The Barley’s Angels is a Canada wide organization, dedicated to creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for women to connect and learn under the greater envelope of craft beer. Recently, a group of gals with Lake of the Woods Brewing Company came together to create the Kenora Chapter of Barley’s Angels, and they have not looked back.
One of the early Barley’s Angels events in Kenora was a paint night at Oktoberfest, featuring the band, Red Moon Road. In the last year, the Barley’s Angels have grown in collaborative contributors, and have been actively putting on more events. “In the last year, we’ve had an open house mixer, a chocolate and beer pairing event with Sweet and our third growler painting night.” States Jessalyn Watt, a key player in the Barley’s Angels Team, “We also served beer for the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Community Foundation on the MS Kenora and gave our samples at the Women of Ambition Conference.”
“Barley’s Angels for me has been about forming friendships with women in the community, networking, participating in fun events and enjoying a cold beer.”
-Jess Watt, Barley’s Angel
A recent success for the Barley’s Angels Kenora Chapter, is the creation of the tasty Queen B; an all-female brewed Honey Pale Ale. The inspiration for this beer came from Audrey Manzie; a Barley’s Angel, a lover of bees and an owner with Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. The Queen B was brewed on International Women’s Day by female brewer Liz Rumple, with help from Ashley Watt, also a brewer with Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. Honey Malt was a key ingredient in the unique recipe and taste of the Queen B.
“This beautiful queen bee logo was designed & created by Artist Kimberley Slezak. Kim is a self-taught artist who finds inspiration in the landscape and wildlife that surround her home town of Kenora, Ontario! She creates beautiful works of art and is also a kickass mom.“
The Queen B Honey Pale Ale was Liz’s brainchild, so it is up to Ashley Watt to lead the charge for the next International Women’s Day brew. Ashley already has some ideas up her sleeve and is hoping to pilot a version of it with the Dryden Homebrewers Club before going to the big tanks. In Ashley’s words; “There are quite a few women of various ages in the Dryden group who love craft beer, so it’ll be nice to focus on expanding their knowledge while creating beer as well.” Ashley has been a key part of the Angels, taking on the big task of engaging with the public through speaking events and delivering info sessions on the nuts and bolts behind making beer. According to every member of the team, she has risen to the challenge beautifully.
“Even though I was nervous to talk in front of a crowd of people, I loved talking to all the ladies who showed up to the Chocolate and Beer pairing event. I think my favourite part of the Barleys Angels group is meeting other ladies from the community who not only love craft beer but also learning their part in the community.”
-Ashley Watt, Barley’s Angel
Kenora is very lucky to have a group of gals to bring Barley’s Angels to life. Any town can start its own chapter as long as there is public interest and some community-minded women to see it through. Thunderbay, for example, has a chapter called North Shore Barley’s Angels. Any woman who is of the age of 19 or older is welcome to join the Kenora Barley’s Angels! In the US, they have a similar society called The Pink Boots Society, which has done a wonderful job of gathering funds and grants to further the experience and education of women working in the beer industry.
Join the Barley’s Angels Kenora Chapter for opportunities to socialize with fellow beer sisters, and get beer-educated by the female brewers at Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. As Natasha states; “Barley’s Angels want to continue to spread the appreciation of craft beer and hope to start extending events to locations outside of Kenora… Road trip anyone?”
Run by women, for women.