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17th May 2021

A virtual beer tasting, a podcast, and pop up poetry: Women On Tap becomes a hybrid festival for its fifth year

Beer and arts equality festival, Women On Tap, is gearing up for year five. Even last year’s lockdown couldn’t stop play for this event, which spotlights the work of brilliant women in otherwise male dominated industries.

Rooted in Harrogate, the festival began as a town centre initiative, delivering pop up events in bars. Last year, rather than pull the plug, the team rethought and reworked the festival, putting together an online programme of talks, tastings, virtual gigs, yoga, and panel discussions at a time when most things were cancelled and many people became isolated.

Continuing to work within a fast-changing situation and wanting to keep the new further afield audience engaged (the 2020 festival saw participants from as far as the US, Australia, and Italy), the 2021 festival will be a blend of virtual, digital, and live events.

The virtual experiences strand features a Back of a Beermat Writing Workshop, a talk & discussion on harassment in collaboration with international youth-led chalk art movement, Chalk Back, a life drawing class with beer, a tasting of Harrogate beer with Beer Sommelier Annabel Smith, a showcase of women in music, and a yoga class. Live events include live music from The Paper Waits at Roosters Taproom, pop up poetry at Starling and The Disappearing Chin, and a takeover and closing party at Harrogate Brewing Co. Taproom – all delivered within the Government restrictions that are set to apply at the time of the events. A festival beer will be brewed in collaboration with Leeds-based Nomadic Beers, and a Harrogate Beer Pack will be available to order with national distribution featuring six selected beers from some Harrogate breweries.

The third festival strand and a new addition to the programme is a series of selected creative commissions. A callout was made for proposals in response to one of four themes relating to beer, pubs and equality. Six varied commissions have been selected and will be released across the festival, with wide ranging content including a podcast, embroidery, a short film, and digital drawings. All selected creators will be paid a fee of £300 from Women On Tap CIC.

Founder Rachel Auty is looking forward to the fifth festival “We came into 2021 with a vision for the fifth festival but so much uncertainty, like so many others. We are completely independently funded and we didn’t know if we’d be able to pull together a budget at all for this year. We’ve had incredible support for some wonderful sponsors which has enabled us to not only put together a programme of brilliant people we can pay, we have extended this to pay a fee for others to create something they love especially for the festival. For the first time we have also recruited two freelancers to help with delivery. We pushed the festival back by a month this year, as we desperately wanted some live events and to support some of our local pubs. We can’t wait to put the spotlight on incredible women, excellent beer, and Harrogate again and hopefully we’ll get to see lots of familiar faces.”

Women On Tap Festival runs from 9 – 13 June 2021. For the full festival programme and booking information go to

Women On Tap 2021 Full Festival Programme:

Wednesday 9th June

  • Back of a Beermat Virtual Writing Workshop Katie Etheridge & Simon Persighetti (Small Acts)

  • United Against Harassment – a frank discussion with Chalk Back and Women On Tap (Virtual)

  • A release of ‘Portraits from the Pub’ // a written and photographic piece by Laura Hadland (Commission)

  • The Paper Waits Live at Roosters Taproom


Thursday 10th June

  • A release of ‘Public House’ // a short film by Casey Shaw (Commission)

  • Pop up ‘rule of six’ beer tasting sessions with Harrogate beer guru, Nichola Bottomley

  • Life drawing feat. model Helena + beer with a Fat Life Drawing and Women On Tap


Friday 11th June

  • A release of ‘The Pub That Didn’t Exist’ // a podcast by A Women’s Brew

  • Live chalk art event at bars across Harrogate with Chalk Back and Women On Tap

  • A release of ‘A Women’s Pub’ // an embroidery piece by Bethany O’Hagan

  • Discovering Harrogate Beer – a virtual tasting and history lesson with beer sommelier Annabel Smith


Saturday 12th June

  • A release of ‘A Pub Is..’ // short digital animations and digital paintings by Simon Abbott

