Brews without bros: Society of Beer Drinking Ladies hosts Ottawa 'bevy'

For the first time, the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies is hosting an event in Ottawa for women who enjoy hoppy suds.

'You can ... talk about beer, not feel judged, not feel like you don't know anything'

Laura Behzadi, who co-owns Ottawa's Bicycle Craft Brewery, is taking part in the Society for Beer Drinking Ladies's first Ottawa event this Saturday. (Kristy Nease/CBC)

A club specially crafted for women who enjoy hoppy suds in the company of one another is hosting its first event in Ottawa.

Erica Campbell helped start the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies more than four years go while she was working with a bunch of men at a craft brewery in Toronto.

"It was great, and I felt really supported being there, but I was starting to meet women in different craft breweries around the GTA. And I thought it would be kind of neat if, a couple of times a year, we connected, we went to one of our apartments, we became friends over beer," Campbell told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Friday.

She approached four other women with the idea, and their first event — they call them "bevies" — sold 75 tickets in two days.

We hear about an event to get beer loving women to hoist a pint together. 5:26

'Not feel judged'

"We were blown away by how successful it was.... We obviously proved very early on that women love beer, and we've been throwing these big parties and events for women and beer ever since," Campbell said.

"I think it kind of creates a neat experience where you can go up to booths and feel free to kind of talk about beer, not feel judged, not feel like you don't know anything. It's pretty supportive and safe and inclusive for women to network and explore beer in a casual, kind of relaxed way."

The society's first Ottawa bevy, which has sold out, is happening Saturday at the allsaints event space in Sandy Hill.

Laura Behzadi, who co-owns Ottawa's Bicycle Craft Brewery, said it's a "very exciting time" for women in the beer industry.

"Each year we take International Women's Day as an opportunity to celebrate women in the beer industry. We brew a special beer for it, we host events to raise money for women's organizations, and really try to promote and celebrate women in the industry," she said.


Feeling thirsty? Here's what Campbell and Behzadi find interesting to drink right now.

Campbell's recommendation: Left Field Brewery's Rally Cap pale ale with lactose, a "hazy and creamy yet bitter, citrusy beer."

Behzadi's recommendation: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company's Pink Fuzz grapefruit American wheat beer that makes her pine for warmer weather.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning