When you think about the beer industry, your initial thoughts are not normally centered on women-owned breweries in the United States. In a male-dominated industry, it’s easy for women to feel intimidated and underrepresented when compared to their peers. However, Megan Greenwood, owner of Greenwood Brewing in Phoenix, AZ, was determined to change the way we viewed the craft beer scene.
Megan fell in love with beer early after her college career. She loved the connectedness that quality craft beer created, and she admired the purposeful conversations built around drinks with friends. However, in light of her newfound love, she noticed major missteps in the beer industry: there were too few breweries owned by women, and many breweries did not consider women when creating beer. Megan wanted to change the narrative.
After receiving a five-gallon brewing kit for her birthday, Megan knew that making beer was something she was destined to do, and she wanted to do it with impact. The original goal of Greenwood Brewing was to curate a beer experience that allowed women to feel welcomed in the industry, and she wanted her brewery to create cultural changes in the community by fostering opportunities for open and honest conversations to flow. When asked why, she noted, “Craft beer promotes social experiences and social experiences promote conversation. The right conversation can promote change – and that’s the ultimate goal.”
During the beginning stages of Megan’s brewery, she was in need of funding to help kick-start her new business idea. With the help of Atlantic Capital’s SBA Relationship Manager Laurel McNamara, Atlantic Capital was able to provide Megan with a SBA 7(a) loan to fund ground up construction, equipment, inventory, and start-up capital. Through this partnership, Megan was able to launch her flagship beer, Herstory, which uniquely celebrates women both past and present who are making strides in our world.
“This personally is one of my proudest projects I have had the opportunity to be involved in from start to finish,” says Laurel. “To be a small part in making someone’s dream come true, especially a young woman in an industry that is perceived to be dominated by men couldn’t make me happier, as I have also faced similar struggles. This undoubtedly will not be the last time we see Megan and her successes.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenwood Brewing is still up and running with no signs of slowing down. They host pop-up taprooms every First Friday of the month to highlight their Flagship beers: Herstory Brew, Essence Ale, Forward IPA, and their specialty for the month. If you’re ever in the Downtown Phoenix area, you’re invited to come share “a purposeful pint” with the Herstory team. As their website so proudly states, “Welcome to Greenwood Brewing, we promise to show you an experience to remember.”
You can learn more about Greenwood Brewing and their current location by clicking the link below.