Monday, April 4, 2016
With two craft breweries opening each day across the United States and Massachusetts claiming 123 of its own, there’s no reason for women to continue to drink cranberry vodkas. But breweries and their vast lists of beer can be intimidating. That’s where the Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society (or BABES) enters.
In 2011, Kristen Sykes founded BABES with the goal of introducing “women to new beer styles, food and beer pairings, beer professionals, and all things related to beer.” Events range from brewery tours to overnight trips to Vermont, providing education and ample time to socialize.
“Last year we did an event at Harpoon Brewery that had a panel of 7-8 women that worked in different capacities at the brewery, from the head of [public relations] to a woman working on the bottling line,” reminisces Kristen. “It was a super inspiring event and many of the BABES left thinking that they too could work at a brewery if they wanted to.”
Most events are female-only, but men occasionally attend with female friends or partners.
Where to drink around town
After years of drinking beer throughout the Boston area, here are Kristen’s top recommendations:
If you’re looking for a place to drink and…
- Your family is in town, go to the Cambridge Brewing Company.
- You and your girlfriends want to drink, head to Row 34 in the Seaport.
- You and the guys want to drink, grab a few at Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square.
- You’re hosting a crowd of men and ladies, Cambridge Common is a good bet.
- Your friends have kids, try the family-friendly Flatbread Company in Davis.
Or if you’re looking to host a living room party, buy a few cans of…
- Whirlpool by Night Shift Brewing (American Pale Ale)
- The Porter by Mayflower Brewing Co.
- Haze by Tree House Brewing Co. (American Double, Imperial IPA)
- Weekapaug Gruit by Cambridge Brewing Co. (Scottish Gruit, Ancient Herbed Ale)
- Mosaic Dry Hopped Fort Point by Trillium (American Pale Ale)
And if you’re wanting to drink alcohol and not in the mood for beer, head to Alden and Harlow (Harvard Square), Bantam Cider Company (Somerville), Eastern Standard (Kenmore Square), or Carrie Nation Cocktail Club (the Common).
Here’s your chance to join BABES!
“BABES is a great place for women to learn about and try new beers and to meet new friends,” says Kristen. Join the +1,600 Facebook friends at their monthly meetups, attracting on average 30-40 beer enthusiasts each time. A few upcoming events include cooking with beer (April 25), a trip to Portland (May 7), and a how-to in cellaring beer at the Craft Beer Cellar (May 10). All events are pay-as-you-go.
Meetup group: Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society