babes-thumb-529x708-122484Photo courtesy of Kristen Sykes

Members of BABES at a recent crafting event in Dorchester

By Jordan Griffin, Globe Correspondent

Karen Miller, 38, is a full-time mother of two from Somerville and works in retail at 10,000 Villages while her kids are in school. Jennifer Shell, 40, is a sewing instructor at the Stitch House in Dorchester. Klara Junker, 29, came to Boston from Sweden to study microbiology. And Nicole Labrecque, 36, is an oncology nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Once a month, this diverse group of women meets up with others for an activity that’s traditionally associated with men: beer drinking. They are members of the Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society, known as BABES. Founded in February 2012, the little-known society is emerging as one of Boston’s newest niche social groups.
“We wanted to bring together women who are interested and knowledgeable about beer,” said Kristen Sykes, a home-brewing veteran and founder of BABES. She said that the social group aims to enforce the idea that women not only like beer, but can be as knowledgeable about it as men.
“I have female friends who like beer, but it’s definitely a male-dominated, totally stereotyped thing,” Miller said. “It’s always been ‘women with wine, men with beer.’ It’s neat to meet other women who really like beer.”
Although BABES doesn’t have an official website, the group has several hundred Facebook followers, and usually 15 to 25 members meet monthly for beer-related activities and excursions, such as brewery tours, beer tastings and food pairings, and crafting parties. Read more