Raising a glass: 10 women in beer

Kathy Britton


L-R – Co-owner Kathy Britton, head brewer Colin Church, and head of sales Gary Gooch. Credit: thebottledbeeryear.blogspot.co.uk

Role: Managing partner of the Oldershaw Brewery, Lincolnshire, UK

Kathy Britton owns the Oldershaw Brewery with her husband Tim Britton, however it is Kathy who takes care of the day-to-day running of the brewery. A family-owned business, Oldershaw Brewery was founded in 1996 by Gary and Diane Oldershaw, with Kathy and Tim taking over in 2010 – their love of beer prompting them to move from Buckinghamshire to buy the brewery. Three years later the pair became the first husband and wife team to become Beer Academy Sommeliers.

“There has definitely been a rise in female roles with in the beer industry”, says Kathy. “When I started there weren’t so many women in brewing. Now you see many more women involved from microbreweries to companies such as AB InBev and other global brands.”

Their beers include the more traditional 3.6% Grantham Dark and 3.6% Barkston Bitter. Its selection of blonde beers have a distinct feminine edge, with beers carrying names such as Heavenly Blonde, American Blonde and Blonde Volupta and accompanied by glamourously, retro images of women.

On the recipe to success, Britton says: “We have supplied beers across the country for over 15 years and our best-selling beers include a traditional bitter that hasn’t changed in all of that time and a more modern golden beer using new hop varieties. In our view you often need to offer a range of craft beers, ales as well as the big bitter brands and lagers such as Stella Artois or Budweiser.”

2 Responses to “Raising a glass: 10 women in beer”

  1. Jaco Hamilton-Attwell says:

    I think you missed an important one: Frieda Dehrmann from SAB/Inbev. She was SAB’s Consumer Science and Sensory Manager, but has since moved up the ladder to a position in SABMiller UK, but I am not sure what her new title is.

  2. “it was a German nun in the early 17th century that was the first to discover that adding hops to beer radically increased its shelf life” Even ignoring “early in the 17th century” when you mean “some time in the 12th century” this is total nonsense: there is no evidence whatsoever that Hildegarde was the first person to discover this. She was the first person known to have written about it: but that’s a very different matter. And in any case, you don’t increase the shelf life of beer merely by adding hops to it: you have to boil the hops in the wort for it to work.

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