Kathryn Blair (left), co-owner of Undercurrent Brewing, and Maddie Anderson, marketing coordinator at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library, go over four beer and book pairings at the International Women’s Day event on March 8. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake’s Undercurrent Brewing hosts Women’s Day event

The event raised money for Dress for Success Central Alberta on March 8

Undercurrent Brewing and Dress for Success hosted a fundraising event for International Women’s Day event on March 8.

Attendees enjoyed a night of beer, appetizers and a barbershop quartet in support of empowering women and Dress for Success Central Alberta.

“I was introduced to Dress for Success a few years ago in Vancouver and I was just so impacted by the organization and what it does for women that when I moved back to Sylvan and I found out that there was a Central Alberta branch I just really wanted to do something,” said Kathryn Blair, co-owner of Undercurrent Brewing.

Dress for Success received a portion of the event’s ticket sales as well as all of the proceeds from the raffle.

Undercurrent also donated 50 cents from every pint and sleeve of the special edition Women’s Day beer.

Blair, alongside the four other women who are involved with Undercurrent, designed and brewed a special beer for Women’s Day.

The beer is called the “We Can Brew It IPA,” which is a play on J. Howard Miller’s wartime poster.

“It’s a very, very dry IPA,” Blair said. “It’s got a bit of tartness from the rose hip and hibiscus and it’s got a hint of pink.”

Only one batch of the Women’s Day beer was made and is being served until it’s gone, but some has also been distributed to local restaurants.

Dagmar Hargreaves, co-founder of Dress for Success Central Alberta, says she was thrilled when she got the call from Blair about the event.

Hargreaves and other Dress for Success representatives were at the event to give a speech and promote what the program does.

“We provide career wear to marginalized women for free,” said Hargreaves. “Women, we’re judged by how we look, so we empower by providing them with appropriate clothing for work to help them move forward in life and thrive at work and in life and in their families.”

Hargreaves added the organization is unfunded and operates completely on donations and volunteers.

Blair says this event was a great way for them to give back to the community.

“When we were creating or envisioning Undercurrent one of our main focuses was to try to build community and hosting these types of events really helps,” said Blair, who co-owns Undercurrent with her husband, Brian.

Undercurrent Brewing also a hosted a successful event for the Movember Foundation in November and Blair said it “made sense” to do something for women as well.

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“Anything that brings out people from the community and supports the organization, I think, is great,” added Blair.

The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library also helped out with the event by doing a beer and book pairing.

Four beers, which were provided to guests to sample, were matched with four books selected by the library.

Maddie Anderson, marketing coordinator at the library, and Blair did a session where they explained why each beer was paired with each book. For example, the “We Can Brew It IPA” was paired with “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.

Anyone interesting in donating to or volunteering with Dress for Success Central Alberta can reach out to Hargreaves at 403-597-8769, or dropped off at their Red Deer location on Wednesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The organization needs clothes which can be worn to a professional job interview, gently used business shoes, purses and accessories, as well as new hosiery and unopened cosmetics or toiletries.


Dagmar Hargreaves (left), co-founder of Dress for Success Central Alberta, gives a presentation along side other representatives about the organizations purpose and goals. Dress for Success is a non-profit working to help empower women re-entering the workforce. The event served as a fundraiser for the organization. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

A barbershop quartet from the Wild Rose Harmonizers in Red Deer performs at the Women’s Day event at Undercurrent Brewing. Attendees enjoyed a few songs before the presentations from Dress for Success and the library. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

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