How the president of Atwater Brewery is making her mark in brewing

DETROIT – Jobs in the beer business are mostly held by men, but on this International Women’s Day, the new president of Atwater Brewery wants to help change that.

Atwater Brewery’s president Katy McBrady’s path to beer was unexpected.

McBrady grew up downriver, attended Central Michigan University, and got into the beverage business hawking Bug LIghts in bars.

“One of the gentlemen who worked for the distributor noticed that I was pretty good at getting people to buy Bud Light LImes of all things. He asked me if I wanted to interview for a sales job,” explained McBrady.

And that launched a career in the beer business, from becoming a certified cicerone to moving to California and running a craft beer label.

“I think about the way that I worked with Angel City in Los Angeles you really did feel like this is Los Angeles beer. And when I look at the opportunity with Atwater, it we fast forward, I was like this is a no-brainer. I love Detroit. I am from Detroit, this is Detroit beer,” said McBrady. “And I want when people are drinking an Atwater to have that moment of like ‘Hey, this is like my city, my brand.’”

As president and being at Atwater for just under a year, McBrady has spearheaded bar renovation, expanding the brand, and is passionate about opening more doors for women in the beer business.

“It is a male-dominated field. So less than 2% of beverage executives are women,” explained McBrady.

On Wednesday, International Women’s Day, the Atwater Man has become an Atwater Lady. There is a special brew on tap with hops from the Pink Boots Society, nonprofit supporting women in the alcohol business.

Read: Atwater Brewery donates $50K to create diversity scholarship program at Michigan State University

About the Authors:

Christy McDonald is an Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and journalist who has covered news in Detroit and Michigan for 25 years before joining WDIV in 2022.