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Female-owned breweries raising money for brewing scholarships for women

A new beer, the Bombshell IPA, will help raise money for a brewing scholarship exclusively for women.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Three local female brewery owners are working to raise a glass of awareness, teaming up to help get other women involved in the brewing industry. 

These owners worked together to create a new beer, the Bombshell IPA, to raise money for a brewing scholarship exclusively for women.

"The typical response I get from customers is that I’m the brewers wife and along with that assumption is I do very little at the brewery," said Joy Braddock, co-owner of Hog River Brewing Co. "It’s a very male-dominated industry so we want women to know there's not only opportunities, but we want to create opportunities at higher levels. 

A portion of the proceeds from their creation will be going to the CT Pink Books Scholarship that encourages women in the Brewing Sciences program at Sacred Heart University to get into the business.

The program currently has at least two dozen women enrolled. 

 "It’s bigger than me and a can of beer or us and a can of beer, its really about the movement and opening doors for women, and particular for me, people of color in the industry," said Alisa Bowens-Mercado, CEO and Brew Master of Rhythm Brewing Co. 

RELATED: Black Business Month spotlight: Rhythm Brewing Co. in New Haven

Heather Wilson is co-owner of Hop Culture Farms and Brew Co. and head brewer. For Wilson, making the brewing industry more welcoming of women hits home. 

"It actually delights me because people are shocked and they ask repeatedly, 'oh, you made this?' said Wilson. "I’m a mom, I have three little girls and they often ask me how many women make the beer, or work in the brewing space, and I want to be the example to them to show them this is possible for anyone but especially women." 

RELATED: Two Connecticut breweries named to beer magazine’s ‘best of 2021’ lists

The women are releasing their new beer alongside other women-owned businesses to empower women to keep changing narratives and be apart of the change. 

"Let's tap into untapped demographics, we’re breaking glass ceilings and honestly we’re taking the stereotypes out of beer drinkers or beer drinking and what’s typical," said Bowens-Mercado. 

The EmpowHERment Bombshell IPA Collaboration Can Release is March 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hog River Brewing, 1429 Park Road in Hartford. Details can be found on Facebook @hopculturefarms, @HogRiverBrewingCompany and @rhythmbrewingco and on Instagram at @rhythmbrewingco, @hogriverbrewing and @hopculturefarmsandbrewco

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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