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Anne Sprecher

Brewing Ambition: Impacting Aspiring Brewsters’ Lives

Women In Beer
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I’m very excited to be able to share with other Pink Boots Society members about the book that I was able to write with the help of over 35 women in North Carolina’s Craft Beer Industry. Brewing Ambition is a collection of homebrew recipes that were donated by members of the Pink Boots Society from across the state of North Carolina and the stories of the women that submitted recipes. Each of these women is an amazing source of inspiration for me every day. It is humbling that they have trusted me to share who they are with the reader.

Brewing Ambition began from a brainstorming session. Caroline Parnin, our state chapter leader, reached out to all of the members she had contact information for asking for fundraising ideas. We knew that we wanted to have a serious impact, and we each had our own ideas about how we could help. In 2014, I was a beer buyer for Metro Wines in Asheville, NC while I was pursuing my education in Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast. I had just finished my first semester of classes and my first few months of working at Metro Wines when my boss, Gina Trippi, asked if I could write some sort of content for the store’s web page. She wanted content that would keep our customers engaged and help with web search optimization. I had been a closeted writer since I was in grade school, so I agreed. We needed a topic for the blog, and Gina asked if I would be interested in writing about women in the beer industry. I thought, “Sure. No one is going to read that, but if that’s what you want, it will be fun for me to write.”  We decided to name it Brewing Up a Storm after a sixteenth century painting of a brewster wrecking a ship at sea.

A few months later, I added a monthly column in WNC Woman Magazine. Then Asheville Grit, an online publication that focuses on local culture, events, food, and beverage, asked if I would write for them. I’m astounded at how much interest there is around women in beer! I’m equally surprised at how many women there are in this industry. When I began my studies, I thought I would be the only woman in the program. There were actually three women out of the 24 chosen for the limited seating class. I’ve been writing about women in North Carolina for three years now. I haven’t left the state yet, and I haven’t run out of women in the industry that I want to write about!

When Caroline asked what ideas we had for fundraising for Pink Boots, writing a book was my first instinct. The mission of this book has become multifaceted.  Obviously, I set out to raise funds for Pink Boots scholarships.  I also wanted to raise awareness of Pink Boots within the beer community.  As I approached women to be part of this project, I explained to them why I was writing the book and where the money would go. Many of them heard about Pink Boots for the first time during these conversations. I also wanted to reach outside our membership for the funds. By doing so I became a de facto ambassador for Pink Boots.

The book is a homebrew recipe book specifically so that it can help raise awareness of Pink Boots and women beer professionals. By making the recipes all 5 gallon batch sizes, we are targeting an audience of homebrewers that may not realize that their hobby is a viable career option for them. To further that message, I made sure to include women with as many different roles within the industry as I could. There are several brewers and production employees featured in the book, but many of the women work in marketing, sales, distribution, taproom management, brewers’ guilds, labs, etc. I even included a lawyer that specializes in intellectual property law for breweries and a seven year old girl whose parents are brewery owners.

When you set out on such an undertaking, you never know if it will be successful or not. I was ok with the notion that no one would be interested except me. I had decided early on that if I only sold one copy, that this was a worthwhile project for self-fulfillment if nothing else.  That certainly has not been the case, though! I was absolutely shocked when I received an email from Teri Fahrendorf saying that she had been asked by the board members of PBS to write the forward for the book! I still get goosebumps and a little teary-eyed when I read the powerful forward she wrote.

We launched the book at the Biere de Femme Festival in Shelby, NC in March of 2017. I’m in the promotion phase now, and being able to see the consumer response as well as the industry support for Brewing Ambition has been overwhelming. I had three book signing events in one week, and I was thrilled to see the same woman at all three events. She shared with me that she has since enrolled at her local community college to begin brewing classes this June!

I’m also excited to see that men are just as interested in supporting Pink Boots and reading about the women that make their favorite beers possible as the women are!  Many of the women featured in the book have hosted book signing events, shared the link to purchase the book online through their own social media, and bought books to sell at their breweries, homebrew shops, and bottle shops.

So far, we have sold 340 copies of Brewing Ambition. My fundraising goal is $5,000 by the end of 2017. There are five community colleges in North Carolina that are currently offering brewing education: A-B Tech in Asheville, Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, Rockingham Community College in Reidsville, Wake Tech in Raleigh, and Nash Community College in Rocky Mount. $5,000 is enough to help one woman in each of these programs attend school for one year.  These programs offer a variety of focuses and locations across our state at a price that is accessible to many people. Having received scholarships myself, I know exactly how much they can impact whether someone is able to attend school or not. It is my deepest wish that I can be part of that impact for as many women as possible and that together, we can have a serious impact on the face of craft beer in North Carolina. I hope that other chapters will take on a project like this, and I’m happy to help with the process in any way that I can. Cheers!

Btw: If you’d like to purchase a copy of Brewing Ambition, you can do so via this link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/anita-riley/brewing-ambition-recipes-stories-from-the-women-of-north-carolina-craft-beer/paperback/product-23114888.html.

Anita Riley is the Cellar Operator at Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough, NC and the Pink Boots Society Representative for the Triad Region. She is a Certified Beer Server Cicerone and studied Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation at AB Tech in Asheville, NC as well as Rockingham Community College in Riedsville, NC. Her book Brewing Ambition benefits The Pink Boots Society’s Scholarship Fund which encourages, inspires, and assists women beer professionals to further their careers through education. Brewing Ambition can be found at Lulu.com. You can find her blog Brewing Up a Storm, which focuses on women in the beer industry at www.metrowinesasheville.com/brew-blog. Anita is a native to North Carolina.

