“I’ve always found the industry to be friendly and welcoming, which is part of the reason I decided to merge my two passions, beer and photography,” Bristol-based photographer Nicci Peet told The Drinks Business.
The project, which was launched last month, is being funded by donations through Patreon, accompanied by a mission statement Peet uploaded to Youtube earlier this year.
“There’s been a lot of talk about sexism and a lack of diversity in the beer industry,” she said in the video, “and part o that problem is the lack of visual representation of women.”
“We live in a visual culture, what we see on the internet and the T.V shapes how we view the world and ourselves,” Peet told db. “When it comes to the perceived male dominated industry part of the reason why they are still seen this way is because of how they are visually presented to us; the brewer with a beard stereotype for example.
“If you don’t see people like yourself working in a field you may be interested in you feel as though you don’t belong in it, whether that be subconscious or not. I want women to see they are welcome and represented.”
The Patreon project has already proved popular, raising almost $800 (£569) to cover her travel costs for one month alone, overshooting her $500 target in a matter of weeks.
Peet herself is an old hand in the beer sector, and has previously worked at BrewDog’s Camden bar when it opened in 2011.
“I knew barely anything about beer but name dropped a couple of those Dogfish Head beers in my interview. I was given a crash course and fell in love straight away.”
Peet said that she wants to show female brewers, but women working in all aspects of the industry, from marketing to logistics, and “every role their is.”
Asked who the unsung heroes of a brewery business are, Peet said: “the people that work behind the scenes that people often don’t think about that make the brewery tick, the people in logistics, marketing and delivery.”
The project comes at a time when many in the industry are calling for a crackdown on sexist marketing and criticising the lack of female representation in the world of beer.
Discrimination was key focus of The Campaign For Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Manchester Beer Festival. Master Beer Trainer Christine Cryne led a debate at the two-day event titled “Sexism is bad for business. What are we going to do about it?” with panelists including Jaega Wise, head brewer of Wild Card Brewery; Annabel Smith, beer sommelier and founder of Dea Latis; Barry Shaw, operations manager for pub chain Beerhouse; Jennifer Smith, co-owner and founder of Brewsmith Beer; and CAMRA’s senior communications manager Katie Wiles.
Prominent brewers such as Wise have also called for a ban on sexist beer labels which objectify women at CAMRA and SIBA events.
The project will focus on women working in the UK initially, but Nicci didn’t rule out paying a visit to female brewers overseas.
She hopes to complete it for International Women’s Day 2019 capturing between 25-30 women in the industry.
“There are obviously hundreds more amazing women in the industry and I could go on forever but with any kind of project you need to set boundaries to make it accessible.”