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Kris McDowell
Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference Scholarship Recipients Announced
Scholarship Recipients
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The Pink Boots Society is excited to announce and introduce the three ladies that have been selected to receive a scholarship to attend The Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference (BMTC). Each was chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Jordan Griffin, the Boston Chapter scholarship recipient, is the Marketing Manager for Ipswich Ale Brewery on Boston’s North Shore. She has faced challenges in bringing things up-to-date at the nearly 30 year old brewery, one of which has to do with their image. “Our North Shore fan base is a dedicated one, but they’re not the target audience in which to grow the brand. In my opinion, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be on par with other similar-sized and aged breweries in the state – but we’re not. We’re desperately missing the cool kid factor.”  

Drawing on her background of events and project management experience has benefited Jordan but she knows there is more to learn. “I know it’s going to take a lot to change people’s perception of an old, uncool brewery located 30 miles north of Boston. We DO make excellent beer. We have a gorgeous brewpub with great food that’s a short drive away from one of the best beaches north of Boston. We’re less than a 5-minute walk from the MBTA Commuter Rail station. How do we draw people here, and how do we get them to reconsider us as one of Massachusetts’ legacy brands on the shelf and on tap in Boston?” Those are questions she looks forward to finding answers to at the conference.

Karen Killough is co-owner of Vista Brewing in Driftwood, TX with her husband. The brewery situated on 21 acres that include a tasting room, restaurant, apiary, farm and event spaces. Just 30 minutes outside of Austin, she says, “Our brewery is truly a tourist destination and although we see huge traffic on the weekends, one of my goals for 2020 is to create a strategy to fill our tasting room Monday through Friday with tourists, to get them to think of us like a winery” 

Prior to starting Vista, Karen worked in marketing and account management roles in other industries and as such still feels like a newcomer to the beer and hospitality worlds. Of the Pink Boots Society she says, “I am so grateful that there exists an organization whose purpose is to support, educate and connect women in a male-dominated industry.” She has embraced the benefits of being a member of the Pink Boots Society, hosting chapter meetings and Collaboration Brew days for the past two years.

Erin Wallace is an experienced business owner in Philadelphia who has seen first hand the rapid growth of breweries in her area and changes in state legislation that have allowed establishments to expand their offerings. While on the surface that sounds good, she says, “Once they need only have a quality product along with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. But now a days that is not enough. They need to have great branding, fun merchandise, interesting and engaging events. I feel that they also need to think outside of the box, or in this case, outside of the local region for new customers.”

As the current owner of Devil’s Den, a 90 seat craft beer bar/restaurant, and Old Eagle Tavern, a 75 seat neighborhood craft beer bar, Erin wears many hats. “First, I am a craft beer bar owner, known for hosting creative events and working with craft breweries worldwide, highlighting their product. I have worked with many nonprofit organizations, museums and historical sites to host pop up beer gardens featuring local breweries. Additionally, I am a very active member of the local Philadelphia chapter of the Pink Boots Society.” Even with her extensive experience Erin is looking forward to the additional knowledge she will gain at the conference and bring back to benefit both her businesses and the organizations she is involved with.

The Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference (BMTC) is an onsite course taking place February 4-6, 2020 in St. Pete/Clearwater, FL. The conference will provide hard information about the important and growing functions of beer marketing and beer tourism that attendees can bring home to grow and improve local offering. It will also provide a forum for meeting fellow leaders in the beer marketing and tourism industry. Subjects covered include marketing, sales, driving consumers to specific regions or businesses (tourism), tap room management, events, beer tour operators and much more.

In addition to attending the course, each of the ladies will each receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when they fulfill the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

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