They're friends now, but Alison Schrader remembers years ago when she and a visiting brewer got off on the wrong foot.
"We were chatting in the brewhouse," says Alison, Dogfish Head's one-woman distilling team, "and as we were wrapping things up, he says, 'Alright, sweetie.' I raised my eyebrows and shot him this look that said, 'Did you really just call me that?' His demeanor changed pretty quickly."
Run-ins like that are rare these days, Alison says, and although men still outnumber women on the production side of most breweries, more and more women are staking a claim in brewhouses, distilleries and laboratories.
"The gender bias from the '70s and '80s doesn't exist anymore," says Dogfish Head Quality Control Manager Rebecca Newman. "There are more women in brewing school than previous years, and women are coming from other fields like biotech and manufacturing and bringing some really incredible favors to the party."