Cheers to the Newest Brewing Club on Campus

Leila Bartholet PZ ’17 may be graduating in December, but that doesn’t mean she can’t continue to contribute to Pitzer’s community. Last week, Bartholet received approval from Pitzer College Student Senate to officially launch the Women’s Brewing Club, an organization designed as a safe space for female-identifying and nonbinary people ages 21 and over who wish to learn about and participate in the beer-making process. 

Though Bartholet participated in other brewing organizations at Pitzer, such as the Pitzer Brewing Club, she said that the meetings were “intimidating” due to the male-dominated nature of the events. These experiences inspired Bartholet to start the Women’s Brewing Club to facilitate a non-judgemental learning environment. 

Bartholet started brewing last summer in her basement, which was a way for her to “learn about beer and feel empowered.” By acquiring information from various internet sources, Bartholet found a multitude of ways to personalize her batches. 

“Before I started brewing, beer was very intimidating to me,” said Bartholet. “I would go into a brewery and be like, ‘I don’t know which beer I should order’ because each beer says something about your identity ... I hope that while [Women’s Brewing Club members] brew, I can teach women about beer and the brewing process which will help lower their anxieties.”

Even though the organization is focused on the production of beer, the Women’s Brewing Club may branch out and try brewing kombucha and cider. Bartholet admitted that she does not know how to make these fermented drinks, but she thinks that club members will want to share their own expertise.

Even though the organization was not present at Pitzer Student Involvement Fair, there are about 40 members in the Women’s Brewing Club Facebook group. “I think it’s awesome that we found a group of ladies who are genuinely interested in brewing process,” club member Shelby Beauchamp PZ ’18 wrote in a text to TSL. “Basically, I love beer and I love being able to share that with some pretty awesome female identifying and non binary folk.”     

The first Women’s Brewing Club meeting is this Sunday, Oct. 1 at Bartholet’s house. Because the events revolve around the consumption of alcohol, Pitzer College Student Senate requires that the meetings take place off campus. The first brewed batch will be a pale ale and will produce about fifty bottles of beer. Bartholet expects that this batch will be ready at the end of October.

Though the schedule of the meetings will be irregular due to the brewing process, Bartholet plans to regularly update the Women’s Brewing Club Facebook page with the current brew’s status. Though people under 21 cannot participate in the club directly, they are allowed to join the Facebook group to see photos and updates of the brewing process.

For more information about this organization, contact Bartholet at lbarthol@students.pitzer.edu