Beer Enthusiasts Developing New Ways for Women to Network

By Marcia Arpin

Something new is brewing in Thunder Bay. Previously known as the Northwestern Ontario “outpost” of The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies, this mother/daughter duo, now known as the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pints, has taken their variety of experiences in our community and developed a new calendar of events specifically designed for women.

 With infectious enthusiasm, party planners Mika and Scotia (the two only use their first names in connection with their group) describe the countless ideas they have to create safe spaces for women to try craft beer locally and regionally. In fact, they’ve also networked with other cities and towns to travel with groups of women to share their love for beer and fun. Although some events are primarily about beer, other events feature activities as creative as these ladies. Ideally, their events will also promote local women by highlighting their businesses, successes, and skills. “We are a group of kickass women supporting kickass women,” Mika says.

Building from their International Women’s Day specialty brewing collaborations with Dawson Trail Craft Brewery, Lakehead Beer Co., Sleeping Giant Brewing Company, and Canada Malting, Mika and Scotia are excited about the countless possibilities for more local partnerships. For this team, beer and businesses can be an opportunity to empower women to learn to be savvy about cars, communication, money, or other trades. Events can offer life skills and hands-on learning. They can be planned to highlight female employees or women’s wellness. 

Regardless of the event, all guests will be made to feel welcome. The goal is inclusiveness. However, there is a deeper purpose for this sisterhood. Mika and Scotia are advocates for women. They are invested in making Thunder Bay a better place and empowering women. “We want to connect women together to build each other up rather than tear each other down,” Mika says. Although fun (and beer) headline many of their upcoming events, education and charities are also important ingredients to this savvy business duo—they say to watch out for exciting events happening this fall, like self- defense sessions, and a women’s know-your-car series.

 This team is ready to meet the needs of the community with positive energy, imagination—and a couple of pints.

A previous version of this story stated that Mika and Scotia are formerly of Barley’s Angels. The two are still members of the group, individually; their now-independent group used to be associated with The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies.