Sweet Fire, a unique women's effort, gets bigger

Sweet Fire is an imperial stout brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend that creates a balance of sweetness and spice at 8.5% ABV. But, that's not what is most interesting about it.

It's a unique beer produced by the collaboration of women in the beer industry who came up with the idea while attending a Brooklyn beer event in October 2014. Five friends decided to join forces to create a new beer style that would have big flavor and incorporate unique ingredients.

Tim  Butler, the head brewer at Central New York's Empire Brewing Company, was tasked with delivering the recipe. Since that first brew in 2014, the Sweet Fire collaboration has grown to an eclectic group of 14 women. They include entrepreneurs, sales reps, managers, writers, metro new York City beer establishment reps, and cicerones -- the latter holders of a specific industry certification.

In the past two years, the Brewsters --  a term from the Middle Ages referring to female brewers -- create small batches on the 7BBL system at the Empire Brewpub's Syracuse venue and released the liquid at limited quantities to the establishments they worked for.

Now that Empire has a 60BBL farm brewery in Cazenovia, southeast of Syracuse, the Sweet Fire women were invited there to brew on-site the largest batch ever of the beer. It is available throughout New York and New Jersey for a limited time.

The women behind this year's Sweet Fire:

Empire Brewing from New York and New Jersey -- Olivia Cerio, Tiffany Rogers, Lindsey Styborski, Aimée Walker, Sidney Stehle

New York City businesses  -- Jen Manslanka, Spring Lounge; Lindsey Ronchi, Gebhard’s Beer Culture; Katherine Kyle, Blind Tiger; Cherisse Ketchum, Manhattan Beer Distributers; Sonni Mariano, Manhattan Beer Distrubutors and The Gibson; Megan Giometi and Danielle Savin, Bob's Your Uncle; Kate Amos, Blue Smoke BBQ; Anne Becerra, Treadwell Park.

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