EAST LANSING — Coming from three different locales, HopCat East Lansing proved the perfect spot for a collaborative meetup of women beer aficionados. The longstanding Grand Rapids based PussyCat Beer Guild joined the Detroit Draft Divas and the newly formed Lansing-based Beer Houndettes for a meet-and-greet of epic proportions.
Taking up a good quarter of the upstairs space at HopCat on the day of a Michigan State football game is no easy feat, but the groups managed to do it.
The Tripel D’s, as the Detroit Draft Divas are known, originally launched under the guidance of Todd Parker, formerly of Copper Canyon Brewery. Known as a group for women interested in all things craft beer — from tasting to brewing to everything in between — these women are passionate, knowledgeable and able to hold their own in this mainly male dominated culture of beer groups and homebrew clubs.
When Parker headed to Washington, DC for a new position, Jon ‘Danger’ Cole of Saugatuck Brewing Company stepped in, showing up early to one of the events with a cleverly handmade campaign poster explaining exactly why he should be the group’s new guy.
Acting as official ‘mascot’ for the Tripel D’s, Cole helps to orchestrate events across the state for the group — including Saturday’s get-together.
“Jon decided that he wanted to help the Beer Houndettes [launch] and he thought it’d be great if the Divas came and the Pussycats came and we met in the middle, so we could start them off in style,” said Sheryl Rose, a leader of the Pussycat Beer Guild.
Saturday started with a tour of BAD Brewing Company in Mason, then continued on to HopCat and REO Town Pub before finishing the night off at EagleMonk Pub and Brewery.
The ladies of craft beer even had their own brew, the ‘Token Guy Rye’ — a rye pale ale brewed by HopCat especially for the meetup, symbolic of Cole’s role with the girls. An affable, easy-going guy, Cole even went the extra mile for this one, sporting an official mascot t-shirt and a beautifully glittery beard and ‘stache, supplied by Carla of the Detroit Draft Divas.
Paul and Tammy Starr, co-creators of I’m A Beer Hound were on hand, representing the ‘Beer Houndettes,’ Tammy’s brainchild.
“This started because I met some of the Detroit Draft Divas, and I decided that I ultimately wanted to start a woman of craft beer group in Lansing,” she said. “We actually just launched it about two months ago, so we are trying to build the following and trying to get people out to the events. Right now, we do a monthly brewing group where just the women come out, and we learn how to brew at the Red Salamander in Grand Ledge. It’s been a lot of fun — we tap the beer we brewed the month before, we drink and we hang out and brew another beer.”
There was a great sense of camaraderie amongst the three groups — women who were passionate about craft brew and this industry in the Great Beer State. These clubs exist to encourage inclusion and to provide a friendly, welcoming environment for women who are interested in beer. The groups denounce snobbery and all things catty, instead seeing themselves as an outlet for the women who is just learning to appreciate her IPAs to the gal who’s been home brewing for ten plus years.
Wherever you stand, wherever you are, you are welcome here. As long as you love craft beer.
For more information on the three groups, visit Facebook: