A 2014 study of the craft beer world by Stanford researchers showed that women filled only 21 percent of the top leadership roles in the industry. That figure is depressingly low, but the level of female executive representation in craft beer still greatly outpaces industries like finance, health care and information technology.

To get the view from the top, Comstock’s spoke with a few women brewery owners in the Capital Region about their diverse backgrounds, their paths to leadership and their thoughts on getting more women into craft beer.

Co-owner, GoatHouse Brewing Co.

Lincoln; opened 2013

When this corporate veteran and her homebrewer husband, Michael, quit city life to open a fully functional farm brewery, they inadvertently started a trend in Placer County.

Catherine and Michael Johnson own GoatHouse Brewing Co. in Lincoln (Photo courtesy Catherine Johnson)


“I got a double degree in psychology and economics from UC Santa Barbara. Mainly I worked in marketing and communications. When I joined Apple, they had just introduced the iPhone, so it was a big time in the company, getting to do some fantastic, exciting stuff, but then the counterpoint is your family. I found professional success, but it came with such a personal cost. I was a strategic planner, so we started putting a business plan together. The Apple days really informed the clarity of thinking: What fuels you? What’s your passion? What does that look like?”
Related: Pink Boots Society aims to give women in the brewing industry a place to call their own
Related: GoatHouse Brewing Co-owners on the Sacramento brewing industry


“I don’t see our business as male-dominated, but even now my biggest pet peeve, and I find it super-offensive: people of all ages will come in and ask me if I’m the wife of the owner. I have more of a role than just being my husband’s wife. I run the business, he makes all the beer.”

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