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Apr
4
Anne Sprecher

Cold Stuffed with Hops: Beer Stories from Germany

Women In Beer
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By Lauren Lerch

This post originally appeared in craftybeergirls.com, a blog to which Lauren contributes. This is one of several insightful posts Lauren wrote based on her Beer, Brats and Beyond scholarship travels.

Miltenberg, GermanyMiltenberg, Germany

My recent trip to Germany with the Pink Boots Society has blessed me with a plethora of information about which to write a seemingly endless stream of Bavarian-influenced blog posts. As I’ve been writing about the adventures of Zoigl, the breathtaking beauty of The Hops of Hallertau, and the delectable Bamberger Zwiebel, dozens of memories have been popping into my head. In a fit of reminiscence, I’ve recounted some of my most fond moments. May you find them just as silly and memorable as I did.

Cold Stuffed with Hops

“Cold Stuffed With Hops” – Urban Chestnut – Wolnzach, Germany

It was a promising, sunny morning in Wolnzach when our small coach rolled into the parking lot of our first stop of the day. Many of us were just waking up from our coach naps as we unhurriedly stepped and stretched our way out into the morning air. Goats and chickens greeted us through a nearby fence. Actually, they wanted nothing to do with us, but we loved them just the same, and for no reason other than their cuteness.

We had arrived early, or maybe our tour guide was late, but whatever the mixture of circumstances, we had time to relax and soak in some vitamin D over Zwickelbier in the biergarten. From my observation, part of the German rite is drinking beer at any time of day and nobody judges you for it. We took full advantage that AM as we reflected on the previous day’s happenings, the pronunciation of “Willi Becher” glassware, and life in general.

Zwickel Bier

Somewhere between the near end of my first beer and the ponderings of my second, we were ushered into the brewery to begin our tour of Urban Chestnut. After hearing their origin story and wandering the brewery and cellar, we were given the opportunity to taste a few beers. Our tour guide, Simon, was kind enough to speak English for us during the tour. But sometimes phrases get a bit lost in the translation. When describing the way hops were added to a particular beer, Simon said it was, “cold stuffed with hops”. It only took a bit of imagination to realize he was talking about the process of dry hopping – adding hops to beer that has already begun fermenting. We shared a good laugh, and I don’t think any of us will ever think of the process the same again!

Hotel & Brewer Sign

 

The Unexpected Caricature – Zum Riesen – Miltenberg, Germany

Tour-mate Katie, tour guide Tom, and I were the first to arrive at our meeting place in Miltenberg, Germany. The rest of the group was en-route to the small town straight out of a Disney fairytale, and would arrive one by one or in smaller groups throughout the day. The three of us dragged our suitcases from the train station to the hotel, their weight intensified by the burden of jetlag. We got checked in, made comments about the strangeness of the bed linens and toilet buttons, and then were off to explore the town.

Katie and I found lunch and our first beers of the ten day trip at Kalt-Loch Bräustüble. One half liter turned into two, and then talk of finding a third elsewhere made me thankful I had worked on my tolerance before leaving home. We climbed up the hill to a castle, attempted to find an elusive biergarten along the Main River, and eventually ended up at Zum Riesen. We found an empty wooden table and chatted over kellerbier, noting the time we were supposed to return to the hotel to meet the rest of the group. It wasn’t long before the neighboring table of elderly men began questioning us, and asking if we were “sheep”. The town had a few large herds of foreign people being shepherded around by tour guides with microphones. The laughter that ensued was amplified by the fact that we not only got their joke, but that we understood it despite the language barrier.

One man named Oskar joined us at our table while we discussed our interests. He mentioned that he had been born in the house we sat in, and Elvis Presley had frequented the pub in the late 1950s while he was stationed near Miltenberg. His eyes grew big and he smiled wide as he told us that one time, his mother had almost booted Elvis from the pub for not having proper identification. He slapped the table and let out a hearty laugh.

