Pink boots: Mass. brewing industry is a national leader in woman participation

Go ahead and question the small – but robust – operation at CraftRoots Brewing.

The Milford brewery, producing small batches just for its taproom and a select few local restaurants, is earning a reputation as a true community brewery and has earned a 3.7 out of 5 rating from the website Beer Advocate.

If you'd place your bet that the brewery's IPAs, double IPAs, stouts, ales and other brews were made by a Millennial man with a big bushy beard, a flannel and a healthy gut, you'd be dead wrong.

In fact, the only person to ever make beer at CraftRoots is Maureen Fabry, and she's a 53-year-old woman and a 20-year beer industry veteran. She's one of dozens of a growing number of women calling beer their career.

Even more, her business partner is a woman – and her wife – Robin Fabry.

The Fabrys, who operate one of the only 100-percent women-owned Massachusetts brick-and-mortar breweries, are just one example of women playing a larger role in the typically male-dominated industry, where Massachusetts may be among the leaders for female-inclusiveness.

Other breweries fully-owned by women include Northampton Brewery and Black Rabbit Farm Wild Ales & Provisions in Southwick. Brew Practitioners in Northampton is majority owned by women and Watertown contract brand Brazo Fuerte is also fully owned by a woman. 

"In terms of gender, Massachusetts is doing a great job," said Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass. Brewers Guild. "There's a healthy group of men and women at meetings. It feels 50-50."

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