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May
3
Cat Wiest
I Am For A Beer
Women In Beer
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Scholarship recipient Nicki Werner gave a Pay It Forward presentation to the folks in attendance at our meeting during the Craft Brewers Conference last month. Through a series of photos, stories, and anecdotes, we enjoyed her experiences second hand. She shared a poem she had written on the bus during the tour, “In Germany I saw so many amazing examples of the different ways beer can be a power for good… and spending time getting to know some pretty awesome peers in the industry energized me to write this”. The former art professor gives a nod to sculptor Claes Oldenburg’s 1961 piece, “I am for an art”.

“I am for a beer.

I am for a beer that tastes good, smells good, and IS good

I am for a beer that leaves rings on the table, lace on the glass, that is just one more and then we’ll go

I am for fruity, hoppy, roasty, smelly, barnyard, creamy, smooth, bitter, tart, drinking my dessert, and having cake too.

I am for my favorite glass, a perfect pour, the best seat at the bar, a couple cans in my backpack.

I am for a beer that bikes more and drives less. I am for solar powered, wind powered, zero waste beer. I am for a beer that grows farms and fields where there weren’t any before.

I am for a beer that pays a living wage, that acknowledge power structures, and that throws away all the bootstraps.

I am for a beer that doesn’t leave poor people behind, that never crosses the picket line.

I am for a beer that dismantles patriarchy, that abolishes ICE, that makes bathroom signs inclusive. I am for a beer that says Black Lives Matter and does something about it. I am for a beer that is gay and non-conforming. I am for a beer that says no to harassment under any circumstances.

I am for a beer that is decolonialist, that has hard conversations about appropriation and sovereignty. That uses the knowledge of our ancestors with respect and, also, criticality.

I am for the DIY, the homebrew, the collab, the zoigl, the csa.

I am for a beer that is employee-owned, community owned, farmer owned, family owned, and friendly owned. I am for a beer that is chosen family. I am for a beer that has each other’s backs.

I am for a beer that rebuilds, withstands, and adapts.

I am for a beer that acknowledges and wields its power thoughtfully. I am for Lady Justice Brewing, for Black Star Line Brewing, and for everyone else being entrepreneurs and radical at the same damn time.

I am for the train beer, the plane beer, the shower beer, the dinner table beer, the breakfast beer, the calibration beer, the “is this a work meeting?” beer, the “today was a good day” beer

For beer-thirty, for drank in my cup, for it all started with a beer, for drink and my 2 step, for the deck beer, the beach beer, the summit beer, for the thunderstruck beer, the Stammtisch, the shiftie table, the “I love this bar” beer.

I am for a beer that is better. That is the Best!

I am for a beer that uplifts, empowers, and enables the people who need it the most.

I am for… beer! Cheers!

Nicki Werner
Brewer, Left Hand Brewing Company
Instagram: nickiwernerartz

 

Mar
5
Cat Wiest
A Brewer’s Journey, Through Collaboration
Women In Beer
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Erica DeAnda – Octopi Brewing

Here I am, writing this blog for the March 2019 Pink Boots newsletter; when just four very short years ago in March I was attending not only my first Pink Boots Brew day, but also my very first Pink Boots meeting. At 24, I was a server turned beer-tender who up until that point, had no direction or clear idea where life was headed. Waiting tables at a brew pub, I learned about and quickly fell in love with beer! As soon as I could, I made the transition from waiting tables in Oakland to working at a taproom in San Francisco – slinging beers and constantly having my head buried in a Randy Mosher book! I absorbed every ounce of knowledge our head brewer bestowed upon us, and always asked questions about the brewing process. It didn’t take long to realize that I needed more, that I had a void in my life, and I needed to fill that void by brewing. Having no clue how I was going to get there, no clue how many doors would be shut in my face, I did know not going for it was not an option.

Discovering Pink Boots Society

In my time working at the brew pub and taproom, a few peers told me about the Pink Boots Society. “They are an organization of women who work in the beer industry”, one would say. “But I am not really sure what it is they actually do”, another would say. Looking for any opportunity, mentorship, anything to help further my career along, I applied to join the boots society and see what it was all about. Right around the time I joined, they were gearing up to have multiple collaboration brews around the world. Women from all over were given a style to brew, a red ale, leaving recipes and ingredients up to the brewers. Looking back now, I didn’t know how much these brew days would come to mean to me. They were like a warm hug, they always happen when I seem to need them the most, no matter what stage in my career. 

My First Brew Day

We gathered at Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, a San Francisco staple brewery. Their brewer, Cat (OMG! I thought, a girl brewer!), led us through the process and we brewed an amazing red ale. When I walked into that brewery, I was terrified. I had never been to a big brew day like this, where I would be surrounded by women who all made huge impacts in the brewing world. During the day, I was introduced to a few other women brewers, and to say the least, I was completely starstruck that these women were out there living their best lives brewing beer. They followed their passions living out my dream. I was absolutely inspired!

