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Kris McDowell

Cicerone BeerSavvy® Scholarship Recipients Announced

Scholarship Recipients
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce the two recipients of the Cicerone BeerSavvy® scholarship, each chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Alexandra (Alex) Sheeler of Amor Artis Brewing in South Carolina is the national recipient and was selected to receive this scholarship due to the clear way she expressed in her essay how the scholarship would benefit her, her employer and her customers.  

Alex comes to the brewing world with a degree in Advertising & Public Relations and experience in marketing. Her role as the marketing manager for Amor Artis began a year ago and during that time she has increased their reach on Facebook and Instagram. In the coming year she says, “I will be expanding my role to include blog post and press release writing when our new website launches.”

Well-versed in the marketing aspects of the position, she readily admits that that she has much to learn in terms of beer knowledge. In addition to educating herself, she looks forward to applying what she learns from the course to her shifts in the taproom. An educated beer server is an asset to any brewery but it is particularly important to Amor Artis as they are the only brewery in the small town of Fort Mill where many of the patrons are just starting to explore and learn about craft beer.

Alexandra (Alex) Asacker of Notch Brewing in Salem is the Boston Chapter recipient. The committee cited the recommendation from her employer and the content of her essay as reasons why her application rose to the top. In her essay she clearly stated her goals and how she will benefit from the scholarship, as well as her commitment to sharing the knowledge she receives with other PBS members, her colleagues and clients.

Alex has been a bartender with Notch Brewing since Summer 2018, having previously been a sales associate with a wine, beer and spirits store. “As a bartender I thrive when engaging with the public. I feel confident speaking generally about our brewery’s beer selection, but I would love to be able to educate our clients on a deeper level.”

Though not new to the beverage industry I have recently decided to focus my time and energy on beer,” she says. That includes becoming a member of the Pink Boots Society where she says, “I have found that though I am learning a great deal, my inexperience leaves me missing some key information. The Cicerone Beer Savvy Program will provide me with a wealth of knowledge, including these essential foundational elements that will bolster my future education.”

The Cicerone BeerSavvy® Course is comprehensive self-paced online beer training course designed to enhance knowledge of brewing techniques, beer styles, understanding flavors and off-flavors, food pairings and the language to clearly discuss beer. The course is beneficial for many people who work in the beer industry including those who are educating others about beer.

Cat Wiest

Biere de Femme

Fundraising, Women In Beer
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It’s almost time for the 3rd annual Bière de Femme Festival! On March 2nd Pink Boots Society of North Carolina (PBSNC) will host it’s third iteration of the festival; which began as a way to showcase the female talent in North Carolina’s beer industry and to raise funds to support Pink Boots Society’s mission: to assist, inspire, and educate women beer professionals to further their careers through education. Proceeds from this event go directly to the Pink Boots scholarship fund.

Since its founding in 2017, Bière de Femme has been more than a beer festival. It’s a special event that brings the women in the beer industry to the forefront, and allows them to meet consumers and craft beer enthusiasts of all genders. Because Pink Boots Society is an education driven organization, PBSNC felt it only fitting to include educational components to the festival. Through sensory trainings, malt demos, history displays, and interactive activities, PBSNC provides an experience that festival goers can take with them along with their glassware!

This female forward event will feature beers from 37 breweries across the state that are imagined, designed, brewed, packaged, and represented by women. VIP ticket holders will also have access to additional beers not available to the general admission area as well as an additional hour of tasting time and snacks.

In 2017 North Carolina had only one Pink Boots chapter in the whole state. Today North Carolina has five chapters: Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Women from across the state have gotten so excited by this event and the educational opportunities that Pink Boots Society offers all year long, that membership and active volunteerism have grown considerably! 

“It’s been so exciting to see Bière de Femme grow over the past couple years.  Interest in breweries wanting to participate skyrocketed this year we filled up our brewery slots in less than 48 hours.  The growing awareness about the festival and continued increase in industry enthusiasm means that we will continue to be able to provide more and more scholarships, which is our ultimate goal.  We are so ready for March 2nd!”  – Caroline Parnin Smith, Festival Chairperson.

For more information about the festival, visit Bière de Femme’s website, and go here to get your ticket before they are all gone!

Anita Riley joined the PBS Board of Directors in January 2019, this is her first year being hands off in the planning for Bière de Femme. As part of the NC Pink Boots Society team that brought Bière de Femme together, this festival is near and dear to her. Not only is it raising scholarship funds that are critical to the mission of PBS, but it also brings the members together in a family reunion sort of way.

Kris McDowell

Siebel Concise Course in Brewing Technology Scholarship Recipient Announced

Scholarship Recipients
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Taylor Paige King of Pitt Street Brewing Company in North Carolina is the recipient of the Siebel World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology Online scholarship.

Taylor was chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, to receive this scholarship based on her well-written essay, glowing recommendations and heavy involvement with the Pink Boots Society as a volunteer. “Her dreams of starting and running a brewery, in a county that only has one, would be greatly helped by the education this course can provide.”

