Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Women In Beer - Meet Chuckanut Brewing's Mari Kemper

Meet Mari Kemper of Chuckanut Brewery! Mari is a craft brew pioneer who started Chuckanut in Bellingham, WA in 2008. Check out our interview with Mari below and hear more from Mari at our Women In Beer event at Pike Pub on March 21, 2024!

What inspired you to become a leader in the craft brewing industry?

Just happened to have an incredible brewmaster husband! And my love of the product helped!

Share a time when you felt particularly proud of your contributions as women in brewing?

Traveling the world and the US setting up breweries alongside one of the most talented craft brewmasters in the world made me proud of him and also the ingenuity and creativity of the Amercian craft brewer. Being in Japan, Mexico, Australia, Turkey, and multiple places in the US inspiring beer lovers has been so much fun!

In your opinion, what are the most significant barriers discouraging women from entering the craft brewing industry and how can these barriers be overcome? 

It's hard for me to talk about this since I was one of the first women in the craft beer industry in the US. Because of that, I find people are very respectful plus I'm a loudmouth troublemaker and people have a hard time being mean to me! But I sympathize with those women that do have a hard time. I find women have been pushed down in a lot of fields. We've made a lot of progress but there's still more miles to go.

What role do you both believe men can play in supporting and advancing women’s careers in the brewing industry and how can they contribute to fostering an inclusive workplace culture?

I see men advancing and supporting women throughout the industry but maybe I've just been lucky and know good people. Don't give up, be kind, and we can win them over.

What message would you send to women who are interested in pursuing a career in craft brewing?

Do it, there are always industries that are difficult for women, but seek kindred spirits that are supportive and helpful and use them to your benefit. Follow your heart and be brave!