Hosting a collaboration brew at Freewheel Brewing Company

A New Career

After my first collaboration brew day, I ended up going from beer-tending to getting a job packaging beer. From there, I got my first assistant brewing job at a small nano brewery, where I made a few mistakes and I was fired. I remember the feeling of giving up. Everything I had worked so hard to achieve was over, I was fired, it was devastating, and I was embarrassed. This happened about a month before our chapter was supposed to brew our collaboration at a little brewery you might have heard of, Sierra Nevada. Wrestling with weather or not I should go, feeling down, I was lost about what to do next and I didn’t think I could face a room full of people telling me they were sorry I lost my job. But I did go, and I wasn’t met with pity, I was met with a room full of encouragement. They told me stories of messing up at their jobs, there were women who had also been let go from jobs, women who did not stop because someone told them they couldn’t do it. It was that same warm hug feeling, I was embraced with inspiration, ready to stand up and take control of my career again.

Hired on as an assistant brewer in a new job, I began to thrive! We even hosted our own small collaboration brew day where I got to host some of the women who inspired me to pursue my beer career. During this time, I was lucky enough to win a scholarship for Siebel’s Online Concise Course in Brewing Technology through the Pink Boots Society. After high school I did not go to college, so winning this scholarship and getting higher education was life changing for me. It also happened to come as I was quitting my assistant brewing job and packing my life to take a head brewing job across the country.

The Big Move

I moved from Oakland, California, to a small, tourist town in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. When I arrived there, it was a struggle, I had a hard time taking over the extremely old brew house. But I kept pushing, and hosted another brew day for the girls in my new chapter. The brew house was so old that during our brew day a steam fitting finally had enough, the corrosion ate through the pipe and the brewery filled up with steam. But like all great brewers, we got the beer brewed and had an awesome day filled with great beer and a newly formed sisterhood. No one knew at the time how home sick I was, and how much I was regretting taking this job. Again, Pink Boots brew day to the rescue! It  gave me the clarity that I needed to leave that job for how miserable it made me.

Reflection

So here I am now, reflecting on all the Pink Boots brew days I have been able to participate in and to host! Currently, I’m brewing at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee, Wisconsin, one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing breweries. Recently I was voted President of the Wisconsin Pink Boots chapter. I just planned and executed a 30 barrel brew for our chapter, where we invited a ton of Wisconsin industry folk, and I lead a meeting on inclusion in the beer industry. It was a familiar feeling, meeting with young women who want to be brewers but aren’t sure how to go about it. Telling my story about how I came to be a brewer, to a room full of brewers and aspiring brewers made me feel so proud! It let me feel pride in myself, and how much I have accomplished. The Pink Boots has been such a driving force in my career, and if I can share that warm embrace of inspiration, then I must be doing something right! Even after all the mistakes, the ups and downs, I can continue on. No matter how many doors get shut, there is always a window to go through.

Discussing the beer industry and inclusion during Octopi Brewing Collaboration Brew Day – 2019

Pink Boots brewing!

 

 

From beer-tending to brewing, Erica has worked almost every job in the brewery. A California native, she now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, working as a brewer at one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing contract breweries – Octopi Brewing. Erica is also the president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Pink Boots Society. Erica has a deep love for cask ale, cats, and clear beer.

 

Feb
11
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.

Dec
22
Anne Sprecher
Changing of the Guard…
Women In Beer
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…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.

 

Dec
4
Cat Wiest
Living and Brewing in South America
Women In Beer
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My name is Megan Garrity, also known here in Lima as Greenga. It’s been almost 11 years since I got on a plane and traveled to Lima, Peru.  What had begun as a three week work trip turned into more than a decade of adventures! My coined nickname eventually grew into a new way of life as a Business Owner, Gypsy Brewer, BJCP Judge, Pink Booter, VP of the Peruvian Craft Beer Union, and who knows what next!  I’m excited to share my story, Craft Beer in Peru, and some of the amazing experiences and people I have met in my travels all over Latin America, representing Peruvian craft beer and as a BJCP Judge.

When I arrived in 2008 there were no craft breweries or craft options. In 2010 I came across my first experience with a Peruvian craft beer, an Inti Golden from Sierra Andina.  Yes, something that wasn’t an industrial Lager! Soon after I had an American Amber from Barbarian. With that, a light bulb clicked on. These guys were able to brew here, and that meant I could too!  I started googling and found a home brew class to get a refresher and access to materials. I could finally brew a beer I wanted to drink! When I started out I had not planned on taking the leap to becoming a professional brewer, but Greenga Brewing was officially launched in May of 2016.

Making the decision to go professional was scary.  Without easy access to further brewing education, I started to volunteer to brew with my friends in the industry.  I worked at a craft beer bar, and listened to consumers., I took BJCP to learn more about off flavors, their causes, and how to prevent them.  On the business side, we ran into problem after problem. Our original name was rejected, an investor fell through, and suppliers didn’t have a consistent supply of raw materials.  But my nickname Greenga fit perfectly, thus Greenga was born. Barbarian offered their brewery for gypsy brewing. As for sourcing consistent ingredients – I’ve flown from the US with several suitcases full of hops over the years!  Brewing in Latin America forces you to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions since we don’t have easy access to raw materials. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It’s fun to be a part of this movement where we are basically responsible for forming the craft beer scene while making sure it grows.

