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Women In Beer - Meet Stoup Brewing's Robyn Schumacher and Lara Zahaba

Stoup Brewing Women In Beer

March 11, 2024

Robyn Schumacher and Lara Zahaba, co-owners of Stoup Brewing, make a compelling point: achieving greater inclusion across the industry is key to ensuring women no longer face the same hurdles when entering the craft beer world.

They believe that these obstacles can be overcome by ensuring that women are valued and heard. Specifically, emphasizing the importance of including women in decision-making processes and encouraging them to pursue leadership roles. Additionally, they highlight the importance of visibility, stating that seeing successful women in the industry can inspire others to pursue similar paths.

Their stance on inclusion is a welcome addition to the conversation surrounding gender parity in the craft beer industry. Their approach of encouraging breweries to foster a more inclusive environment and to celebrate the contributions of all genders is a positive step towards a more equitable industry. Want to hear more from Robyn and Lara? Snag tickets to our Women in Beer event on March 21 at Pike Pub!

Let’s raise a glass to inclusion and check out some responses from Robyn below!

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

My original goal was just to be a part of the craft beer industry so any leadership role I have now just came with time and experience. The longer I'm in the industry, the more I feel compelled to share my energy with other less represented people hoping to enter craft beer. I look for opportunities to do that which have led to positions on the WA Brewers Guild, membership on the Guild DEIA Committee and a role with the Mosaic State Brewers Collective.

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

I feel proud that Stoup has historically been almost 50% women across the board even in production. That number varies, but has always been close to 50%. I believe that's because we have strong female leadership as part of our business model.

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

Like in most industries, the rules and norms are set by men, so any deviation from that can be seen as weakness. These barriers are overcome by making sure women are valued and included in decision making and are encouraged to apply for leadership positions. People need to see others who look like them or they may not even make an attempt to become a part of the industry.

 4. 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?

Simply step aside sometimes. 

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

Find people and places that clearly value women and invest your energy there. There are lots of folks who want the industry to be diverse and recognize the skills individuals bring to the table. Get an education and introduce yourself to as many people in the industry as possible. Be persistent!

6. You are contributing to the curriculum of WSU’s Brewing Certification Program. What will be your focus?

I'm creating several course including topics on brewhouse processes, yeast and fermentation, etc. 

7. Imagine you had the power to brew a beer that could inspire confidence and courage in women everywhere. What ingredients would you use, and how would you describe its empowering effect?

Women already have the confidence and courage, they just need to opportunity to express it. I wouldn't brew a beer for women. I'd brew a beer for men that would compel them to include women in all conversations and value the contributions they bring to the table.