I met up with Carlsbad-resident, Kristine Baker, Founder and Owner of the Women’s Craft Beer Collective at Stave and Nail Brewing Co. in San Marcos to talk all things San Diego craft beer —while also learning more about the ‘why’ behind her women’s craft beer club. Side note: The brewery’s ‘Funk Face’ beer is still something I’m dreaming about. Kristine was drinking Stave and Nail’s Mexican lager.
Kristine created the Women’s Craft Beer Collective back in 2013 after feeling uncomfortable, as a woman, visiting local breweries. So, she started bringing along her girlfriends on her weekly craft beer crawls and noticed “there was safety in numbers.”
“We started gathering in groups and we found that we could explore beer styles and not have anybody messing with us. And, it was a lot of fun,” said Kristine Baker, Founder and Owner of the Women’s Craft Beer Collective.
Those informal meet-ups with friends turned into a monthly event with other local women, visiting a new brewery each month and focusing on a new educational craft beer topic like IPAs or stouts.
“The meet-ups were incredibly successful because women had been looking for something like that,” said Baker.
Kristine has even created a shop within the collective, offering beer-themed merchandise specifically for women to enjoy and flaunt, including this tank top called “Beer Smart.”
“Women want to have cute things that are feminine but show their love for beer,” said Baker. “They’ve put in some time, they’ve researched, explored a lot of beer styles — women do know a lot about beer so I want for women to be proud and own that. And, to be empowered,” added Baker.
A goal of Kristine’s is to expand the Women’s Craft Beer Collective to different cities outside of San Diego by finding new chapter leaders. She’s looking at Miami, Portland and Denver as some of her ideal spots.
And, today — as the pandemic is affecting many local businesses in San Diego, including the craft beer industry, Kristine is rallying behind her community to keep local craft breweries alive.
“We have such a tight community. I have heard stories of new breweries helping out other new breweries needing supplies…I think they know they can pick up the phone and call anybody in the vicinity that is also in the same industry and they have somebody that’s there to help them,” said Baker.
“A lot of them (craft breweries) aren’t going to make it and I don’t even want to know what the percentage is going to be when this is all over. It breaks so many people’s heart in this community because we are so tight, these are our friends and our family –– it’s been a difficult time for them,” said Baker.
Booze Brothers: “The décor is just to die for. I can always find a beer on-tap there that I really enjoy. You walk in and it just gives you a cool feeling – like I’m so cool, I’m hip.”
Northern Pine Brewing: “I love the beers and the love that I get at Northern Pine. I’m very fond of Oceanside. I feel like that’s my community even though I live in Carlsbad. I love Northern Pine– they’re fresh out-of-the-gate but they have amazing beer. Their vibe is very outdoorsy, explore nature. They have some fun beer names. Great styles to drink.”
Culture Brewing Co.: Kristine has worked here for 7 years. “They are family, and it is always fun to drink beer when I’m off work, at a place that is so fun and familiar!”