Fermenta is helping women tap into the beer industry

And all other foods and beverages in the fermentation

If you thought making beer was just for men, think again - Fermenta is helping women tap into the beer industry.

The nonprofit organization was started after a conversation Pauline Knighton-Prueter and Stacey Roth had after the 2014 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference. With help from Angie Williams, a former lawyer and beer maker, they got their 501C3 status.

“The point was to get together, and share these stories so we can learn and experience some comradery,” says Angie Williams.

While it started off only including women already in the industry, it quickly expanded to include women who were interested in the industry as well.

“You find very quickly, that there is a place for almost everyone,” says Williams.

It’s why brew days are so important. It gives beer enthusiasts, like Danielle Fracassa, a chance to learn more about the industry.

“I like the experimentation of beer, the fact that I’m making this recipe, and this is my design, and it’s going in here, and somebody’s going to drink it in a few weeks; like that’s so cool! You’re making something out of nothing,” says Fracassa.

She joined Fermenta in 2019 and in the fall of 2022, Danielle decided to take classes at Schoolcraft College to become a brewer.

Fracassa says, “I was working in local government for 5 years... it definitely took me a while to work up the courage to make this transition.”

Fracassa mentioned that Annette May, Fermenta’s Scholarship and Education Chair, among other members as the reason she felt confident enough to make this transition.

Not only does Fermenta provide a community for these women, but they also give out scholarships and it isn’t just for beer. Fermenta has expanded to include all fermented food and beverages like wine, cheese, and kombucha.

“What I love about Fermenta is that we are all-inclusive, " says Barb Baker, a former Fermenta President

With the help of scholarships, Fracassa is well on her way to becoming a professional brewer.

“Fermenta is going to give you a community you didn’t even know existed, " she says. “I’m here because someone from Fermenta plucked me out of the blue and was like, ‘I think you’re going to be good at this,’ and I’m doing it!”

If you want to join Fermenta or apply for one of their scholarships, visit them on their website.

It should be noted, that you do not have to be a woman to join Fermenta. Men and non-binary individuals are welcome to join if they want to help support women in the fermentation industry.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.