“I remember being in Oregon in 1990 for a sales meeting, and I was talking, and all of a sudden I realized that out of fifty-five people, I was the only woman,” recalls Rosemarie Certo of Dock Street Brewing Company. “And I kind of embraced that. It didn’t make me feel afraid or insecure, because I never thought of myself as being a woman in an industry that’s male-dominated.”
This reaction probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Certo, one of the founders and the current president of Dock Street. Certo defines herself as a business person, and by her passion for beer and her work. If you’re going to judge her, she wants it to be on merit, and alongside men. Don’t bring gender into it.
“My mother raised me with the idea that I could be anything I wanted to be,” she recalls, “and I took her seriously.”
So when an occasion like International Women’s Day (IWD) rolls around, Certo wants to take time to celebrate women, and everything they bring to the table. Or in this case, the kettle.
This year, in preparation for IWD, Dock Street South began production on a special edition beer—a tangerine IPA called Citrahood—and Certo has been sure to include women in every step of the process. It probably wasn’t difficult, considering the team Rosemarie heads at Dock Street, including daughter Renata Certo-Ware (head of marketing, events and business development) and Marilyn Candeloro (Dock Street’s vice president), as well as her connections with local women who love beer nearly as much as she does, including members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Beer Necessities group (women from 21 to 101 who make, serve, or just love beer).
Earlier this year, twelve members of the group were invited to Dock Street to help kick off the Citrahood brewing process.
“We’ve been looking for an excuse to do more with them,” Certo-Ware says of the group. “So I just said, ‘wanna come brew?’ We had so much fun.”
Now, the work of the Beer Necessities volunteers and the Dock Street brewing staff is nearly ready for release. Citrahood is a 7% ABV tangerine IPA hopped in the kettle exclusively with Citra hops. It’s fermented with Dock Street’s house hazy strain (and a few hundred pounds of tangerine puree) and dry hopped with Citra, New Zealand Wakatu, Wilamette and Amarillo. The beer celebrates “sisterhood and women of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, beliefs and gender identity & expressions.” It will be released exclusively at Dock Street locations on Sunday, March 8th to coincide with IWD.
From early planning sessions to the brewing itself, Certo has brought women together to realize Citrahood, and she didn’t stop there. On March 4th, Certo invited more women from the industry to Dock Street South to work the canning line and palletize cases. If you want to see how it went, you can check out our Instagram, and tune in to FYI Philly on 6ABC, March 7th at 7:00 pm for Alicia Vitarelli’s interview with Certo. You might even catch a glimpse of our very own Maryanne Origlio working the canning line.
And while Citrahood was brewed with women in mind, it’s not one of these “chick beers” you might have heard about. This is a fresh, juicy, full-bodied beer; a hoppy beer, a beer that you can sip at brunch or after mowing the lawn. Like all Dock Street beers, this is a beer that anyone can enjoy, and Certo wants to be clear: men are more than welcome at this party.
“We invite men and women to come celebrate with us,” she says. “And I think that I’m also inspired by men who come out to these events, who’re supporting strong women. Every day I see more and more strong men who are supporting strong women and it’s a nice thing to see.”