Scholarship Recipients
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Jan
10
Kris McDowell
Siebel Concise Course in Brewing Technology Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Jennifer (Jenna) Munoz of the Brew Lab in Kansas City 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 Jenna to receive this scholarship because “She’s put in a great deal of effort to completely reinvent herself and immerse herself in this new life path. Her genuine drive is to empower and support women in our industry. We need more people like her!”

“When I was young, I wanted to be a lawyer,” says Jenna. “I got married, went to law school, graduated, took the bar exam and moved to Missouri to start my own firm. I enjoyed the puzzle; from talking to clients to determine their issues to going before the judge with the right pieces of evidence and the right argument. I appreciated the intricacies, but I soon found that the community that came with my career was less than desirable and did me more damage than good.” When she decided to leave the field of law she sought out the craft beer industry.

What began as an appreciation of craft beer by drinking it during law school, led to the purchase of a homebrew kit, then volunteering at a brewery. More than just a hobby, Jenna says, “This became my chosen community,” a community that fit her better than the legal community. Still, finding a job in that community was difficult and she experienced opposition, being a female looking to leave a “high salary” profession but she did just that. Mid-2017 she took the role of general manager for a 3bbl brewpub with a professional brewer who was willing to cultivate her desire for knowledge. She is looking forward to acquiring the knowledge this course will provide, a step along the way to taking the Cicerone exam, and will contribute to one day commercially brewing her own recipes.

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, Jenna will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Dec
5
Kris McDowell
OSU Origins of Beer Flavor and Styles Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Erika Raye, Analytical Lab Technician at White Labs, is the recipient of the Oregon State University Origins of Beer Flavors and Styles 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 Erika to receive this scholarship as she, “has a passion for learning and demonstrates great involvement with PBS in terms of organizing events and volunteering. She is well spoken, excited with a clear vision of where she wants to go and how this course will assist her.”

Erika moved to San Diego after graduating with a chemistry degree, intending to use it to become an analytical chemist for a winery. Upon discovering the brewing scene she realized that was where she needed to be and she began working at a brand new nano brewery where she says, “the brewer taught me all that he knew about beer and brewing, whether it was giving me books to read or taking me to as many tasting rooms as he could, we were always working on my “beer education.” A year later she was enrolled in UC San Diego’s Extension program to earn a professional certificate in Craft Beer and Brewing, with her next goal being to pass the Certified Cicerone exam. She is looking forward to this scholarship course being extremely helpful in helping her achieve that goal.

The Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education Origins of Beer Flavors and Styles course is a two-day onsite course that will examine the origins of beer flavor from raw materials and brewing techniques, how beer flavor and aroma are developed within brewing, raw ingredients and then ultimately transformed by yeast during fermentation through multiple beer tastings and discussions. Attendees will also learn the sensory methodology and aroma standards used by professionals in the brewing industry to analyze beer quality and to identify beer flavor defects and their causes during the brewing process.

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

Nov
29
Kris McDowell
Cicerone BeerSavvy® Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Melissa Hoffmann of Lost Rhino Brewing is the recipient of the Cicerone BeerSavvy® scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they selected Melissa to receive this scholarship because “having just made the leap to the brewing industry she is a great fit for the course.” In addition, she “has great enthusiasm for learning as much as possible.

Melissa joined Lost Rhino earlier this year, making a career change from the degree she earned in biology and work at a large bio pharmaceutical company. She says, “I’ve tried my best to absorb all of the knowledge possible from those around me, and with that positive push for learning, I’ve found myself having become a jack of all trades for the company. While my prime position is in the brew house, you can also find me tending bar, giving tours, and working off site events. While honored to have been trusted with many hats, there is certainly more education needed on my part, and I see the Cicerone Level One certification as my next step in my continued education in the beer industry.”

On her decision to the brewing industry she admits, “I’m no spring chicken. I took a leap of faith changing careers.” As one can imagine she sometimes questions that decision. When those doubts pop up she says, “That’s when I pull up the Pink Boots Society website or my chapter’s Facebook page and I see there are other women out there just like me. Trying their best to find a meaningful career that is rewarding. Trying to break the bearded man stereotype. The Pink Boots Society has given me the motivation to continue this journey. With the receipt of this scholarship, I hope other women will be motivated just like I have. It’s never too late to make a change. Regardless of age and experience you’re never done learning.”

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.

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

Nov
5
Kris McDowell
PSU Business of Craft Brewing Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Carly Chelder of Ambler, Penn. is the recipient of the Portland State University Online Business of Craft Brewing Certificate 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 Carly as she “is currently an integral part of opening a brewery and would benefit from this program. In addition, she already possesses a strong background in leadership and organizational skills.This course will help bridge the gap between her existing skills and the beer industry knowledge she will need.”

