Let’s be honest: Most of us probably have a preconceived image of what a craft beer enthusiast looks like. (Perhaps a rugged outdoorsman, wearing a flannel shirt with a beard?)
But just like tiki-themed cocktails aren’t just for bachelorette parties, craft beer is not a gendered drink, either.
Unfortunately, though, the beer industry tends to keep diverse libationists from success. In fact, according to the Brewer’s Association, only 2% of breweries in the United States are owned by women.
Lady Justice Brewing, an all-woman-owned community-focused brewery in Aurora, Colorado, on the other hand, shows that there is power in reimagining the industry.
Drink a beer, change a life
Lady Justice Brewery honors legends like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Marsha P. Johnson with a colorful mural, and beers are named after historical icons like Sandra Day O’Connor (the Double Sandra Day IPA even got a thumbs-up from the woman herself).
However, their mission goes beyond sipping a cold one with the girls.
Lady Justice dedicates its time, space, and money to nonprofit partners that support and empower women, girls, and nonbinary people in Colorado. The brewery offers a “Community-Supported Beer” membership, with 100% of profits going directly to these organizations.
All three owners of the brewery — Betsy Lay, Kate Power, and Jen Cuesta — have day jobs in law and academia outside of the brewery, allowing them to funnel Lady Justice’s funds to causes they care about. To date, Lady Justice has given more than $20,000 to over 30 local organizations.
Some previous partners include Hands Of The Carpenter, an organization that provides car donations to women in need; and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, an organization that teaches dance to honor African American heritage; and Frontline Farming, a food justice group in Denver.
“It’s literally a liquid form of breaking bread with people,” Lay told CBS News.
In 2023, Lady Justice is splitting 100% of membership profits directly between the Aurora Public Library and the Colorado Doula Project.
“The people who support Lady J are not just people who drink our beer,” the brewery’s website reads. “They are also the most wonderful, compassionate, and engaged community. It’s not just donations, it’s people getting involved in issues and organizations and working to make the world a better place.”
A version of this article was originally published in The 2023 Food Edition of the Goodnewspaper.
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