One of the pioneering founders of a Harrogate-based festival blazing a trail for the cause of women in the male-dominated beer world says the event is helping to change people’s perceptions of the town itself.
First launched in Harrogate in 2017, Women On Tap presents unique events fusing beer, women and the arts in order to raise the profile of women in a traditionally male-dominated industry and to tackle some of the issues that brings.
A completely inclusive festival, organisers stress men are welcome!
It’s not often Harrogate is at the cutting edge of the UK’s food and drink scene but Women on Tap festival is truly leading the way.
Co-founder Rachel Auty said: “What we want to do now is raise the profile of not only women in the wider beer industry in order to further our social mission.
“But we also want to fly the flag for Harrogate as a serious player in terms of beer and the range of quality independent pubs.”
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This year’s festival, which runs from May 1-5, boasts a wide range of craft beer events at independent bars in Harrogate and Knaresborough open to women and men.
But at its heart this year is the Beer For All conference, the first of its kind in the UK.
Taking place at Harrogate Theatre on May 3, speakers from all across the UK will be coming to Harrogate to discuss why Britain has the lowest percentage of female beer drinkers in the world and what is being done to change that.
The inaugural festival was funded personally by founders Rachel Auty and Andrew Cameron but it has since attracted sponsorship, including from Manchester-based brewer Cloudwater.
Among the bars and breweries hosting Women on Tap events such as Beer School, Beer & Food - The Perfect Match and an evening with comic Maisie Adam will be The Little Ale House, North Bar, Cold Bath Brewing Co, Harrogate Brewing Co. Tap Room, Blind Jacks, Major Tom’s Social, Starling and Corner Haus.
Rachel Auty said: “We’ve got an exciting vision to really push forward with even more bespoke events, a fringe programme at some of our favourite venues across the north, Beer School, and a one-day Women In Beer conference. It’s going to be big!”