Carly is a newer Pink Boots Society member but says that she “foresees a mutually beneficial relationship” with the organization and hopes “to volunteer regularly once our brewpub is up and running.” That brewpub, Tannery Run Brew Works, took possession of their leased space in October and are having a 7 barrel system retrofitted for split-batch fermentation with an estimated delivery date of December 2017 or January 2018.

Part of a three-person team opening the brewpub, she describes herself saying, “I am not a brewer. I am a handler. I handle things. I assist. I support. I research and I plan. I market. I organize. Although I’m not an integral part of the product, I am a crucial part of the machine.” Officially handling marketing and outreach, she also schedules meetings, gets updates from her partners on their respective parts and handles the business side of things. She’s looking forward to gaining the business management knowledge she is currently lacking through this scholarship.

The Online Business of Craft Brewing Certificate focuses on the commerce skills needed to create a viable basic startup business plan to make a brewery efficient and profitable. Students will be introduced to the various players and processes that go into producing and selling craft beverages, from growing grains and hops, to malting, brewing, distribution and retail environments. The courses cover different strategies, the associated costs of creating a craft beer and business models, culminating in an investor-ready business plan to present to potential backers, the craft beverage start-up community and other potential business partners.

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

Oct
11
Kris McDowell
White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Erika Woodcock of Long Live Beerworks is the recipient of the 2017 White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 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 Erika to receive this scholarship feeling “the course could help her to move to a QC/QA position and play a bigger role at the brewery. She is committed to share the knowledge in a chapter and to inspire other women to look for brewing education continuously.”

Erika is currently an assistant brewer at Long Live Beerworks, having transitioned from a similar role at Bucket Brewery mid-2016. Both breweries are small and she says, “we don’t always have the resources or space to propagate our own yeast.” After attending a yeast seminar and fueled by a science background, she’s found a renewed interest in the technical side of brewing, specifically yeast processes. Like many small operations Long Live reuses their yeast as many times as possible and Erika is looking forward to learning proper procedures for capturing, cleaning and storing, possibly even growing their own yeast. The knowledge she gains from the course will assist in increasing the quality and consistency of their beers by finding solutions existing yeast issues and provide her a starting point for additional education in the areas of QA/QC, yeast and microbiology. Ultimately she is seeking a bigger role in the brewery, possibly moving to the QA/QC side.

The White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 workshop is a two-day is an exploration of fermentation control points and how to maintain optimal yeast performance as well as develop desired flavor compounds. It will also cover off-flavor detection and sensory of different yeast strains, as well as troubleshooting problem fermentations. Two lab sections will be included, covering details on setting up a brewery lab, brewery quality control programs, and general lab techniques to implement these QC programs.

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

Sep
7
Kris McDowell
Beer, Brats and Beyond Tour Scholarship Recipients Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is excited to announce and introduce the seven ladies that have been selected by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC) to receive a travel scholarship for the Beer, Brats and Beyond Cultural Exchange to Germany October 13-22, 2017.

Hailing from the United States, Canada, Peru and Australia, these seven women run the gamut from new to the industry to those having worked their way up and have opened their own breweries. Megan Garrity, Lauren Lerch, Annabel Meagher, Katie Smith, Bridgette Turner, Kate Streblenko and Tracy Vornbrock will be joining other Pink Boots members for this nine-day insider’s tour of the Bavarian brewing industry that aims to foster relationships between North American and Bavarian breweries with sessions, tastings and tours with women brewers.

Megan Garrity, the first of the three international members on the trip, is the owner/brewer of Greenga Brewing in Lima, Peru. There she handles not only recipe development, brewing and packaging but also does sales, distribution and social media for the brewery. Her location limits her resources, including access to Noble hop varieties like she’ll get to experience on the tour. She says, “Being able to not only visit the farm but also learn more about the traditions and characteristics will help me broaden the styles of beer I’m brewing.” Always looking to improve her knowledge and skills, she’s eager expand her network and to learn from the brewers she’ll meet on the tour, including seeing how the the open fermentation process that Sigi Friedmann utilizes in real life instead of just reading about it.

A brewer’s assistant at Red Rock Brewing in Utah, Lauren Lerch began as a beer store attendant in what she describes as a “casual job” and has worked her way up. During that time she says “I have become the first female Certified Cicerone® in Utah, a Certified Judge though the Beer Judge Certification Program and have judged at the North American Beer Awards.” In addition to brewing duties, she uses her certifications to educate the serving staff, creates beer descriptions for their menus, writes for Red Rock’s bi-weekly blog and assembles beer pairings. Currently enrolled at the University of Utah and pursuing a bachelor’s degree she would like to study brewing abroad and she says, “going on this immersion tour would prove invaluable when making a major life decision like studying abroad.”

Annabel Meagher, an international member hailing from Australia, is the co-owner and brewer of Himmel Hund in Melbourne. The brewery specializes in making German-style beers and the name is a partial homage to the high school exchange trip she took to Bavaria where she had her first taste of wheat beer, falling quite in love with it. About this trip she says, “I will no doubt learn so much about the Reinheitsgebot method of brewing and the best way to use my favourite ingredient (wheat). I have attempted to grow German style hops on a farm outside of Melbourne without great success so far and visiting the hop farms in Germany would no doubt give me some wonderful ideas on how to grow my own back home.”

Starting her craft brewing career with Twin Leaf Brewery as an assistant brewer/bartender, North Carolina-based Katie Smith has moved up into the role of brewer with Highland Brewing Company. She says, “Ever since starting my career, the brewery has always captivated me,” however, “With the fluctuating hours of my full time position at Highland Brewing it has been very difficult for me to be enrolled in a degree-seeking program where I could continue to grow and learn. This short immersion tour would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn so much in a brief period of time.” An active member of the Asheville, NC Pink Boots chapter she is looking forward to sharing her experience with other members once she returns.

The sole member of the group who works on the lab side of brewing operations at Jack’s Abby, Kate Streblenko has brought her degree in biochemistry and past experience as a lab tech for UMass Medical School to the world of craft beer. As the Quality Manager at this German-style, lager only brewery, she says “it’s my responsibility to ensure that these beers aren’t just tasty, but that they are true to style and feature many of the same characteristics as a true German lager.” In brewing some of their traditional styles they use decoction, a process that is not common among Massachusetts breweries. For Kate, “this makes troubleshooting issues and comparing notes with other brewers difficult” so during this trip she is looking forward to gaining an “understanding the traditional methods that helped shape these styles that can really help me have a better understanding of our own brewing techniques and results.”

A craft beer bar in Virginia was where Bridgette Turner started down her craft brewing path. Six years and hundreds of beers later she knew she wanted to become a more knowledgeable bartender. She says, “After some soul searching, I made the decision to attend brew school at Brewlab Ltd in Sunderland, England.” The 12-week course taught her traditional brewing processes and lab skills, gave her the opportunity to write and brew her own recipes and volunteer at eight British breweries. Bridgette returned to a cellar person position she had arranged in advance, eventually moving on and up to a brewer position, before taking her current position as the lead brewer with Solace Brewing Company. She’s thrilled with her new role but says, “Yet again, I always find myself thirsting for more. More knowledge, more beer, and more travel. The scholarship opportunity in Germany provides all those things.”

The third international member, Canadian Tracy Vornbrock entered into the brewing industry just a year ago. She embarked on a Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and is currently at Tool Shed Brewery full time as a summer student where she has been trained in brewing, cellaring, packaging and quality control. She says, “Besides having a passion for beer, what drew me to a career as a brewer was to be part of an industry that continually challenges the conventions of what has been done in the past. The Alberta beer industry is experiencing a massive boom in part due to the relaxation of production limits and an end to archaic liquor laws.” Once finished with school she hopes to open a 3bbl nano-brewery, applying her brewing experience as well as her experience on this trip to “be a loud voice and lead the Alberta beer scene in a new direction, one where beer and brewing come first, not one of flashy advertisements and sexist marketing.”

In addition to attending the tour, each scholarship recipient will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots upon fulfilling the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

The nine-day, Beer, Bratwurst and Beyond tour will make stops at small and independent breweries located in towns such as Munich, Franken, Spalt and Niederbayern. It will highlight many women owned and/or operated breweries (Sister Doris, Meinel sisters), communal brewing traditions, new school craft producers and a few abbey breweries. The tasting sessions, tours and cultural events aim to deepen and enhance the participants’ knowledge of brewing traditions and technologies as well as dispel old stereotypes. In addition to the breweries, stops will be made at German hop farms in the heart of Hallertau where participants learn about the traditions of Noble hops.

Aug
8
Kris McDowell
Jackie Beard Scholarship Recipient
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Barth-Haas Yakima Hops Academy Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Jacqueline (Jackie) Beard of Bale Breaker Brewing is the recipient of the 2017 Barth-Haas Yakima Hop Academy 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 Jackie to receive this scholarship because they feel it would increase her hop knowledge, an area that in an overall impressive collection of knowledge she lacks due to being a recent transplant from the wine world. With her strong science background they feel she “is capable of soaking up every word from the class and really doing some great things with it.”

