Women have been active in brewing since ancient times. Though Western societies have viewed brewing as a male-dominated field for the last 150 years, traditionally, it was an activity engaged in by women. Despite this, the industry still struggles to attract women today, although at north Cornwall’s Sharp’s Brewery, a number of women are continually raising the bar in all sorts of roles (not just brewing).
Whizz with a spreadsheet
Maria Broadhurst (head of finance)
As head of finance at Sharp’s Brewery, it is Maria’s responsibility to ensure all the figures are in check, a job in which she thrives. When her spreadsheets are up to date, she enjoys walking through the brewhouse and being curious with the wider team.
How they work their magic to create Sharp’s range of beers never ceases to amaze her. Maria says: “Numbers may not sound that exciting but the way they touch every part of our business excites me each day, honestly! From the price of malt to capital investment in our brewhouse, it all plays a massive part in what we do at Sharp’s and I help shape that.”
Nina Griggs (people development and HR advisor)
People development and HR advisor, Nina has worked at Sharp’s for one year. Already gripped by the energy at the brewery, she loves all of the brands and when she is not running wellbeing workshops and developing staff, she is out and about exploring and seeking hidden gem spots around the county with her husband and dog, Molly.
Nina says: “Working in a brewery is a lot of fun. Sharp’s in particular is a very special place to work, there’s an energy that exists here that is really hard to describe but when you work here you really feel it. I absolutely love my job. Seeing the team grow and develop is the best part of my job. Over the last 12 months in HR, we have really focused on developing the wellbeing of our team from providing free fruit to running sleep-well courses, to training 12 of our team as mental health champions.”
Sian Jenks (lab technician)
Sian has been with the brewery as a lab technician since September 2019 and is thoroughly enjoying her time with the team. She finds being involved at that embryonic period of beer production absolutely fascinating and is proud of every single pint that she helps produce. Sian says: “I find my job so interesting, so many things can have an effect. Not many people know or understand what’s involved so it’s nice to share how much hard work goes into each pint!”
On the front line
Sarah Hargreaves (retail & ecommerce co-ordinator)
Sarah is the ecommerce & retail assistant at Sharp’s, an all-encompassing role as the retail team are often Sharp’s frontline. Fielding enquiries and imparting information on to customers takes great knowledge as does leading the brewery tour and tasting sessions.
She says: “I absolutely love the smell when the brewers are mashing in! Part of my job role is tour guiding and being able to take people into the brewery production areas means we get to see every part of the brewing process, we really do access all areas.”
Simply the Yeast
Sabrina Boudler (laboratory team leader)
Qualified brewer and microbiologist, Sabrina is the laboratory team leader at Sharp’s Brewery, leading a team of three skilled technicians. It is here where the magic happens and where the beer-making process is born. Passionate about quality, it is important to Sabrina that they get it right first time, ensuring every customer enjoys the best quality pint wherever they may be. Sabrina says: “I love our products and our brands. For us, it is about the yeast. The fact we are working with a live product makes it super fun. I love the people I work with too – everyone gets along so well cross-departmentally and everyone helps each other out.”