My friend Claire sent me an article about a brand new beer from the Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Hooray for Libeeration, the first craft beer for menopausal women! Here’s the article Claire sent, posted by permission of Joanne Francis, co-owner at Portsmouth:
Introducing LIBEERATION – an empowering gruit, the first craft beer brewed for menopausal women – it’s high time this overlooked demographic gets some attention!
LIBEERATION was designed specifically for women experiencing menopausal symptoms and to celebrate the liberating aspects of this stage of life. In a heavily male dominated industry, this is a breakthrough, says The Portsmouth Brewery Co-owner Joanne Francis. “It’s taken years to bring this idea to market.
After consulting with women health practitioners and herbalists, our team came up with ingredients believed to relieve symptoms like sleeplessness, hot flashes, and mood swings. And, we want to shift the mentality from focusing on the negative aspects of this stage in life, to celebrating the liberating aspects! Fun, crazy, wildly different: that was our goal to reach women who truly know what it means to be hot!”
Joanne Francis is Creative Director and co-owns The Portsmouth Brewery and Smuttynose Brewing Company with her longtime partner, Peter Egelston, together brewing craft beer for 26 years.
Francis says when she first floated the idea of a brew for menopausal women six years ago, the reaction from her staff was nothing short of disgust and horror. Often the only woman in the room in an industry dominated by men and focused on selling to 21 to 35 year-old male consumers, Francis says she didn’t give up, enlisting the expertise of Head Brewer Matt Gallagher.
Says Francis, “Let’s take the needle off the record. A whole world of women love craft beer and many more will discover it. For new consumers, this could be an awakening. But remember, many of us have been enjoying craft beer since the whole movement began in the mid-80s. We have purchasing power and we deserve this empowering elixir!”
LIBEERATION is a unique gruit style ale that’s golden straw in color with fruity, spicy, earthy flavors. It contains a combination of ingredients herbalists use to help women dealing with hormone shifts that come with age, including: Motherwort, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Stinging Nettle, Mugwort, Rose, Chickweed, and Damiana.
A small dose of Saphir hops in the secondary fermentation adds a pleasant tangerine note to the finish and can help with sleep, according to Head Brewer Matt Gallagher. Says Gallagher, “I’ve always been intrigued with the concept of this beer, but it was only after having a daughter and beginning to view the world differently that I felt the importance of putting this ale on the front burner. This has been an amazing collaborative process and so much fun to work with a group committed to offering women something new and delicious.”
Me again: I’ve had a great time corresponding with Joanne. She wrote that the first batch of Libeeration sold out within two weeks, which is super fast. A new batch is brewing! (and will be finished in a month).
Bottom Photo: Joanne and Matt in the brewhouse.