Jackie’s science background is strong indeed – a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Certificate in Winery Technology as well as positions with Cascade Analytical as a chemist and at Chateau Ste Michelle, Canoe Ridge Winery as a laboratory supervisor. She made the move to beer in October 2016 as the sensory and microbiology lead at Bale Breaker. It’s a multi-faceted role in which she coordinates beer tastings, trains the employee panel, analyzes the impact of numerous brewing process changes, completes routine microbiology and chemistry analysis, analyzes data trends and is in charge of developing a wastewater treatment plan to reduce the brewery’s water impact.

Jackie describes the curriculum of the Barth-Haas Hops Academy as “having me pretty much drooling over the “Hopsessed” hop-specific sensory training, the chemistry knowledge imparted in the “Hops” and “Hops in the Brewing Process” curricula, and the sustainability section.” She’s also looking forward to learning more about the science and business of hops to maximize their use in Bale Breaker’s beers and to apply to sensory trainings for the staff.

Barth-Haas Yakima Hops Academy is a two-day onsite course in Yakima, WA consisting of presentations by hop and brewing experts and top researchers and growers that will cover topics including new trends in hop breeding, hop chemistry, hop quality and brewing techniques as well as new hop varieties, products, usage and analytical and sensory evaluation techniques to gauge hop and beer quality. The course also includes tours of the Haas hop farm and production facility, where attendees will experience the hop fields and witness all components of hop production from whole hops to CO2 extract, as well as a guided tour of Haas Innovations Research Brewery.

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

Aug
4
Kris McDowell
Stacey O’Connor Scholarship Recipient
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YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Stacey O’Connor of Fish Brewing in Washington is the recipient of the 2017 YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® 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 Stacey to receive this scholarship because they feel that although she is a “relative newcomer” she is quite determined and motivated. Additionally, “the course will provide her a foundational understanding of hops that will lend well to her brewing success.”

Stacey’s start to brewing, buying a kit online and brewing what she describes as “one very awful batch of beer on my stovetop” could have stopped her in her tracks. Instead she says that, “even though the beer was terrible I loved the process and I knew I could do better.” To improve she bought books to educate herself, joined a homebrew club and began brewing as often as she could. That determination to learn, improve and grow not only improved her homebrew but ultimately landed her a job in the professional brewing arena.

Fish Brewing head brewer Pat Pearson became acquainted with Stacey at Olympia’s local homebrew club where she impressed him with her knowledge and drive. In April 2016 he offered her a position as a cellar person for their 120bbl system where she took on the heavy lifting involved in the cleaning, kegging, bottling, wet and dry-hopping beers and harvesting yeast strains of many first positions. By the end of the year she had displayed her abilities as a quick learner and proven herself, earning a promotion to assistant brewer. She is now in charge of shift brewing on 120bbl brew days and on her own on the 45bbl system and according to Pat, “is an indispensable part of our team.”

YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® is a two-day onsite course in Yakima, WA that will cover topics including new trends in hop breeding, hop chemistry and brewing techniques. Guest speakers include award-winning brewers from across the United States speaking on hop usage, recipe formulation and brewing methods. Local hop farmers will also be in attendance to address the numerous growing aspects of hops from yields and aroma characteristics to new, up and coming proprietary varieties. The course also includes a ranch tour, where attendees will experience the hop fields and witness hop picking, drying and baling, as well as a guided tour of YCH headquarters, where they will observe the receiving and warehousing of the hops.

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

Jun
3
Kris McDowell
Erica DeAnda Scholarship Recipient
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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.

May
28
Kris McDowell
Danielle Byers Scholarship Recipient
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10th Anniversary Conference Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Danielle Byers of The Rare Barrel in CA is the recipient of the 10th Anniversary Conference 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 Danielle to receive this scholarship as she “has shown major involvement in a start-up brewery and is focused on creating and fostering community, which is one of the greatest purposes of the upcoming meeting.”

Danielle is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for The Rare Barrel and is looking forward to attending the conference, saying that it will allow her to “acquire more information and get a variety of perspectives about approaching distribution, as we begin to increase our direct to retail sales throughout California and potentially distribute outside of California in the next year.” She also anticipates the knowledge gained by attending public relations and marketing/social media workshops will assist her in the management of all of the media for the brewery.

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The 10th Anniversary Conference is a one-day event taking place in San Diego that will have multiple prominent industry speakers presenting seminars and participating on panels with topics ranging from sensory to social media to sustainability. The conference will kick off with a keynote from Megan Parisi, Head Brewer at Samuel Adams, and be followed the next day by the first ever Pink Boots Beer Festival. The festival will feature a large and diverse selection of the best beers in the industry, many brewed by Pink Boots Society members with the proceeds benefiting the scholarship program.

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