GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective, is co-hosting a spirits event at New Holland Brewing‘s The Knickerbocker Sunday, April 22 from 2-4pm.

For this “Shaking & Sipping” hands-on event, attendees will learn how to properly taste gin, rum, and bourbon while also making historically significant cocktails with each base spirit.

The event is open to the public, welcoming both Fermenta members and non-members to participate and partake. Ticket price includes samples of each liquor, three cocktails attendees will prepare and a light snack.

Limited tickets are available for purchase here:

Prices are $25 for non-members and $20 for members.

With each event Fermenta hosts, the non-profit raises money towards their scholarship fund to further women’s education in the craft beverage industry. This allows members to apply for and attend workshops, classes, and seminars around the state.


Fermenta is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit trade group initiated by Michigan women, committed to diversity, camaraderie, networking, and education within the craft beverage industry. The organization hosts events with an educational focus and networking opportunities and provides a network that encourages conversation about the importance of diversifying the craft alcohol industry, ways to foster progress, and provide opportunities for a variety of voices and visions



Williamston, MI The non-profit craft beverage trade group, Fermenta will celebrate its third anniversary on Saturday, September 23 at the Old Nation Brewing Company from 12-4 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker is Lucy Saunders, beer and food blogger and author of The Best of American Beer and Food cookbook. She will have several Wisconsin cheeses to pair with Old Nation beer and will discuss beer and food pairings as well as how to build a better beer garden and how to design outdoor hospitality for Great Lakes water quality. In addition, Fermenta will host their annual silent auction with lots from Founders, Short’s Brewing Co, The Cicerone Certification Program, Adventures in Home Brewing, The Country Malt Group, and Motor City Malting, among others. All proceeds go to their scholarship fund which allows members to attend workshops, classes, and seminars to further their knowledge in the craft beverage industry.

Live music is a new addition to this year’s anniversary party and will be provided by Jimmy Likes Pie, a Lansing-based band that will play an eclectic mix of covers and original music.

The new board will also be elected, existing members can renew membership and all people interested in becoming more involved in the craft beer, wine, or spirits industries are welcome to join the celebration.

To purchase tickets to celebrate the women of the Michigan craft beverage industry and attend the Anniversary event, please visit here.

Fermenta is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit trade group initiated by Michigan women, committed to diversity, camaraderie, networking, and education within the craft beverage industry. The organization hosts events with an educational focus and networking opportunities and provides a network that encourages conversation about the importance of diversifying the craft alcohol industry, ways to foster progress, and provide opportunities for a variety of voices and visions.




Over the past several years, there has been a marked increase in brewing and distilling industries, small and mid-scale agriculture, and processing infrastructure. With this confluence of events, it’s the perfect time to increase consumer and producer knowledge of how to use local grains in craft beverages, and what characteristics to expect from these beverages.

Hosted by Fermenta: A Women’s Craft Collective, New Growth Associates, and Michigan State University, this unique workshop will provide participants with the skills, inspiration, and ideas to use locally grown grain in the distilling and brewing process, as well as the opportunity to support the increasing number of midsize Michigan farmers.


5:30 pm          Registration & Networking

6:00 pm          Welcome and Overview of Workshop

6:15 pm          MSUE Barley Research Initiatives in Lower Michigan ~ Ashley McFarland,        MSU Extension

6:30 pm          Malt Sensory and Flavor Profiles with a Tasting ~ Andrea Stanley, Valley Malt

Andrea Stanley (Valley Malt) shares her expertise as the first artisan maltster on the east coast, and explores the world of malt sensory evaluation. Utilizing the newly developed and approved Hot Steep method, we will explore a “malt flight” and participants will come away better understanding the malting process and get to smell and taste a wide variety of malts.   


7:15 pm          Using Local Grains in Brewing/Distilling Panel

Featuring Duncan Williams, Grizzly Peak; Ryan Hamilton, Michigan Barley; Tom Laboda; Dan Bailey, Motorcity MaltHouse; & Steve Berthel, New Holland Brewery


8:15 pm          Closing Remarks/Q&A

8:30 pm          Happy Hour/Networking Event ~  Sponsored by Country Malt 

Tickets are $15 for Fermenta members and $25 for non-Fermenta members. They must be purchased online.

This event will be a precursory event to the annual Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference, which will be taking place in Detroit, MI on Thursday and Friday March 2-3, 2017.





