[Booze Issue 2013]

Barley’s Angels brings women together to geek out over craft beer

Angel toast: Clinking to craft beer.
Photo: Sam Morris

Ladies, raise your pint glasses. Barley’s Angels has arrived in Las Vegas with a simple, hoppy goal: encouraging women’s interest in craft beer.

The new local chapter of this international organization held its first meeting in August at Velveteen Rabbit, bringing together 21 women for an evening of serious beer talk, tastings and cheese pairings.

“People ask me why [everyone is] so excited about craft beer,” says chapter president and certified cicerone Sarah Johnson, who is also food and beverage director at Mandalay Bay. “Flavor is the answer people go to, but the hook really can be that it’s just exciting. And beer people are pretty cool people.”

Barley’s Angels started as an offshoot of the Pink Boots Society, an organization for women in the beer industry. A Boots member, Johnson says she was determined to start an Angels chapter in Vegas, so female beer consumers could also have a space to discuss their love for the craft.

No longer affiliated with the industry group, Barley’s emphasizes connecting women to each other and the craft community, with every meeting highlighting a different local beer bar or brewery, along with some food component. September’s meeting at Tenaya Creek featured an array of homemade snacks, from brownies and breads to chili, empanadas and cheese dips—all made with beer.

From cicerones like Johnson to home brewers and craft-beer newbies, the ladies-only group welcomes beer advocates of all experience levels, so long as they spread the gospel of craft brew to other women. Amen, sisters.

Barley's Angels Monthly Meeting Next meeting November 3, 5 p.m. Atomic Liquors, 917 Fremont St.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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