Barley's Angels Chicago is a group for women craft beer enthusiasts in the Chicago area. We are the Chicago Chapter of Barley’s Angels, which is a growing collection of individual chapters around the world that work with craft beer focused breweries, brewpubs, restaurants, alehouses and other public beer establishments to advance the female craft beer consumer, resulting in increased patronage and revenue from women, while encouraging education and interest in beer among this often under-recognized demographic group.

Barley's Angels Chicago at Spiteful Brewing, 2019

Barley’s Angels is not just a social, beer-drinking club for women. Barley’s Angels respect beer and brewing, have a thirst for education, enjoy beer responsibly and act appropriately at all times. We also welcome non-binary, gender nonconforming, and other folks who feel safe in women-specific spaces.

The Chicago chapter of Barley’s Angels was founded in September of 2012 and we strive to meet every month. The best way to find out about our events is to sign up for our newsletter.

Barley's Angels Chicago at District Brew Yards, 2019
Barley's Angels Chicago at Metropolitan, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join Barley’s Angels Chicago? Just sign up and attend an event! Now you’re a Barley’s Angel! It really is that simple. There are no dues, obligations, or requirements. We're a women-focused group of dedicated craft beer enthusiasts, but we're not snobby. We don't care whether you're a Cicerone or if you're still learning what styles you like. All interest-levels are welcome!

What happens at the events? We meet monthly at a different brewery, taproom, craft beer bar, etc. and usually enjoy either a tasting flight, pints, or both. There’s always food (it’s part of the official charter) and an education component - whether it’s a brewery tour, guided tasting, Q&A with a brewer, or themed pairing. We do all kinds of fun things!

Do I have to know a lot about beer to join? Absolutely not! Anyone at any point in their craft beer journey can join us - from professional brewers to those just starting to get into craft beer - we welcome everyone!

How do events work? How do I sign up for an event? We send event info and sign-up links in our newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, and here on our website! Zoe & Shannan (our organizers) work directly with breweries to arrange the details of our events. We pre-sell tickets to get an accurate headcount and to make everything is easy for the breweries we visit - one big tab and they also get one big tip (supporting the Chicago brewery industry is important to us!). Zoe & Shannan work out all the details, including what beer we’ll include for the event and food, which is usually from a local restaurant. We then calculate the total cost for the ticket price that also includes tax and tip. When you sign up for an event via the form, we’ll reach out to you for digital payment before the event.

Can I come to an event alone? Definitely! A lot of Barley’s Angels come to our events by themselves and immediately make new friends! One of the best things about our group is how easy it is to make friends.

What if I have an idea for an event or a connection at a brewery I think Barley’s Angels should visit? We love that! Please email us at barleysangelschicago@gmail.com

About Our Organizers

Shannan Bunting, co-organizer of Barley's Angels Chicago

Shannan Bunting

Shannan is a lifelong Chicagoan. As the founder of the food/beverage/green practice-focused public relations agency, Solstice Communications, mom of two and co-conspirator (organizer) of Barley’s Angels Chicago, Shannan has a lot of opportunity to experience the best that Chicago has to offer in food and beverage. A beer explorer, Shannan was visiting breweries and requesting tours long before that was a “thing” outside of the Old Milwaukee factory or seeing the Clydesdales at Budweiser’s St. Louis operation. She and her husband visited Rogue Brewing in Oregon when it was nothing more than a place with a few barstools and some delicious chili.  Another early stop was Otto Brothers Brewing, now Grand Teton Brewing, where they first learned about growlers from the brewer that brought the pre-Prohibition vessel back to life. If time and dedication make you an expert—then Shannan is an expert.

She enjoys organizing events for Barley’s Angels Chicago and all the fantastic women and beer industry professionals she meets through its events—plus it allows her to keep exploring. A stout lover, Shannan’s local favorites include: Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter, Goose Island Beer Company’s Bourbon County Stout and Wild Onion Brewery’s Drago.

Zoe Jacobs, co-organizer of Barley's Angels Chicago

Zoe Jacobs

Zoe has been a craft beer enthusiast since she first set foot in a small bottle shop in Lincoln Park on her way home from a long day of work and class, not long after she turned 21 (over a decade ago!). Her craft beer obsession grew when she volunteered to help with social media management for a new beer festival in her hometown in 2012. Not long after that she was running the accounts for all of the beer festival company’s 15 yearly events, plus doing press relations and volunteering at fests across Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. This put her up close with the industry and she fell more and more in love with the atmosphere, excitement, camaraderie, and of course the beer! Zoe started attending Barley’s Angels events as a regular member in 2014 and became a co-organizer in the fall of 2018.

She loves helping Shannan plan and put together events, spreading the word via the newsletter, social media accounts, and of course this website, tapping her industry knowledge and digital skills. In the daylight, Zoe is a UX Content Strategist for a tech consulting company in the Loop. A suburban girl with roots in the city, her local favorites are: Solemn Oath, Metropolitan, Revolution, and Miskatonic among many others!

Barley's Angels In The News

Barley’s Angels Chicago has been getting a lot of attention lately and we are excited to be part of this amazing community! Here’s what other folks have to say about us:

Our International Women's Day collaboration beer with Spiteful Brewing, a Red IPA called Scorned, was featured in Forbes in their Mother's Day Spring Beer Gift Guide

We’re among some amazing women breaking the stigma of a “woman’s palate”. Read on in RedEye here.

There’s a world of craft beer out there, and we want you to experience it all! Chicago Woman has the scoop here.

Shannan and Kylie were quoted in an article in Forbes about breweries greening their beer. Read more here.

Gaper’s Block was kind enough to sit down with us to chat about Barley’s Angels Chicago! Read more here.

Love Girl Scout Cookies? Love Beer? Check out our advice in Chicagoist on how to pair the two together!

We also are forever grateful to local beer pubs like Beeronaut and RedEye for including our events in its round-ups.

Contact Us:  barleysangelschicago[@]gmail.com

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.