FRANKFORT, Mich –­ Stormcloud Brewing Company is pleased to announce the release of their newest collaborative beer, Legally Wed & Off To Bed. A Belgian IPA infused with hibiscus, Legally Wed & Off To Bed was brewed this spring by Stormcloud in collaboration with Fermenta, a Michigan based collective of women brewers.

collaboration beer

A non-­traditional marriage of hops and hibiscus, the Belgian ­style India Pale Ale was brewed with Cascade, Mosaic and Michigan ­grown Crystal hops. Stormcloud Beer Education Coordinator Charla Kramer says, “The Michigan hops lend a firm but clean backbone to this ale while the tropical notes of Mosaic hops court the hibiscus flower. She might be a Pink Lady, but the hibiscus is no fragile violet. Her tart sassiness is the perfect match for this beer’s light hop bitterness.”

Crisp, light, and refreshing, Legally Wed & Off To Bed is a summer­ready IPA. “We had a lot of fun brewing this beer,” says Stormcloud Head Brewer and Co­Owner Brian Confer. “The Fermenta brewers came from across the state and contributed their efforts throughout the brewing process. And it’s a great beer. We already have it on tap here at Stormcloud and it’s getting very positive reviews.”

collaboration beerLegally Wed & Off to Bed is now available on tap in Stormcloud’s pub in downtown Frankfort. The IPA will also be showcased with other Fermenta ­brewed beers at this year’s Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, happening July 22­-23.

Legally Wed & Off To Bed Specifications:
Style: Belgian IPA
ABV: 6%
Bitterness: 50 IBU
Color (SRM): It’s PINK!
Availability: June­-July
Tasting Notes: Hoppy and tropical aroma. Light, approachable hop flavor and bitterness. Slight hibiscus tang balances hop bitterness.

international women's collaboration brew dayREGIONAL—The days until the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) are being counted down all over the world. March 8, 2016 will be a day when breweries globally come together in the name of beer and women in the industry. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the day will embrace the cultural, social, economic, and political achievements of women everywhere.

As interest and passion for the brewing culture grows globally, progress and opportunity are also flourishing. Beer encompasses so many different contexts and backgrounds—all it takes is a curiosity and passion for learning. Brewing is a social event as much as it’s a science. It’s quietly beautiful and intricate and creative. It celebrates innovation, community, and camaraderie. Beer is the bridge across many different practices, and on this day, it connects the world together.

The inaugural IWCBD took place in 2014. The recipe was a Pale Ale and the first participant to brew hailed from Australia. Last year breweries put their own twist on a Red Ale recipe born out of England. Michigan breweries celebrated by not only brewing, but also with a friendly competition and tasting at different locations around the state.

This year there is no recipe. No guidelines. No rules. The craft beer world will unite under the theme of “Expression.” To best represent the craft industry, brewers will simply create their own unique recipe to brew, share, and enjoy.

international women's collaboration brew dayIf interested in participating—and please, everyone is invited (21 years and older please)—you can find IWCBD events on Facebook through Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective. This year, quite a few regions are hosting open, interactive events. Griffin Claw Brewing Company (Birmingham) will be kicking off the the international celebrations early, hosting a brew day March 5 starting at 9 A.M.. The recipe will be a Gose and the brewery staff will also be offering short seminars on tank cleaning, yeast harvesting, and other various lab procedures. For northern Michigan residents, consider attending Beards Brewery’s (Petoskey) brew day on March 6 starting at noon, the recipe to be announced. On March 7th, EagleMonk Pub and Brewery (Lansing) will be brewing their own recipe beginning at 8 o’clock in the morning. Batch Brewing Company (Corktown) has decided to open their doors on the actual day of international celebration, March 8, starting at 7:30 A.M.. To learn further details, check the Fermenta events page.

Alongside these breweries, Grand Armory Brewing (Grand Haven) will also be brewing a IWCBD recipe to honor the celebrations, but will be keeping their brew day closed to staff only.

These Michigan breweries will be joining other breweries across the nation and across the world to support this day of awareness. Even if one cannot attend a brew day, the IWCBD encourages interested parties to homebrew their own recipe or simply raise a glass to toast the occasion. Either way, you will be toasting women in the craft industry with the entire world.

This past Sunday, August 23, 2015, Fermenta ushered in its one year anniversary with craft professionals, enthusiasts, and supporters alike at Block Brewing in Howell, Michigan. As a supporter of all things craft in Michigan, Fermenta included a variety of vendors in the event—from various hop farm representatives, to craft industry book authors, to brewing supply companies and guest speakers.

“Fermenta exists to bring people together who have a lot of similarities and passions to work together and help each other grow Michigan’s craft industry,” said President and Co-founder of Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective, Pauline Knighton, as she opened the celebrations.

Looking back at its beginnings, the growth this organization has undergone is impressive, but not surprising. Comprised of hard-working, driven individuals working as a team for craft education and support across Michigan, Fermenta has successfully progressed with every step it has taken. Hosting monthly events in all the different areas of craft beverage around the state—mead, cider, kombucha, beer and liquor—has allowed for an expansive social network.

With an emphasis on education, the anniversary party hosted guest speakers, Ashleigh Hayden and Alexa Seychel. Hayden, from New Belgium Brewing, guided event-goers through the importance of carbonation in the recipe-forming and serving of beer. Seychel hailed from Vander Mill Cider and discussed the process of cider-making while sharing the history of the cider trend in Michigan. Both seminars involved attendee participation and craft tasting.

It’s not hard to realize that Fermenta’s successes mirror those of much of the craft businesses in Michigan. The keynote speaker for the event, Renee Greff of Arbor Brewing Company, makes this connection succinctly, detailing her and her husband’s craft journey in comparison to the evolution of craft organizations in general.  

“We laid out for ourselves a vision of a successful future,” said Greff.

Vision and belief are what she holds as the primary driving forces behind Arbor Brewing Co.’s success. And those are the same foundations Fermenta was built upon a year ago. Alongside each other, Pauline Knighton, Angie Williams, Manda Geiger, Stacey Roth, Annette May, and Tracey Scholten Kusz created the vision and had the shared belief that women in the craft industry could spearhead a campaign for craft education and growth in Michigan.

“This is what women do for each other. We have a pack mentality. We help each other to see the strengths we have that we don’t see in ourselves. In order to succeed, we understand that we all need to help each other and have each other’s back,” said Greff.

And with this shared applied force combined with the support of ever-growing membership into the organization, Fermenta has become a state-wide recognized craft pioneer for women.

“There are still negatives about women in the industry, and we are changing that. We are making people look at women in a different light,” said Knighton.

With all of the support Fermenta has garnered, it has actually led to expanding its membership opportunities to males as well as corporate groups. During the celebrations, current members voted on this motion, and the motion passed. From here on out, there will be supporting and corporate memberships available. And although this means the organization will no longer be women-only, it still holds to its origins in that all scholarships are only applicable to female members.

As well as holding the first vote and the first elections (the existing board have all been voted into serve another year), Fermenta also announced its first scholarships. With various fundraisers and donations from many craft industry supporters, it was exciting to hear that five different, educational opportunities were available via Fermenta.

The scholarships were separated into three categories: Entry Level, Continuing Education, and Conferences and Certifications. The actual scholarships available for application (by female members only) are attendance to a scotch seminar hosted by Zingerman’s, a BeerSavvy online course for beer server preparation certification, attendance to an off-flavors beer seminar, attendance to a Michigan Grape and Wine Conference, and an attendance to a beer camp class.

Like Greff stated, “Whatever you conceive and believe, you can achieve.”

Indeed, Fermenta’s vision has grown since its conception a year ago, and its members and supporters have shown Michigan craft that anything can be achieved.

Future events, information about scholarships and memberships can be found on the Fermenta website and/or Facebook page.  

A year ago, Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective premiered 10 collaboration brews with breweries at the 2014 Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) Summer Beer Festival. At the Winter Beer Festival this past February 2015, they premiered 19. Over the weekend at the 2015 Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Fermenta premiered 26 new collaborations. With many months of prep work, planning and improvised, last-minute tweaks, Fermenta members and involved brewers got to taste the final products of shared labor.

“We tried some of them last night, but you know, there are so many! We have more to try today. It’s a beautiful day to try some amazing beers,” said Annie Zipser, a dedicated Fermenta member attending the festival both Friday and Saturday.

With 26 collaboration brews marked in the official MBG Summer Beer Festival pamphlet, everyone, Fermenta members or not, had a potential checklist to mark between Friday and Saturday at the fest. The large scope of the festival—over 100 breweries with a combined number of over 900 beers—made finding beers a kind of scavenger hunt, but definitely a good excuse to meet new people and revisit fellow craft beer enthusiast friends.

“I’m really proud of the Hibiscus Wheat—it turned out really nicely. Make sure to get over and try it!” said Morag Goyette of Blue Tractor. And indeed, the collaboration brew was a delicious concoction for the hot summer day—refreshing with a light, floral aroma.

To have this many people in one place at one time for the sole purpose of drinking craft beverage was an opportunity for enthusiasts and professionals alike in the Fermenta organization. Members shared their collaborations and toasted each other’s accomplishments, while many were just discovering the organization for the first time.

“I just bought my Fermenta t-shirt today!” proclaimed an excited Fermenta newcomer. “I heard about you ladies and I’m just so excited to try some of your beers.”

The breweries participating in the Fermenta collaborations were as follows: Arbor Brewing Co., Batch Brewing, Beards Brewery, Blue Tractor, Boatyard Brewing Co., The B.O.B., Brewery Ferment, Cotton Brewing Co., Eternity Brewing Co., Fenton Winery & Brewery, Founders Brewing Co., Gravel Bottom Brewery, grizzly peak, Liberty Street Brewery, Mitten Brewery, New Holland Brewery, One Well Brewing, Ore Dock Brewing Co., Our Brewing Co., Pike 51 Brewery, Pleasant House Brewery, Saugatuck Brewing Co., Short’s Brewing Co., Tapistry Brewing Co., Unity Vibration.

There were so many different varieties of beer due to the great enthusiasm of both the breweries and Fermenta members. Some of the final products boasted unique combinations: a cucumber lime gose from Arbor Brewing Co., a passionfruit and scorpion pepper combo from Brewery Ferment, a saison from Batch Brewing that combined a French yeast with Slovenian hops. Each collaborative brew reflected Michigan as a whole, but also the creativity, innovation and ethos of each individual brewery.

“The spiciness will give you a kick, but not too much that it hurts going down!” said Kirsten and Dustin Jones of Brewery Ferment, who brewed Passion and Pain, made with scorpion peppers and passion fruit.

This Fermenta project captured the purpose and inspiration of the ever-evolving Michigan craft industry. Brewers were eager to lend their time and guidance to those interested in order to share the creative and collaborative spirit of brewing. And with the end product proving to be a satisfying success across the board, it’s a tradition that Fermenta hopes to carry on into the future.

In addition to creating a collaboration brew, many breweries have agreed to donate certain amounts of their proceeds directly to the Fermenta scholarship fund. This new development highlights the importance of education in the Michigan craft industry and the support it offers for future pioneers.

Fermenta will also be celebrating its one-year anniversary this summer. To toast such an accomplishment, Fermenta will be hosting an anniversary party on August 23rd, 2015 at Block Brewing Company located in Howell, Michigan. Besides offering great craft beverages and delicious barbeque, there will also be membership renewals, Fermenta merchandise to buy, raffles, educational seminars, and executive board elections. For more information and how to purchase tickets, please visit

United she mashed and divided she brewed this past Sunday for the Pink Boots Society’s International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day.

In over 70 breweries nationwide, women gathered to brew this year’s Unite Red Ale recipe, created by Sophie du Ronde of Muntons Malt in England.

Locally, brewing took place at HopCat Grand Rapids and Griffin Claw Brewing Company to create a version of the Unite Red Ale. Sheryl Rose, Momma Cat of the PussyCat Beer Guild, met at the group’s stomping grounds — HopCat Grand Rapids — to brew its version.

“We used equinox hops for their floral, herbal, apple, papaya characters, as well as adding some black patent malt to make it darker red,” said Rose.

After adding their twist to the recipe, the women spent the morning being a part of each step in brewing their recipe.

Since the brewing process can only handle so many hands, and the space (at both locations) can be limited, a gathering was held after the brewing process for more women to attend to celebrate the fruits of their labor as well as one another.

This type of event is about “bringing positive attention to women in general, and helping to forge bonds between them, not just those in the industry,” says Rose.

Manda Geiger, Brewster at Pike 51 Brewing in Hudsonville, attended the event at Griffin Claw, which featured brewers from Fermenta.

“I think anytime you can get people together to share knowledge about brewing is very exciting. I love passing on the things I have learned along the way and it also teaches me things too,” she said.

All in all, the event was a huge success — so huge that the Pink Boots Society believes the day may have qualified for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Once on tap at HopCat Grand Rapids, the profits from the sale of the Unite Red Ale will be split 50/50 between Pink Boots Society and Women’s Resource Center of Grand Rapids. Be on the lookout for both beers to appear at HopCat Grand Rapids and Griffin Claw, respectively, in the near future.

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