7 questions with: Ersi Emmanouilidou, brewer
The craft beer industry is often perceived to be a middle-age white men's club. Although we can't deny that the demographic split of beer drinkers and professionals is still skewed in this way, the past decade in particular has seen an increasing rise of women in beer.
Industry groups like the Pink Boots Society have taken huge strides in inspiring and encouraging women beer professionals through education, and local beer groups for women are popping up all over the country.
In particular, we are excited to see a growing number of female brewers in the industry, creating the next trends to hit our beer glass and inspiring a new generation of women in beer.
One such brewer is Ersi Emmanouilidou of Beavertown. We spoke to her about how she got in to brewing, what her day looks like, her inspiration and what advice she has for budding female brewers.
Tell us about yourself and your brewing background?
"I completed my Brewing and Distilling studies at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 2016. After graduating, I worked for BrewDog for two years until 2018 and since then I have been working at Beavertown.
I have worked in all three Beavertown sites; Lockwood (Tottenham), Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium and Beaverworld (Enfield). Currently I spent all my time in our shiny new brewery, working mainly in the cellar and focusing on yeast management.
What inspired you to become a brewer?
"I always found beer a very interesting product, so diverse! I studied Biology and after a few years of doing academic research, decided to look for an industry to apply my knowledge. I loved cooking so I was keen to enter the food and beverages industry, and that took me to doing an MSc in Brewing."
What does an average shift look like for you?
"Every shift is a new challenge, because beer is produced using a quirky, little living organism, we need to take good care of! It involves checking the state of all our fermenting beers (gravity, pH, temperatures, pressures), doing many yeast counts, ensuring that our vessels are clean and ready to receive wort from the brewhouse and a lot of cleaning! It also involves suggesting and evaluating improvement on our procedures in order to make even more tasty beer while reducing time and losses."
How long does it take to bring a beer recipe from concept to canning?
"Hard to say! Ale beers are faster to produce, rarely taking more than a month from start to finish. Lagers, take at least 30 days, because they need to “lager” (German for store). This is how the get their clear, crisp character. Barrel aged beers and lambic beer may stay in their barrels or foeders, respectively, for a few years before consumption!"
Which breweries/beers are you most inspired by?
"I am inspired by the history of different beer styles. I love cask ale because they are a relic to be cherished in the modern world of kegs; a French saison reminds me of farmers harvesting the fields while having this refreshing drink and a Trappist of fasting monks with a slight hang-over. I am inspired from breweries who want to revive or pay tribute to old styles as well as breweries who push the boundaries of what is considered beer."
What is your favourite Beavertown beer?
"Neck Oil! Balanced beer, easy to drink any time of the day! I love it!"
What advice do you have for other women interested in a career in the brewing industry?
"It is true that brewing is a male dominated sector, with all the difficulties and challenges that comes with this. However, it is a very progressive, collaborative and open-minded industry. There is great support, love and solidarity between the brewing sisters and its beautiful to be a part of.
Traditionally, brewing beer was the responsibility of the women of the house. Let’s revive this tradition!"
As Ersi says, craft beer is a welcoming, progressive and inclusive industry. Although there is still work to be done in establishing a more diverse industry, we hope that shining the light on brewers like Ersi will encourage more women to explore a career in beer!
If you have any questions about the brewing industry, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
DIGGING THE PERKS
- EARN IMPACT.
- UNLOCK REWARDS.
- LATEST IMPACT UPDATES.
- EXCLUSIVE BREWGOODER MERCH.