Girls Pint Out (GPO) is a national craft beer organization geared towards women. It began in Indianapolis in 2010, and has grown to include more than 80 chapters in 35 states. Now, GPO has found roots in Brookings, with Wooden Legs Brewing Company as the chapter’s home brewery.
The Brookings GPO Facebook page says its mission “is to build a community of women who love craft beer and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community.”
The previous pubkeeper at Wooden Legs Brewing Company, Cassie Ten Cate, came up with the idea of bringing GPO to Brookings, but did not want to start it on her own. That’s where cofounder Charmaine Houck started her journey with the group.
“Build a community of women who love craft beer and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community.”
Houck and Ten Cate held the first Brookings GPO chapter meeting in January 2015. After Ten Cate got married and moved to California, Angela Yahne came on as co-organizer with Houck.
The chapter puts on monthly events, which include touring the growing number of breweries in the area to help women become familiar with the various types of beer.
“Anyone is welcome at anytime,” said Houck. “We don’t have any dues. We don’t even really have RSVPs.”
In May, the group took a tour of Sioux Falls’ breweries.
“We try to educate people on different styles,” continued Houck, “so if we’re going to a brewery, we’re going to get you information about what they brew, and actually taste some of that.”
The chapter has roughly a dozen regular attendees, but turnouts of 35-40 people aren’t unusual. GPO has hosted events such as a cupcake and beer-pairing with Oh My Cupcakes. Houck said they also did a beer pairing with Girl Scout Cookies. These tasting events bring in many women not accustomed to the beer world, and according to Houck, men are also invited to join.
“That helps us get the word out, because we do open up those tasting events to all genders and anybody can come enjoy that. Then that gives women who aren’t necessarily used to our group or even used to the beer scene, but think that might be a fun event, to open them up to other possibilities in the future.”
The GPO chapter also hosts quarterly philanthropy events. The chapter did a bake sale for breast cancer awareness, raised money for Relay for Life, donated clothing to Dress for Success in Sioux Falls, and helped with the Brookings Backpack Project.
When asked why women should check out the GPO chapter, Angela Yahne said with a laugh, “Because we’re awesome.”
Houck said beer has predominantly been targeted towards men, so this group is for women to learn about and try beer in a fun environment.
“This is a place where there is no judging,” said Houck. “We take anybody and everybody. You don’t have to sign up. You can just show up at an event.”