  • Live chalk art event at bars across Harrogate with Chalk Back and Women On Tap

  • Grrls On Tap – a virtual gig and showcase of women in music with GRRLS DO THAT TOO

  • Poetry On Tap – pop up poetry from Jem Henderson & co at Starling and The Disappearing Chin


Sunday 13th June

  • Post-pints recharge – Sunday morning slow vinyasa flow for all levels with LottieYogaMindfulness

  • A release of ‘The Sisterhood of Ninkasi’ // a digital drawing by Charlotte Trapp

  • Takeover & closing party at Harrogate Brewing Co. taproom (incl. final day of chalk art)


The 2021 sponsors

This years’ festival is only possible thanks to the generous support from:

Hop Hideout, Sheffield

Catherine Webber (Individual)

Electric Cycle Company, Edinburgh

Brew York

Northern Monk, Leeds

Marble Brewery, Manchester

The Disappearing Chin, Harrogate

Nomadic Beers, Leeds

Thornbridge Brewery

Erin Fleming (Individual)

Turning Point Brew Co, Knaresborough

Brass Castle Brewery, Malton

Harriet Cross (Individual)

Harrogate Brewing Co

Roosters Brewing Co, Harrogate

Brewers Eye app

Duration Brewing, Norfolk

Notorious-Nimmie-Smallz sells Craft (Individual)

Simpsons Malt

Leeds Beer Tours

Gosschalks LLP, Hull

The Harrogate Beer Pack (Limited edition)

A special pack of 12 x 440ml cans of beer brewed in Harrogate and Knaresborough has been curated by beer sommelier, Annabel Smith for the 2021 Women On Tap Festival. Annabel Smith has worked in the beer industry for almost 30 years as a licensee, educator, beer inspector, beer Sommelier, public speaker and author, and is a leading expert on cask beer.

The beers she has selected are:

  • Turning Point Exile (5.0 Czech-style Pilsner)

  • Turning Point Yellow Matter Custard (6.0 Vanilla Wheat Pale)

  • Roosters First World Problems (4.5% Salted Caramel Stout)

  • Roosters My Name Is Øl (6.3% Kveik IPA)

  • Harrogate Brewing Co Plum Porter, 4.8%

  • Harrogate Brewing Co Montpellier Mandarina, Pale Ale 3.9%

The pack will contain two cans of each beer. Please note, Annabel will lead a virtual tasting of the beers ‘Discovering Harrogate Beer’ on Friday 11th June. The tasting session can be booked for £5 at and the pack should be ordered separately from (available from Thursday 20th May).

Only a limited number of packs are available.


About Women On Tap CIC

Women On Tap CIC exists to invent and deliver national and international beer equality campaigns and pop-up events that challenge thinking and change minds, including a legendary UK annual festival WOTFest. They collaborate with leading bars, breweries and experts to create thought-provoking communications and distinctive and welcoming experiences designed to encourage women to find and further explore their passion for beer.

WOT was launched in 2017 as a beer festival designed to celebrate women & beer in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Since the debut festival WOT has since delivered more than 70 events and 4 major festivals alongside a range of campaigns celebrating the role of women in beer, boosting beer education, and pushing for change in beer and wider society.

WOT is a certified social enterprise, Community Interest Company and not-for-profit.



About Chalk Back

Chalk Back is an international youth-led movement committed to ending gender-based street harassment with public chalk art, digital media and education. They write stories of harassment word-for-word in the spots where they happened alongside the hashtag #stopstreetharassment using chalk and then post on social media to spur dialogue and story sharing. Through their local Instagram sites, community events, and anti-harassment workshops, Chalk Back members seek to influence bold cultural change within our communities.

Chalk Back is a rapidly growing collective of more than 150 activists worldwide fighting for equal access to public space. Chalk Back is completely youth-led. 88% of participants are under the age of 25 and 54% are under the age of 18. Chalk Back activities span 6 continents, 49 countries, and 150 cities.


Press release from Women on Tap

Contact for more information and high resolution images.