Yes, not only does Oregon boast a relatively inexpensive housing market, scenic, bridge-laden landscapes and resident badass Carrie Brownstein, it’s also home to a plethora of world-renowned craft breweries. On top of it all, Hood River’s employee-owned Full Sail Brewing has recently elevated my Pacific-Northwest crush to a new level by publicly combining my two all-time favorite things ever: feminism and beer. Oh, Oregon! If you weren’t so dang rainy all the time, I swear I’d gay marry you.
Because they’re super awesome (did I mention they’re 100% worker-owned?), Full Sail has instituted a “Brewer’s Share” program: each staff member gets to brew and keg an experimental beer that they design and name themselves, even if they’re not a part of the regular brewing team. They also get to dedicate all the proceeds from their special limited edition to a charity of their choosing. This time around, Full Sail’s Marketing Coordinator Stephanie Duffy whipped up a Cascadian Dark Ale brewed with ample rich malts and aggressive hops and clocking in at 7.5% ABV and 82 IBUS (a measure of bitterness). With those flavor profiles, Duffy’s Counterpunch, as she’s calling it, is clearly made to give the average light lager or fruity Hefeweizen a kick in the pants.
“My beer defies the traditional expectations of a ‘girl’s beer.’ Like many women, I love my beer and I appreciate a broad cross-section of craft brews,” reports Duffy on a Full Sail press release. “Even though the beer industry is still very male-dominated (like so many other industries) I thought it was especially appropriate to brew a bold, strong beer in honor of all the bold, strong women who shirk stereotypes and avoid being pigeonholed. We’re in no need of pandering!”
Duffy considers her bold brew her feminist argument in liquid form. To seal the deal, she named my beloved radical rag Bitch Magazine as her charity recipient. Drinking delicious beer while also benefiting feminist media criticism? I think I’m in love.
Duffy was also quick to give props to her boss, Full Sail CEO and Founder Irene Firmat who established herself as a craft beer badass back in 1987, when the industry was virtually devoid of women, let alone publicly politically minded ones. To stand up and say you’re a feminist has never been an easy move, and I really admire these women for putting it all out there while simultaneously making some killer beers.
“My hope is this beer will inspire further conversations about women’s rights, feminism, and equality, because those are incredibly important and pertinent topics for all of us,” Duffy concludes. “What better place to discuss the philosophies of our culture and world than in a public house over a pint?” My thoughts exactly. Cheers, Oregon, you irresistible beast!
Where to drink:
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself near the PDX area, grab a pint of the hops-tastic Duffy’s Counterpunch at Full Sail’s Brew Pub in Hood River or the Pilsner Room in Portland. If you’re stuck – like me – dreaming wistfully of Oregon’s bounty, try the easy drinking Full Sail Amber or the crisply hopped Full Sail IPA, and donate to Bitch the old-fashioned way.