Supporting Women in the Beer Industry with Mahalia Witter-Merithew

Thank you to Mahalia Witter-Merithew, owner of Casita Brewing Company in Wilson, for this insightful look into being a woman in the beer industry. All photos were provided by Mahalia. –PA

The beer industry is a hard industry to be a woman in because women have long been objectified by marketing in the beer industry and many other industries. It is a boys’ club in a lot of ways, which means if you are a woman in the beer industry, especially one who has been in it for going on 20 years, you will probably have experienced some terrible, disgusting, unsafe, and disrespectful things.

Mahalia and her brew

This is why I presented the Safer Workspaces Initiative at the NC Craft Brewers Conference this year and sat on a panel to talk about D, E, & I in the beer industry. The Safer Workspaces Initiative is a pledge and a resource guide I created for people in the beer industry. It is a baby step for beer businesses to go from doing nothing to taking steps in the right direction to educate themselves and their staff so that we can create a safer beer industry. There are many programs like this that exist, but this one is free, which is important for small business owners.

I also created a beer called Increasing Visibility which was a response to two separate experiences I had being interviewed by myself by men, who after the interview, chose to focus their articles on my husband. The first year we made it to increase my own visibility because I felt like an invisible woman after being written out of the story of our business, and this year we held a contest to increase the visibility of other women in the beer industry. The winner was Sarah Real from Hot Plate Brewery in Pittsfield, MA.

This is a beer we will brew every year for International Women’s Day to feature a different woman in the beer industry.

Women in the beer industry make a contribution and deserve to be seen.

Check out Casita Brewing’s site and visit them at 217 S Street in Wilson.

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