Female beer enthusiasts group marks first event in U.P.
MARQUETTE — A new chapter of Barley’s Angels kicked off its first event Thursday evening at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. in Marquette.
Barley’s Angels U.P. is Michigan’s sole chapter of the international women’s group, Barley’s Angels, which aims to educate and advocate the appreciation of craft beer, along with offering women an opportunity to make connections in the community.
Over 20 women gathered in the Ore Dock’s community space on the second floor to mingle and enjoy snacks prior to a beer tasting and tour of the brewery’s facility. Tickets were $18 per person and available online. Along with the beer samples and tour, everyone who purchased a ticket also got a pint of their choice of brew.
Founded by Marquette-native Kylie Bunting, Barley’s Angels U.P. plans to host events in the area every three months. Bunting, who moved back to Marquette in August and has a background in public relations and marketing, co-hosted events through a Barley’s Angels chapter in Chicago for about five years.
“We hosted monthly events, so we went to a lot of breweries in Chicago,” she said. “When we moved back here, I really wanted to provide something like that to the women of the Upper Peninsula, so I decided to launch this, along with my co-pilot Emily (Hines).”
Bunting called Barley’s Angels a “women’s craft beer education and appreciation group.”
“It’s an opportunity to get together with women who might not know anything about beer or might be a brewer in beer, or might know everything about beer. It doesn’t matter,” she said. “You get an opportunity to … meet people you might not have met in other settings.
“I know I’ve met some really great friends from the Chicago chapter. Some people were invited to my wedding, we got that close,” Bunting continued. “So, I hope to create that sort of atmosphere here where you might be sitting next to your friends now, but next time you might be sitting next to someone you don’t know.”
The gatherings are also a way to support local craft beer establishments and restaurants, she said.
“Ever since I left here, there really wasn’t craft beer here. So to come back and see how blooming it really is up here and to have people as great as the Ore Dock here, it’s just a great way to support them as well,” Bunting said, also giving a shout-out to Togo’s sub shop for providing sandwiches for new members to snack on.
There isn’t a membership fee to join Barley’s Angels U.P., people just have to show up to the events.
“You already are (a member) since you’re here,” Bunting said.
Bunting’s hopeful the next event will take place June 15 and said tickets should be available at the Ore Dock’s Angry Bear Festival next month. For the next event, she said the goal is to rent a bus to take from Marquette to Ishpeming’s Cognition Brewing Co., then head to Barrel + Beam in Marquette Township on the way back, grab some food from a local restaurant and hang out.
After Bunting introduced herself and the organization, Ore Dock staff handed out samples of three different beers — Weatherbeard Nordic Wheat; Bramble on Rose, a raspberry golden strong; and Reclamation IPA, one of the brewery’s most popular brews. Master brewer Gabe Hopkins, who’s been in the brewing business for around 16 years, explained the beers in great detail and answered any questions the women had.
Shortly after, Hopkins and Blayne Sheppard, brewery sales advocate, led a tour of the facility while explaining the brewing process. They commended the group for getting involved in the brewing community.
For more information, visit the Barley’s Angels U.P. Facebook page.
Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.