Food & dining

Brewery releases beer aimed at menopausal women

Portsmouth Brewery’s Libeeration.

Portsmouth Brewery’s Libeeration.

News flash! Or should we say hot flash? New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Brewery has released a craft beer for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Libeeration is designed to “celebrate the liberating aspects of this stage of life,” according to a release, with ingredients that could potentially alleviate unpleasant midlife symptoms.

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“This is a part of life that half the population will experience. We’re all facing aging, and I choose to embrace it and make lemonade out of lemons,” says Portsmouth Brewery co-owner Joanne Francis, who is 57 and notes that the beer doesn’t make any “medicinal claims.”

Libeeration is a gruit-style ale with fruity, spicy notes. It’s made with a mixture of ingredients used by herbalists to soothe hormone shifts: motherwort, lemon balm, chamomile, stinging nettle, mugwort, rose, chickweed, and damiana. She and her team consulted with women’s health practitioners and herbalists while testing recipes. It’s available at the brewery, by the bottle, until supplies run out.

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Francis says that the launch is a true liberation for her, too, as a woman in the often male-focused world of beer.

“Talking about menopause in mixed company? Talk about a party-ending conversation! But you could put five women into a room, strangers, and they’d be sharing their stories,” she says with a laugh.

As such, she hopes that the beer appeals to an overlooked population.

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“I’ve been in this business for 25 years, selling beer to young men ages 21 to 35. As I got older, I saw that women are drinking beer. They love beer! I’d be the woman sitting at the management meetings and product development conversations, and it was like, ‘Wait a second: We could appeal to older female beer drinkers.’ ”

She was further inspired on trips to the grocery store, where she was greeted by aisles of health foods — none of them alcoholic — designed to address womanly woes.

“My gosh, you go through the health food store, and how many teas do you see for menopausal toning, hot flashes, brain fog, insomnia? There are a lot of properties available: flowers, herbs, essences. You could put these into a beer, and it could be beautiful and flavorful.”

Best of all, the drink has more than 6 percent alcohol.

“Have a beer or two, and you’ll definitely feel it,” she says.

KARA BASKIN

Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com.
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