Women In Beer - Becky KeanDATE:
Interview With Becky Kean, Co-Founder Of Nirvana Brewery
For International Women’s Day we interviewed Becky Kean, the Director and Co Founder of Nirvana Brewery to find out what makes beer a great industry to be in, regardless of gender.
BEER OF CHOICE?
Becky Kean, Co-founder of Nirvana Brewery
“It might sound a bit boring, but I do like a lager. I do like dark roast beers too, like a stout or porter, but there’s nothing like a lager, a good well made lager.”
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE BEER MARKET?
“I kind of stumbled into the beer market because my dad couldn’t drink alcoholic beer, so it was mostly for him that we started in the market, but I was already quite a big beer fan myself. I first started liking beer in Thailand when I was handed a can of Chang (Thai beer); the moment was just perfect for it, and ever since then I carried on drinking beer. Then, I started to get into craft beer whilst I was in San Diego, I went to a craft brewery and was fascinated by the brewery tour, seeing all the barrels and trying all the different types of beer and it bought it all to life, I could see the art of it. Shortly after that I started FitBeer along with my brother Joe, and very quickly after that we set up Nirvana Brewery with another business partner. They’ve both moved on to other things now, but I can’t imagine my life without beer! My brother-in-law Drew came on board to co-run Nirvana with me, so we’ve stayed committed to being a family business.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRY?
“There are fewer role models to look up to and compare to and model your behaviour on, it’s a bit more difficult when your looking up to men in the industry, but I’m sure that will change. I think the generation before us of women were the ones who ‘fought the battle’ as it were, and now it’s a lot easier to be a woman in beer. I’ve met some incredible women in the beer industry, there’s Jaega Wise who came to our brewery and Jane Peyton who we see at beer festivals and events, and that’s one of the upsides, that you bond with the women that you do meet. Another upside is there’s a shorter queue for the toilets!
My team is a very even male-female split - we’re actually exactly 50/50, and I think that’s also fairly reflective of our customer base. I’m really pleased to see more women that ever enjoying beer!”
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE?
“Loads of little things have happened along our journey and I feel quite proud to say that we contributed to igniting the alcohol-free movement. FitBeer was one of the first new brands on the scene and Nirvana followed shortly after that. The fact that Nirvana was the first female owned alcohol-free beer brand, and is still the only dedicated alcohol-free brand with its own brewery are two things that I’m hugely proud of.”
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO SAY TO OTHER WOMEN THAT WANT TO GET STARTED IN THE BEER GAME?
“Just forget about any stereotypes, beer isn’t male or female, it’s a just a bloody good drink! And surround yourself with good people, it’s a team effort and everything we’ve achieved has been a team effort.”
IF YOU WERE A BEER, WHAT BEER WOULD YOU BE?
“Belgian Blond - Because I’ve got blond hair and low bitterness!”
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