If you think beer is a man’s game, well, unfortunately you’re right.
A 2021 study by The Brewers Association showed that, while 41.4% of the breweries surveyed had at least one woman owner, only 2.9% were owned solely by women, compared to 58.6% with no female representation in ownership. That’s a pretty remarkable disparity.
If you’d like to support some breweries that are owned by women in metro Phoenix, or just want to try out some new suds in general, we’ve got four craft breweries that are owned either in full or in part by women.
690 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe
Though she co-founded it with Todd Kessel, Sue Rigler is now the sole owner of Tempe’s Hundred Mile Brewing Company. Located off the 202 near Tempe Town Lake, the 10,000-square-foot taproom features 24 taps that pour suds brewed onsite at the 10-barrel brewing system. For a guest beer to be featured in the taproom, it must have been brewed within 100 miles, hence the name.
Outside, there’s an expansive, dog-friendly patio. Hundred Mile Brewing Co.’s food menu features small plates, salads, burgers, and a kids’ menu. Specifically, guests can look forward to State Fair cheese curds, chimichurri nachos, and sesame-crusted ahi salad.
“Opening my own craft brewery after the last of my four kids finished high school has been a long-time dream of mine,” Rigler said in a press release.
The bar’s location has special meaning to Rigler. She studied microbiology at ASU, and her brewery now stands on the same parcel of land where The Devil House, a popular bar that Rigler frequented in the ’80s, once stood. Rigler also served on the board of directors for the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds for women in the brewing industry. A fervent runner, the brewery also partially gets its name from the hundreds of miles Rigler has logged during her 43-year running career.
922 N. 5th St., downtown Phoenix
Greenwood Brewing is named for the owner, Megan Greenwood, who started to brew beer as a contractor back in 2017 and opened her downtown Phoenix taproom in 2020. Greenwood created her brewery with the intention of bringing people together. The light-filled taproom features high ceilings and a wood bar. Outside, there’s a cozy dog-friendly interior courtyard with lights strung high above.
On her website, Greenwood states, “Our goal is to create approachable craft beer to allow women to feel welcome in this industry. Because we believe that beer isn’t just tasty, but it is an avenue for powerful conversations and positive changes that often begin over a cold one with a friend. We want that friend to be both men and women.”
Check out Greenwood’s website to see what beers are currently on tap. The menu is divided into three parts: flagship, seasonal, and experimentals. At the time of this writing, the Herstory Pale Ale, Rosemary IPA, Sol Oatmeal Stout, and Mango Lassi Nitro Ale are all on the menu. Greenwood also donates about $2,000 annually to charities that benefit women such as the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, UMOM, and Girls on the Run, which uses its space.
Multiple locations in metro Phoenix
Jeff and Leah Huss own Huss Brewing Company, having opened the original location in Tempe in 2013. Combined, the couple has 33 years of experience in the industry. Leah co-owned Scottsdale-based Papago Brewing Company for 14 years, while Jeff was head brewer for BJ’s Brewing in Chandler. In 2016, Huss acquired Papago Brewing, creating the Huss Family of Beers, now the third largest brewer in Arizona.
The couple has come a long way. According to Leah, in the early days they sold their freshly brewed beer out of a beat-up Ford F-150. Huss now has 24 dedicated brewers who are devoted to brewing true-to-style craft beers. Some of the brand’s signature brews include the Huss Koffee Kolsch, Scottsdale Blonde, and the Papago Orange Blossom.
1094 S. Gilbert Road, #101, Gilbert
Sommer Decker is one of five owners, including her husband Chris, who partner to run Desert Monks Brewing Co. This Gilbert taproom opened in 2018. In its first two years, Desert Monks Brewing crafted more than 70 different beers. All the beers and sodas served here are made onsite, and some are even award winners. In 2022, the Desert Monks Pumpkin Beer took home a gold medal from the Arizona Craft Beer Awards. The previous year, the brewery took home a silver award from the Great American Beer Festival for its Alewife Pumpkin Pie Marzen Ale.
Desert Monks is BYOF, meaning bring your own food—or order from one of the nearby restaurants in Gilbert Town Square. The brewery hosts open mic nights, reverse happy hour, and all-day happy hour during the week. Check the calendar before you head out to see what’s brewing—pun intended.
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