tap takeover featuring only beers that were made by women.

See also: Beer calendar: Baseball, blondes and the Craft Brewers Conference

The Just BrewHers event is set for Tuesday, April 8 at Ernie's Bar & Pizza during the Craft Beer Conference, a national trade show that is in Denver next week. "From what I know, there hasn't been anything done like this, at least not yet," says Carter. "People think of brewers as hairy dudes, but that isn't always the case. Ninety percent of the women on this list are women who do this every day."

More than half of the breweries represented at the event are in Colorado, and include New Belgium, Strange, Caution, Jagged Mountain, Big Choice, Horse and Dragon, Pikes Peak, Wynkoop, Verboten, Epic, Renegade and Kannah Creek.

But there will also be breweries from outside the state, including Mackenzie Brew House in Pennsylvania, Stone and Lost Coast in California, Capitol City in Virginia, Midnight Sun in Alaska, Trim Tab Brewing in Alabama, and Marble Brewing in New Mexico.

Carter is hoping to have a beer in the mix, too, although she isn't yet sure if she will. A former brewer for both Dry Dock and Prost, Carter is currently trying to start her own place, a German-style brewery that could focus on lagers.

The all-women takeover is not meant "to alienate the male brewer -- and it is also not meant to make a female empowerment statement," according to Ernie's, which hosts a variety of tap takeovers throughout the year. "It was created out of the idea that many females go unrecognized and that they are really 'just one of the dudes.'"

Just BrewHers will start at around 9 p.m. on April 8, but the beers should be on tap for a few days after that. The Hayward Strangers bluegrass band will also be in the house until 2 a.m.

More than 8,000 brewers, brewery suppliers, business owners and other craft-beer industry professionals will attend the CBC -- and the World Beer Cup competition -- which is being held in Denver for the first time. Although the seminars and presentations associated with the trade show aren't open to the public, dozens of associated beer-drinking events all over town will be.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes