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Female brew masters making name for themselves in Wisconsin beer industry

Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 16:26:55-04

MADISON - Female brew masters are making a name for themselves in the beer business.

Giant Jones Brewery is a labor of love for Jessica and Erica Jones.

"I have this unbalanced fascination like, I want to just make bigger, always. Like I'm so fascinated by the process. And it just, I'm in my zone when I'm doing it," confesses co-owner Jessica Jones. "And also Erica was really impressed that I was into beer, and the more I knew, so just like trying to get Erica to fall in love with me."

Right before the pandemic the pair opened their craft brew house in Madison. When COVID-19 hit, the tasting room went dark.

"The hardest thing was not seeing people drink our beer. Actually seeing their face when they try one of our beers for the first time, it's just like mind blowing. So there was all these beers that were made for the first time during the pandemic, and I never saw anyone drink them," said Jessica.

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The tasting room is open again and customers we spoke to say it's hard to pick a favorite.

"She has such a fine tune taste, she gets all the nuances of the beer style, " said Bob, a customer.

But Jessica is quick to tell you Giant Jones is more than just a beer; it's a social movement in every bottle.

"In no way are we trying to make a commodity product. We're trying to make a better world, and a world that's worth caring for through beer," she said.

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Currently there are few other female brew masters in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Pink Boots Society is hoping to change that, using beer to bring women together and learn more about the beer industry.

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Kelsey Moses works at Lakefront Brewery. She is a member of the Pink Boots Society, and was recently was able to create her own beer that will soon be on tap at Lakefront.

"I was able to get in there, opening bags of grain, dumping them in, dumping in salts, dumping in the hops," said Moses.

Back in Madison, Jessica believes the product can only get better with more diversity in the beer industry.

"Until it reflects the actual demographics of society, it's only realizing a fraction of its potential," said Jones. "Right, like, we're only seeing the creativity of such a small slice of society in beer. When we finally have everybody involved in a process, then we really see what's really possible."

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