Fermentana Beer Maven

by Angie Ripple

Fermentana is excited to kick off the second round of Beer Maven in 2019. As Montana’s first-ever, female-only beer event series celebrating women and beer, Beer Maven offers women the opportunity to expand and develop their beer knowledge through a variety of exciting beer tastings, unique food pairings, and fun, educational discussions with guest industry speakers at local community establishments. 

The second annual series will be hosted at the newly-opened Kitty Warren Social Club in downtown Bozeman during the months of January, February, and March. Additionally, 10% of proceeds from ticket sales to this event series will be donated back to HAVEN, a Bozeman-based nonprofit which offers support to women and families affected by domestic violence.

According to the Brewers Association, women currently represent slightly more than half of all beer drinkers. Of that number, approximately 25% of those female drinkers choose craft beer. Through Beer Maven, Fermentana is helping to grow its fellow females’ appreciation for craft beer by bringing women of varying palettes, diverse beer-style preferences, and multiple fermented interests together to learn and experience beer in new and interesting ways. 

Bozeman Magazine sat down with Fermentana co-founder, Loy Maierhauser, to learn more about the Beer Maven series.

Angie Ripple: How was Beer Maven conceptualized? How did it come about?

Loy Maierhauser: Jesse [Bussard] and I met in the homebrew club and at the time, were the only two females in the club. As we got to talking and building a friendship, Jesse and I bonded over, of course, a mutual love for beer, but also a mutual passion for working towards changing the male-dominated dynamic that we both saw and experienced, not just in homebrewing, but in craft beer in general. We knew when we first started Fermentana that we wanted to do something like this, but with Bozeman Craft Beer Week being such a big undertaking, we decided to wait to make Beer Maven a reality in our second year.  

For me, Beer Maven is truly the marriage of some of my greatest passions. As a former elementary school teacher, I am incredibly passionate about education in all shapes and forms, but especially education as a tool for empowering individuals.  As a current beer nerd, I am dedicated to and excited about sharing my beer nerdery with others!  Not only do I LOVE getting to spend time building and being a part of this community of beer-loving women, but I also love seeing the Beer Mavens gain the knowledge and confidence they need to navigate intimidating beer menus and try beers they wouldn’t otherwise try.  

AR: Tell me a little about yourself. What made you want to get into the beer industry?

LM: I started homebrewing when I was in college in Oregon and very quickly became enamored with the process - since then, I knew that I always wanted to do something in the beer industry. With homebrewing, I fell in love with the process of brewing beer - I loved how every single detail contributed to the final product, and both the creativity and problem solving that those details required of me. I loved beer’s complexity and its simplicity, because I think beer is innately both, and I love the wide array of flavors and aromas you can experience from this one beverage! When I moved to Bozeman, the beer community is so strong here, I knew it was finally time for me to dive into the beer world. Shortly after starting Fermentana with Jesse, I also scored my dream job working at MAP Brewing, so I’m definitely living the beer dream! And I continue to grow and develop myself in my knowledge and skills in the industry as a Certified BJCP Judge and a Certified Cicerone.  

AR:What makes Fermentana/Beer Maven unique in Bozeman? What do you offer that others don’t?

LM: Beer Maven isn’t just a happy hour or a social gathering. While this community of women gathering together and connecting with each other is indeed a key part of the experience, the heart of what we’re doing with the Beer Maven series is empowering women through education. By teaching women more about beer - the ingredients, the processes, the styles, and how to taste it - we hope that women walk away feeling a little more confident talking about beer and that they are able to go into a restaurant and ask for exactly what they want. Our Beer Maven gatherings are unique in that they bring a community of women together around education and beer!  


AR: What do you want people to experience when they take part in your events?

LM: Overall, I hope our Beer Mavens walk away with three things: knowledge, confidence, and friendships. I want our Mavens to experience an environment that’s learning focused - where they feel safe to ask questions and comfortable enough to go outside of their comfort zone. Of course I want our Mavens to have a ton of fun too... it is beer after all! And, I want them to experience a true community of women that all have something in common - an interest in beer - so that they maybe even walk away with a new friend or two that they can go out for beers with in the future! 

AR: What do you enjoy most about being part of Bozeman? 

LM
: Bozeman is truly a community - after being here for five years, I’ve found that everyone seems to be connected in some way, everyone cares for each other, everyone is supportive, and people truly look out for one another. It’s that community that I think Beer Maven fits right into here in Bozeman, and it’s that community that makes Bozeman such an incredible place to live.  

AR: What’s your favorite locally brewed beer?

LM: I’m currently filling my glass with any of our hazy IPAs at MAP. I’ll admit that I’m definitely a sucker for this current haze craze!  We also have an Imperial Stout on tap right now at MAP that was a collaboration with Draught Works Brewery in Missoula, that we aged in whisky barrels from Bozeman Spirits for almost a year and then infused with Treeline coffee.  It’s a like a big warm drink of pure Montana love. And I also love any of the sour and funky beers that Bozeman Brewing has on tap, especially their barrel-aged sours.  They always have such a wide variety of beers, that’s usually my Friday night hangout!

The first event in the Beer Maven series will happen Tuesday, January 15 from 6-9 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a sensory analysis training with Fermentana co-founder and Beer Cicerone, Loy Maierhauser, during a tasting of a series of beers from Draught Works Brewery of Missoula, MT. 

In the second event of the series on Tuesday, February 19, women will have the opportunity to again learn from Maierhauser about the complex flavors and aromas malt imparts to beer via a tasting of beers from Bozeman Brewing Company. Other industry experts, including Karl DeJonge, founder of Gallatin Valley Malt of Manhattan, MT, will also be part of the discussion. Light snacks and plenty of time for mingling and discussion will also be included in both events. 

Beer Maven will finish with a Big Beer Pairing Dinner on Tuesday, March 19. A special hand-picked collection of bold, strong beers will be paired with small plates prepared by the chefs at the Kitty Warren.

Individual tickets for each event in the series (limited to 35 people each) will be offered to beer drinkers at a price of $35 each for the first two events and $45 for the beer-pairing dinner. Tickets include entrance to the event, beer samples, and light snacks, or, in the case of the beer-pairing dinner, small plated foods. A special Beer Maven Pass, which includes entrance to all three events, is also available for $100. Only 20 of these special three-event passes are available. 

“Whether you’re a woman who already loves beer or are just getting started, Beer Maven offers something for every female drinker,” says Fermentana co-founder, Jesse Bussard. “These events give women a chance to build their beer knowledge, discover new beers, meet like-minded women, and in general, feel more confident about their future beer decisions. With Beer Maven, we hope to educate more women about beer and continue to build the community of female beer drinkers one pint at a time!”

Complete event details and tickets are available for purchase online at www.fermentana.com    

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