Drink some beer, talk to some fabulous people about beer. Best. Job. Ever. If you like beer – especially craft beer created and brewed by experts who love what they do – you’re really going to enjoy this podcast.

If you’re dealing with menopause symptoms, you’re going to love it.

The Portsmouth Brewery is the kind of place where you want to become a regular: amazing beer, great food, the kind of social atmosphere that’s perfect for spending time with friends and unwinding after work or on a weekend. (Hint: go on Tuesdays, and you can take part in “wooden token” day.)

Lately, they’ve been in the press a lot. A LOT.

They’ve created a beer called Libeeration, a gruit designed, as their website says, “specifically for women experiencing menopausal symptoms and to celebrate the liberating aspects of this stage of life.”

That sounded awfully good to us, so we gave them a call. And they agreed to tell us all about it. So if you’ve got some time, pour yourself a glass of your favorite brew and join us.

1:12 Who are Joanne Francis and Matt Gallagher?

We asked them about the brewpub and how they each got their start in the beer business and found their way to Portsmouth Brewery.

Joanne and Matt of Portsmouth Brewery

5:14 What’s happening today?

You can hear the machines running in the background in the podcast – so we wanted to know… what’s going on over there?

5:55 The connection between beer and menopause?

Joanne told us about the occasionally rocky road getting the menopause beer approved in a pretty guy heavy industry. But a desire to serve an underserved population – and some serious business savvy – won the day.

8:55 When you’re a male head brewer, what do you do when asked to make a menopause beer?

You take it as a challenge, Matt says. Which he was clearly up to.

10:10 So what makes Libeeration menopause friendly?

Hear their process of creating a beer that combines the calming, happy-making aspects of beer with ingredients that promote good health for women in midlife. If you’ve never heard the term “gruit” before, it’s seriously cool.

(herbs really are great for women’s health. check out our video “best herbs for female health” with Jovanka Ciares)

17:13 Where can we get more of this lovely liquid?

If you’re in the Northeast, you’re in luck. The rest of us will have to wait and hope Portsmouth (and Smuttynose) are able to get the beer beyond those borders.

19:02 When yeast is a good thing….

More of the brewing magic – did you know there are different kinds of yeast, and some people know the difference? Matt is both Head Brewer and Head Alchemist, we’ve decided.

19:53 What sort of scale do you brew at at Portsmouth Brewery?

Libeeration was initially a 7-barrel batch (about 200 gallons). Fingers crossed we go up to the 50-barrel and wider distribution!

20:40 How did the beer’s label get created?

That was Joanne’s home and those ladies in the pic are Joanne’s friends. “Those women drank us dry,” said Joanne, who, as co-owner of a brewery, generally has a LOT of beer at home. “They kept drinking the props!” Listen to the story. It’s hilarious.

21:20 More on gruits

Basically, the oldest form of beer there is – the process is about 9000 years old. Hear more about this ancient form of brewing.

Thanks so much to Joanne and Matt for taking time on a brew day to talk with us, and for shipping beer to us, all the way cross-country! If you have the great good fortune to be anywhere near Portsmouth Brewery, give yourself the gift of a visit. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have an amazing experience.

If you’ve been to Portsmouth Brewery or had the chance to try Libeeration, we’d love to hear about it! Or if you hear of other unusual approaches to managing menopause symptoms, we’d love to hear those too. Give us a shout in the comments, or on genneve’s Facebook page or Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.

Next up: we’re talking with Dr. Kelsey Klausmeyer, a naturopathic doctor at the Institute of Complementary Medicine. Dr. Klausmeyer specializes in, among other things, adrenal/hormonal conditions and weight issues. Hear how those intersect in the disease lipedema. Up to 11% of women suffer from this painful condition, but many may not know it’s the cause of their inability to lose weight. Join us to learn more.



Shannon Perry

Shannon is a celebrated author and global educator. Whether she’s interviewing a physician or producing a podcast, her appetite for research, facts, and truth culminates in credible health education and programming that women can rely on. An avid runner, cyclist, and climber, Shannon knows a thing or two about thriving in midlife and lives in Seattle with her cat, dog and boyfriend.


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