Press release 2018


Harrogate celebration of women and beer attracts funding and national support

Since launching last year, Women On Tap – Harrogate’s own celebration of women and beer – has exploded. As part of a recent crowdfunding drive to help fund the 2018 festival, the campaign ended at more than 300% of original target, also attracting financial backing from two Northern breweries and a film company.  

The first ever Women On Tap beer festival was held at The Little Ale House in Harrogate on the weekend of 19-21 May 2017 and featured guest beers brewed by women, an art exhibition, live music, and some sell-out ticketed beer tasting sessions run by one of the UK’s leading beer experts – the award-winning Melissa Cole.

Funded entirely from a ‘rainy day’ jar for the first year and run on a shoestring, the way Women On Tap has started to reach and have a positive impact on women and the beer industry is beyond all initial expectations.

Founder Rachel Auty says “The remit of Women On Tap has now been widened and there are plans to organise regular socials and pop-up events, and to collaborate more with people and organisations across the beer industry who share the same goals and values. The groundwork done in year one means there’s now huge potential to push forward and make a real difference. It’s so fitting that we’re really taking of this year, as we also mark the centenary of votes for women.”

A Women On Tap crowdfunding campaign was launched on 8th March 2018 – International Women’s Day – to help fund the 2018 beer festival and to enable further development projects. The response has been strong – indicative of how important this initiative is to many.

The Women on Tap brand is now set to get bigger and the aim is to further amplify a representative voice to celebrate women in the beer industry. This year’s beer festival will take place from 2-6 May as a 5 day celebration across 5 carefully chosen venues over two Yorkshire towns with 8 different events. All events are designed to educate, inspire, and spark important conversations.

Once again hosted by The Little Ale House as the main festival venue, events will be held at Major Tom’s Social, North Bar Harrogate, Harrogate Brewing Co (Brewery and tap room), and Blind Jacks in Knaresborough.

There will also be a Women On Tap beer – a salted caramel stout named ‘Suffragist’. The stout has been brewed especially for the festival in collaboration with Leeds-based Nomadic Brewery and is aptly named to mark 100 years of votes for women.

Looking beyond the festival, plans are afoot to run exciting pop up events across the year that fuse women in beer with women in arts. These will take place in exceptional bars and unique spaces across the north.

With support already expressed by some of the UKs leading breweries, there’s also an opportunity to collaborate ambitiously across the beer industry and align the Women On Tap name and ethos with some key industry events and brands.

Future plans also include supporting and even investing in other equality initiatives; commissioning a professional short film showcasing women in beer; and developing a digital app or map of women in beer across the UK and beyond.

Additionally Women On Tap is exploring the feasibility of helping to fund, shape up, and deliver a major national Women in Beer conference for 2019/20.

There are already big plans for Women On Tap beer festival 2019 and who knows what else the future might hold.

Ultimately, everything Women On Tap does is about:

  • Supporting, showcasing and empowering women in brewing and female-led creativity, innovation and expertise.
  • Attracting more women to drink beer.
  • Encouraging more women to lead and educate others on beer.
  • Enticing more women to senior roles across the beer industry.
  • Influencing more women to choose a career in beer.
  • Supporting outstanding independent pubs.
  • Further establishing Harrogate, Yorkshire, and the North of England as leading beer destination

Founder Rachel adds “Women On Tap is not just about women in beer; it’s not just about creating a representative voice; and it’s not just for Harrogate, Yorkshire and the north. It’s for everyone who shares what it stands for – and it’s about real impact and lasting change.”

It’s an exciting time for this homegrown Harrogate brand, now with a national profile and widespread support. Join the celebration in 2018 and help make it the best it can possibly be.

Women On Tap Beer Festival takes place from 2-6 May 2018.