Within the Los Angeles beer community, Ting Su, co-owner and business manager at Eagle Rock Brewery, is most highly regarded for education and outreach. Early in her beer industry career, Su noticed a gap in knowledge and lack of comfort among many of the female drinkers she served. She wanted to change the perception that people had of women drinking sweet, fruity beer, or not drinking beer at all. In March 2011, Su initiated a monthly women’s forum, inviting any level of female beer drinker to sample a flight and participate in open discussion. The objective was not to exclude men but to empower women in a welcoming environment. The first session was scheduled in the grain room at the brewery, but turnout was so large that the attendees—nearly 100 women—took up the whole brewhouse floor.
Forum topics range from style studies and pairings to brewing demonstrations, and often involve a guest speaker. A diverse group of women, from retirees to young professionals, find common ground in the desire to expand their palates. Su carefully organizes every edition of the event to push boundaries and challenge participants. The gathering also provides a platform for addressing women’s health issues, and Eagle Rock has partnered with Keep a Breast Foundation and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for fundraising. Any visit to the brewery bears a demonstration of Su’s success—there are as many women as men exploring the brewery’s offerings, pint for pint.
This profile appears in the November 2014 issue of All About Beer Magazine. Click here for a free trial of our next issue.