Sibyl Perkins

California Craft Beer Summit: Extra Savings for PBS Members!

Members-Only Perks, News

Wondering if you should make the trek to Sacramento for the 3rd annual California Craft Beer Summit? Here are five (5!) good reasons to attend:

1. Learn from the Experts, the Pioneers, the Movers and the Shakers. More than 20 educational sessions, including everything from trends to marketing and differentiation, to stand alone sessions with David Walker (Firestone Walker) and Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), and so much more!

2. Invest in Yourself and Your Business–With 100+ exhibitors and countless networking and interaction opportunities you can grow yourself and your business within the craft beer community.

3. The Entire Industry, Together – Connect with your community at the VIP Brewers Reception and/or Welcome Reception, plus a dozen surrounding events (maybe one for Pink Boots Society; stay tuned)

4. Tickets available at early bird prices through July 10. Don’t miss out!

5. Pink Boots is offering an additional discount code. This discount code is for members only. If you’d like to join Pink Boots Society, you can apply for membership here.

The following content is accessible for members only, please sign in.

Emily Engdahl

Cultural Immersion Tour Grows

Women In Beer

Pink Boots is doubling up on our effort to find sponsors for the upcoming Pink Boots Beer, Bratwurst and Beyond Study Tour!

Last year we sent 11 women to Germany on scholarship. Do you want to go this year? We have three ways to show you how!

  1. Ask your brewery or company to sponsor two spots; one, a scholarship for a Pink Boots Member. The other is reserved for you as the company delegate!
  2. Reserve your spot on the tour and pay out of pocket; ask for donations to your trip from employers, friends, family and sometimes, COUNTRY! (Canadian members, ask us how!)
  3. Apply for the scholarship when it opens!

Is your brewery or employer on Pink Boots’ wavelength? Are there other companies and individuals in your local beerscape who “get” Pink Boots and identify with our mission?  If so, we want to invite them to partner with us by sponsoring a scholarship for the Beer, Bratwurst and Beyond Study Tour!

Help us network and get the word out to:

  • Breweries and beer-makers of all sizes — micro, macro and in between,
  • Allied companies — ingredients suppliers, beer distributors, equipment and tech support companies, brewing systems companies, packaging and container suppliers, labs, restaurants
  • Service providers — Lenders, consultants legal firms, insurers, financial services providers and media,
  • Individuals — Investors, philanthropists, individual donors

Sponsoring a scholarship for the study tour not only enables a Pink Boots member to benefit in a once-in-a-lifetime travel-learning opportunity, it also benefits the sponsor!  

  • Public partnership that demonstrates the sponsor’s support for equity and professional development for women in the beer and brewing.
  • Aligns the sponsor with Pink Boots, which is the platform for women in the beer and brewing trade and allied industries.
  • Puts sponsors squarely in front of Pink Boots members, chapter leadership and associates across the country, Canada and around the world who are stakeholders in every part of the beer industry.
  • Connects decision-makers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and influencers in the beer and brewing community beyond Pink Boots.
  • Gives sponsors the option of designating one of the two scholarships they support for a woman on their team (who must be a Pink Boots member). This is a terrific way to recognize a team member and invest in her future.
  • Grants partners prominent sponsor recognition in tour-related marketing and promotional efforts and on the Pink Boots website.
  • Provides social media messaging opportunities sponsors can use to communicate with their customers, clients, suppliers, and others.

Thanks to the early adopters and repeat sponsors – we have three secured sponsorships already!

Thank you Sierra Nevada, BSG Craft Brewing, and North Carolina Pink Boots Society!

The North Carolina Chapter of Pink Boots raised funds from their March 2017 Biere de Femme Festival and reserved a scholarship for a North Carolina Member to travel to Germany! Way to go, ladies!

Do you have ideas? Please talk it up among the ladies in your state chapter, local group and in the local beer community! We would like to reach out to final sponsor requests no later than mid-July! Email your suggestions and ideas as soon as possible to emily@pinkbootssociety.org, and feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Kris McDowell

Erica DeAnda Scholarship Recipient

Scholarship Recipients

Siebel Concise Course in Brewing Technology Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Erica De Anda of Freewheel Brewing Company is the recipient of the Siebel World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology 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 Erica to receive this scholarship because her application shows “she has a real drive to give back and teach others. Her ability to organize and run a brew day indicates that she is really dedicated to taking her career to the next level and this course will definitely advance her career.”

Three years ago Erica took a risk to work at a brand new brew pub. At the time she says, “I knew nothing about beer except that I did not like it, it was bitter, and left my mouth dry.” The turning point was one day when she had a sip of Petrus Aged Pale  and thought “What is this golden, slightly tart, slightly oaky, liquid they are calling beer?” She felt compelled to learn how it was made and says, “I started to show up to the brewery early in the morning, I swept floors and did grain outs in exchange for brewing education, and then worked my serving shifts where I constantly picked our beer buyer’s brain.” Since then she has moved her way up, working for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Armstrong Brewing and now holds an assistant brewer position with Freewheel where they focus on brewing traditional English ales. Even with all of those accomplishments she is getting by on a brewer’s salary and describes being awarded the scholarship for this extensive course as “life changing.”

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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.

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