Women Who Craft (Beer) Rochester

Sipping and sharing our passion
By Abbey Sass

Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester is a social group created for women to experience craft beer in a more personal way: connecting with others who are enthusiastic about craft beer and exploring the process with exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities. The group brings monthly events focusing on everything craft beer.  


As a hops producer for local breweries, Abbey Sass is spearheading the Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester initiative to unite women interested in craft beer. Time and time again, Sass would meet women at various networking events who were excited to meet a woman involved in the craft beer industry and wanting to catch up over a pint. Sass decided to unite those pints and get all those ladies in one place to sip and share brewing knowledge. 

Sass believes that with appreciation comes passion, hence the educational portion to each monthly event, highlighting technical and cultural topics such as styles, the brewing process, historical movements, influencers, branding and ingredients, to list a few. With several women assuming leadership roles, the momentum is building to create a community of connected, knowledgeable craft beer drinkers.  


A typical Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester meetup kicks off with a social hour from 5-6 p.m. When you arrive, check out the menu for seasonal tappings or ask the beertender for a recommendation and order a pint. With a Facebook community of a couple hundred women, you will probably bump into familiar faces, and if you don’t happen to know anyone, just find an open seat and introduce yourself. Beer has a way of allowing people to come together and form new relationships. Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester likes to think of a brewery as the community’s living room, so expect to make many new friends. 

The educational portion follows from 6-7 p.m. and is all about building your “sipping knowledge.” For example, the inaugural meetup was hosted at Little Thistle Brewing Co., where attendees participated in a guided introductory beer tasting led by taproom manager and cicerone Nate Gustafson. Four styles were featured: IPA, Vienna lager, sour and Scottish ale. The educational portion provides an opportunity for women to explore craft beer right here in their own community. 

Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester met at LTS Brewing Company in June. They explored the brewery and tasted their tap brews.

Meetup locations will change each month, allowing each business to showcase their brewery and current seasonal and unique tappings. By the end of this summer, Rochester will feature its own “six-pack” of breweries—Kinney Creek Brewery, LTS Brewing Company, Grand Rounds Brewpub, Little Thistle Brewing, Forager Brewery and Thesis Beer Project. 


Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester will meet at Grand Rounds Brewpub in the back meeting room on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Be ready for a beautiful evening downtown. This meetup was conveniently planned in conjunction with Thursdays Downtown.

On Monday, August 5, Civil Sass Hops in Chatfield will be hosting at their hops yard featuring Karst Brewing from Fountain. This outdoor meetup will be held from 6-8 p.m. Hops grow on an 18-foot trellis and will be loaded with aromatic cones ripe for harvest. This hops yard is located in the rolling hills of Bluff Country with a view overlooking the summer sunset. It would be comparable to overlooking the vineyards in Tuscany, just the Minnesota beer version. 


In addition to the monthly meetups, the Women Who Craft (Beer)—Rochester Facebook and Instagram pages are used as a touchpoint for women to share upcoming craft beer events and news, vote on group decisions and build community by connecting with each other. 

Co-owner of local hops yard, Civil Sass Hops, and founder of Women Who Craft (Beer), Abbey Sass seeks to connect women with craft beer.