The time for us to join our other tour-mates was nearing, but Oskar insisted that he draw my caricature. Katie set up a screen of menus around Oskars artwork in progress as he sketched my cartoon-self with a beer in one hand and a drumstick in the other. When he was done, the menus were removed and the masterpiece was revealed. Hah! If you had asked me 24 hours earlier what my first evening in Germany would be like, having my caricature drawn by an old Miltenburg resident in a pub that he was born in would not have been my first guess!

Caricature

How To Kiss A Nun – Klosterbrauerei Mallersdorf – Mallersdorf, Germany

The morning was soft and grey when we arrived at Klosterbrauerei Mallersdorf. We were scheduled to meet Sister Doris, a famous female brewer we all looked up to. She had helped pave the way for women brewers, and continued to prove that females were equally as capable as men for the task, even in her old age. Sister Doris walked us through the brewery, occasionally putting the tour on pause to sell bottles of beer to go to those that stopped by. I slowly inspected the brewery, taking note of the different machines and imagining how they operated. The experience reminded me of walking around my grandparents house when I was a child. Everything seemed so old, but all was clean and in good operating condition. I stared extra long at the things I didn’t understand, and left with the resolve that I’d understand when I was older.

Sister Doris & Lauren

Sister Doris was jovial and loved to crack jokes. Our group often laughed at two separate times – the first was those that understood German, and the second was after Tom, our tour guide, translated the wisecrack into English. One such occasion was when we were discussing the bottles and labels they used. Each bottle has a neck label that extends nearly to the top of the bottle lip, at which sits a picture of Sister Doris herself holding some of her delicious beer. She went on to explain that we must drink directly from the bottle, and after a short pause, she grew a long smile and continued with the German translation of, “…because it’s the only way to ‘schmooze’ with a sister!”. She lead the group in laughter with a roaring guffaw as her cheeks turned red. We followed suit and concluded with a hefty swig from the bottle, our lips still slightly pursed from a good chuckle.

Sister Doris Brew

 

About the Author:

Lauren Lerch

Certified Cicerone®

It’s been a long road of waiting tables, pushing retail, and laboring in warehouses, but I finally feel I’ve found a purpose instead of a job. The buzz isn’t just from the beer, either. When everyone around you is happy to be doing what they’re doing – buying beer, making beer, drinking beer – the smiles rub off on you, and then you’re sucked into the business. Of course it can’t all be puppies and sunshine, but that’s what the beer is for, right?

I grew up as an East Coast native sandwiched between New York and Philadelphia. My early adult life was fueled by pizza, Yuengling, marching band percussion and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Before finding my place in the beer industry, I wanted to be a nurse (5 years old), a professional breakdancer (10 years old) and a high school music teacher (20 years old). After three years of college, I just wanted to be a traveler. I lived in Oregon, spent a year in Australia and a summer working in Glacier National Park, MT. Landing in Salt Lake City, UT with hopes of riding the seasonal work wave, I landed a not-so-seasonal job at Whiskey Street as a server. It was the first job that exposed me to something more than a casual alcohol menu. Craving more and more booze knowledge, a co-worker turned me onto the Cicerone Certification Program. I dug in an didn’t look back.

Favorites:
Wet Hop Beer
Garden Fresh Caprese Pasta
Jarlsberg Cheese
Traveling
Sharing Beer With Strangers
East Coast Pizza
Sky Appreciation
Camping

You can contact Lauren at  laurenlerch@gmail.com . Or friend her on facebook.

 

About the Crafty Beer Girls:

The Crafty Beer Girls are Utah based missionaries of beer, here to entertain, educate, and encourage the love of the brew. With the help of Red Rock Brewing Company in Salt Lake City, these fine “sisters” will cover the fresh and the new, along with the history of beer and the industry surrounding it. They hope to make a believer out of you!

Apr
4
Kris McDowell

UC Davis Intensive Brewing Science Scholarship Recipient Announced

Women In Beer
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Lee Lord of Cambridge Brewing Company in Massachusetts is the recipient of the University of California, Davis Extension Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they chose Lee to receive this scholarship due to her “longstanding dedication to her craft and the industry as well as her dedication to improving herself.” In addition, “She has been a part of the Pink Boots in Boston since inception and there are zero doubts of her influence on the female community of beer in the region.”