Taylor currently works as a bartender and brewing intern and says, “I was born and raised in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains and while there is a lot of white lightning in those hills, there’s not a plethora of beer. After the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires a lot of local businesses were destroyed or damaged. This would be a perfect opportunity for me to give back to my community by building a craft brewery. Gatlinburg is an ever-growing tourist industry that would benefit from a local brewery.” Besides gaining experience from her work at Pitt Street, she has started homebrewing, using locally foraged ingredients such yarrow and spruce tips, and is attending Nash Community College, pursuing a degree in Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation. She feels that the technical knowledge this scholarship will provide will help to round out her knowledge and grow her career.

Taylor is also an active member of the Pink Boots Society where she contributes her talents to monthly newsletters and e-blasts. She says, “I have been met with so much love and support from my PBS family and I cannot wait to give back.” After completing this course she plans to write an article to fulfill her Pay It Forward requirement, attend Biere de Femme to represent Nash Community College’s programs (like the one she is enrolled in) and work toward establishing an Eastern North Carolina chapter of the Pink Boots Society.

The Concise Course in Brewing Technology is an intensive, online three-month course that utilizes a mix of textual instructions, streaming video presentations narrated by some of the best instructors in brewing, and synchronous chat sessions between students and faculty. Students will gain the knowledge and confidence to work effectively in the world of commercial brewing in this course that covers topics ranging from business of beer, alcohol and health, CIP programs and Quality Assurance/Quality Control.

Anne Sprecher

Changing of the Guard…

Women In Beer

…well, at least as far as the board member in charge of scholarships and the board member in charge of communications. Pink Boots president Laura Ulrich sent Scholarship Director Rachel Hotchko and Communications Director Anne Sprecher a set of questions to get their thoughts on Pink Boots, being a board member, and life afterwards. The point of the questions was not simply to act as an exit interview but also to reveal a little bit about the these two women. Although neither knew each other prior to being on the board, one thing stands out about their responses: the similarity of their regard for Pink Boots as an organization and its membership.

Rachel Hotchko, Scholarships Director

  • How long have you been on the Board for Pink Boots Society: 2 years on the Board. 4.5 years volunteering in scholarships

  • What was your role: Scholarships Director

  • What has been your most memorable moment being on the board: The weekend retreats were exhausting and invigorating! 
  • How has Pink Boots Society impacted your Life: Volunteering for Pink Boots has taught me many things: new organizational skills, new ways to communicate, but most importantly, that together, we can all elevate, help, teach each other many things.
  • What would you like to see from Pink Boots Society in the future: Become the primary resource for women in the brewing industry

  • What will you do with all you spare time: I think gardening
  • Who has been your biggest role model/influencer: Within PBS, it would be Mary and Laura for putting so much of the life and heart into the organization.

  • What will you miss about being on the board for Pink Boots Society: The fierce women that are the force behind this organization.

  • Do you have any advice for women in brewing industry? Other than to keep educating yourself? Speak up for yourself and others.

  • What is your proudest moment? It isn’t one moment, but that the scholarship program was expanded every year and I’m looking forward to seeing it being taken to new heights in the coming years!

  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Striving to learn more

Anne Sprecher, Communications Director

  • How long have you been on the Board for Pink Boots Society: 2 years. Prior to that I organized the media list, and created press releases for the Germany trip.
  • What was your role: Communications Director

  • What has been your most memorable moment being on the board: Not to sound cheesy, but it’s been such a dynamic experience you might as well ask, What was your most memorable moment on the roller coaster ride? So many. I’ll pick a recent one. The text exchange where I didn’t think I called for a vote but it became obvious to me that anyone else would. Moral of the story: choose your words carefully, even when texting. A less recent moment, the spring membership meeting at the CBC. I kept flashing back to the first few Pink Boots meetings I attended and just marveled at the exponential growth. And I loved the pay-it-forward story. It made me really proud, verklempt even, to know I played a role in this organization’s growth.

  • How has Pink Boots Society impacted your Life: I rarely work with a group of women; this experience showed me how awesome that can be. The Pareto principle – 20% of the people do 80% of the work – didn’t apply in this case. 100% of the board did 100% of the work.

  • What would you like to see from Pink Boots Society in the future: Stronger chapters. More financial transparency from the chapters.

  • What will you do with all you spare time: Hahaha. Probably search for another group of women to work with.

  • Who has been your biggest role model/influencer: On the board? Laura. You’ve heard the expression, people rise to their challenges…she has gone above and beyond. And she’s done so with exceptional amounts of grace and graciousness. Mary Brettman is a very, very close second.

  • What will you miss about being on the board for Pink Boots Society: The unrelenting challenges – my life is comparatively dull – and the camaraderie.

  • Do you have any advice for women in brewing industry? Other than to keep educating yourself? Find a champion, a mentor, someone who will help you grow. And be a mentor to others.

  • What is your proudest moment? Getting the Mayor of San Diego to proclaim June 3, 2010 Pink Boots Society Day.

  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Since I’ll have so much more free time…perhaps in Tahiti ;). You’re all welcome to join me. On the beach. I’ll buy the first round.

Anita Riley, author of Brewing Ambition,cellerman at Lonerider Brewing and North Carolina chapter co-leader will succeed Rachel as the board member in charge of scholarships. Cat Weist, innovative brewer at Pelican Brewing in Tillamook, OR will succeed Anne as the board member in charge of communications. Cheers, ladies! We know you’ll take Pink Boots to new heights.