Lee has been a professional brewer for more than a decade, when she says she, “was lucky enough to break into the industry at a time where apprenticeship and rising through the ranks was more the norm.” She has worked at both small brewpubs and large scale production facilities but even with that experience Lee says,” At this point in my career I’m starting to find that I’m being overlooked for promotion by those with more of a classroom educational background.” Instead of being one of a handful of brewers, her goal is to become head brewer and then lead the team, a goal that will be furthered by adding this course as formal training to her resume.

Beyond improving herself through this course, Lee is looking forward to being able to share her experience, as other scholarship recipients have shared theirs with her. As an active member of her regional chapter Lee was involved with the Pink Boots collaboration brew for the last two years. Besides creating a beer she also made numerous friends, women she has been able to turn to for advice and encouragement. Of the women in the beer industry, she says, “We are a force together.”

University of California, Davis Extension Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing course is a five day on-site course that offers an intensive introduction to the sciences of brewing, engineering and brewing practice. Attendees will learn the technological and biochemical aspects of the entire brewing process from world renowned instructors Drs. Charles Bamforth and Michael Lewis. Topics of the interactive lecture sessions cover all aspects of brewing from raw materials to fermentation to quality control and sensory evaluation.

In addition to attending the course, Lee will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Mar
7
Kris McDowell

Oregon State University Beer Quality & Analysis Scholarship Recipient Announced

Scholarship Recipients
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Jocelyn Havel of 21st Amendment Brewery is the recipient of the Oregon State University Beer Quality & Analysis course scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they chose Jocelyn to receive this scholarship as they feel “she has the technical background to fully understand the coursework and having recently been promoted to Quality Supervisor, has the most relevant job to put the tools learned in the class to work.”

Jocelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, a Master’s degree in Chemistry and started out her career as a researcher and teaching assistant at the University of California, Davis where she gained extensive lab experience. When she made the decision to transition to the brewing industry she self-studied and paid for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s Diploma in Brewing exams out of pocket. She says the process, “pushed me to gain the technical knowledge of the brewing process, however it didn’t go in depth about beer quality.”

As the Quality Supervisor at 21st Amendment Brewery, Jocelyn is responsible for daily activities of the QA department including fermentation and yeast management, sensory analysis, microbiological QA/QC and chemical analytics. This is a role that she was promoted to in the fall of 2017 after starting as a production brewer and then moving over to the Quality team as an analyst. She hired her first female technician in January, a move that coincides with the brewery’s massive expansion that will add state of the art equipment and hugely increase their capacity within the next two years. As the company grows Jocelyn says, “I would like to continue to grow the Quality Department. The Oregon State Beer Quality and Analysis series is the perfect opportunity to give me a solid foundation on which to grow our department.”

OSU’s Beer Quality and Analysis Series teaches the fundamentals of basic beer analysis and microbiological techniques and their roles in the brewing process based on the official ASBC Methods of Analysis used in QA/QC labs worldwide, providing attendees the knowledge and tools to analyze and evaluate beer to influence quality control in a production brewing setting.

In addition to attending the course, Jocelyn will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Mar
4
Anne Sprecher

The Journey to FemAle Brew Fest

Women In Beer
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By Frances Antonio-Martineau

FEMALE BREW FEST® is a craft beer festival featuring female beer experts and brewsters in the brewing industry. Our 2nd annual FemAle Brew Fest takes place March 24th in Fort Lauderdale. The festival offers an opportunity for attendees to interact with the beer experts and learn about the different types of beers brewed by them. The goal for FemAle is not to only highlight these amazing women, but to also use it as a platform to let their stories be heard. The festival is also a way to showcase local female business owners, female led bands and our resident female DJ all while celebrating the growing number of women that make and enjoy craft beer. A portion of the proceeds from FemAle is donated to the PBS.

In our inaugural year and the first time doing an event of this magnitude, I didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone come to a female-focused beer event? How many women are really involved in the business and would they be willing to come down to Fort Lauderdale and showcase some of the beers they help create? As I began to do research and work with my internal marketing team (a.k.a. my husband) to send out press releases about “South Florida’s first ever beer festival celebrating women in the Industry” my questions were answered not just by the 18 breweries that signed up to participate but also be the myriad of news outlets like Craftbeer.com | FOOD & WINE | WOB | Deco Drive | Telemundo 51 | SouthFlorida.com that wrote, covered and reposted information about the festival.

Experience Based Insights

Attempting to produce an event of this size was not easy and our first year was definitely challenging, but all the women I’ve met and things I have learned on this journey has been worth every minute of it. I’d like to take a moment to share some of the things that I learned along the way of planning FemAle.

  • Set a budget and keep it. It’s an amazing thing to be able to produce something that you are so passionate about BUT it is a very scary thing not having any financial backing and not knowing how people will receive your event.

  • Stay organized and create a timeline. There are alot of moving parts that go into running a festival and if possible, build a team to help you stay organized and on track.

  • Personalize it. For example, I cover hotel accomodation for the brewsters and take them out on a beer tour of Fort Lauderdale-based breweries on the Friday before the festival so that we can all get to know each other, share stories, exchange numbers and develop friendships. This festival is as much about supporting and promoting incredible women as it is about drinking some amazing beer, but incredibly rewarding as a beer drinker and women empowerment advocate.
  • Get the word out .I’ve never been one to be in the spotlight, its a work in progress. Producing this event has helped me get out of my shell and comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of sounding like a broken record. Talk to everyone and anyone about your event. You never know who you will meet. And don’t forget to share on social media.

  • Build the right partnerships. Monetary sponsorships are great, but In-Kind sponsorships/partnerships can also be a good leg up. All of my sponsorships last year were In-Kind. I was able to get discounted rates on the venue/services, small bites provided for the VIP area, exposure from partners sharing the event to their list of followers, and giveaways for attendees.

  • Most importantly, do something that you are passionate about. All of the feedback has not been positive about FemAle. Some people were quick to judge the event due to the name and focus. But it is important not to let those things deter you from what you believe in. As an entrepreneur and longtime craft beer drinker, I am always on the lookout for avenues to promote and showcase women. Through my love of beer and passion to be able to empower other women, FemAle was “born”.

What’s New for 2018

Going into our 2nd year, the festival has outgrown its original location in FATVillage and will be moving to Huizenga Plaza – a 1.8 acre park with an amphitheater located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. We’re now up to almost 30 breweries and will be featuring some brewery collaborations including some special releases, including the Boss Bird Hazy Session IPA (got to help with this one) brewed at Swamp Head Brewery for a PBS Collaboration Brew Day and a special brew collaboration from the ladies of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and other female brewers in their county. We’ve also started to get some coverage from some our favorite media outlets and excited to see what the 2018 festival will bring.

Read All About It (media matters):

Gold Coast’s Fort Lauderdale Daily | The Fem Collective’s Frances Antonio-Martineau Will Once Again Bring The FemAle Brew Fest To Fort Lauderdale

Craftbeer.com | 9 Themed Festivals Worthy of a Beercation

Tavour Blog | FemAle Beer Fest: You Can’t Spell Female Without Ale

Miami New Times | Miami 2018 Winter and Spring Beer Festival Guide

About the Author

I would like to thank the ladies of the PBS for your continued support and for giving me the opportunity to share this post. Shortly after FemAle last year, I became a member of the Pink Boots Society and I’m honored to be a part of such an amazing organization. Everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with has been so supportive and willing to help in any way that they can. And on February 23rd, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Collaboration Brew Day at Swamp Head Brewery and will be attending another Collaboration Brew Day on March 8th. I look forward to continuing to build friendships and learning from all you and to further that I’d like to extend an invite to all of the PBS members to check out FemAle 2018. Message me if you’d like a complimentary ticket to attend the event. In return, I would ask for you to provide a donation to PBS when registering for your ticket. Hope to see you all at FemAle 2018!


“Risk is never easy… but just like trying a new beer you never know how good its going to be until you take a sip.” ~Frances Antonio-Martineau, FemAle founder