Craft beer in Peru is brand new; we like to say “esta en pañales” (it’s in diapers).  The difference from 2010 when I had my first craft until today, the end of 2018, is exciting to see.  We are in a huge growth spurt! Our craft customer four years ago would request one of two things, the lightest beer most similar to a Pilsen (local industrial lager), or the one with the highest ABV.  All the professional brewers and homebrewers have worked hard to educate our customers, bars, restaurants, and even bloggers so they better understand what they are drinking. Craft beer can now be found all over the country (not just in metropolitan centers), and we are becoming an important part of the gastronomy that Peru is well known for.  Today you can find 40+ professional breweries producing more than 1000lt monthly, 100+ members in the Homebrew Club, and more than 100 bars and restaurants that solely sell craft beer. We have been able to start brewing outside the standard of Blonde/Pale Ale, Red Ale, and IPA. We get to do some fun things and our customers are excited and receptive (although we may still be a few years away from them accepting sour beers)!  The market has grown enough that we just held our 3rd Peru competition with 240 entries!

My main goal when I studied to be a BJCP Judge was to improve as a brewer, I had no idea how much the world would open up!  I met brewers from all over the world, one in particular from the U.S. who asked me if I was in the Pink Boots Society. Since I don’t live in the US, I didn’t know who/what Pink Boots was or represented.  As soon at that first competition was over I immediately read everything about Pink Boots and signed up as a member. It was inspiring to find this community, and I wanted to bring this feeling to the amazing women I know here in Peru as well as across Latin America.  In 2018 PBS-Peru was launched and we have some very talented members. It’s impossible to list all their amazing skills and accomplishments but it’s safe to say women are a driving force in the growth of Craft in Peru.

In traveling as a judge, I have met and become great friends with incredible and talented women from all over.  I was able to brew with “Ceva das Minas”, the women’s brew group from Porto Allegre in November. The presence and support for women in the brew industry in Brazil is inspiring.  I also met and brewed with the founding members of Las Birreras, from Argentina, who have most recently brewed a collaboration beer with the proceeds going to end violence against women.  In July we held our 2nd women’s collaboration in Quito, Ecuador, and as a result the Brewsters EC was formed.  There are also the incredible women in Costa Rica who consistently collaborate and brew together.   We have a lot to offer, and from what I have seen the presence of women in beer will only continue to grow here.

Peru has presented me with the opportunity to enter into the brewing industry in a way I would have never experienced anywhere else.  I am excited to see where our industry will grow from here as well as the rest of Latin America. It hasn’t been the easiest path; living in another country, in another culture, and in general being away from everything familiar.  I wouldn’t change anything, and I’m looking forward to the future!

Megan is the founder and head brewer of Greenga Brewing (est 2016) located in Lima, peru.  She has travelled as a certified bjcp judge to the most prestigious beer competions in Latin America  She is the VP of the Union Cerveceros Artesanales Peru and has lead the effort to establish a Pink Boots Peru chapter, bringing together the top female Brewers in the nation.  Finally, she serves as the representative of the Communcation for Bloque Cervecero Latino America.

Sep
4
Anne Sprecher
See Y’all in Austin: Get Ready for the 2019 Pink Boots Society Conference!
Women In Beer
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By Caroline Wallace & Laura Christie

In 2017, Pink Boots Society held its inaugural conference in San Diego to celebrate 10 years of assisting, inspiring, and encouraging women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education. We’re excited to continue to embody this mission next January with our second biannual conference in Austin, TX. As the conference organizers, our goal is to instill attendees with hard takeaways and valuable knowledge that can be applied from the brewhouse–to the taproom–to the marketplace, along with time for lots of networking, fun, and camaraderie.

 

Our Keynote Speaker for the conference will be Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director at the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. Julia is also a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, a Certified Cicerone®, the co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course and the co-author of “Beer Pairing” (Voyageur Press). If you haven’t had a chance to see Julia command a room with her passion, energy, and expert knowledge at events like the Great American Beer Festival and the Craft Brewers Conference, we can assure you, you’re in for a real treat!

 

Additional panels and presentations at our 2019 conference will touch on: Beer Quality, Sensory, Raw Ingredients, Hot Side/Cold Side Processes, Diversity in the Beer Industry, Personal Goal Setting/Leadership, Advanced Social Media, Tasting Room Experience, Strengthening PBS Chapters, HR, and more! We’re working hard on finalizing the complete presentation and panel lineup and look forward to announcing it soon.

 

Outside of aiming to put on a topnotch conference, with more than 70 breweries in the Austin area, we can’t help but feel excited to share some fantastic beers and a welcoming, tight-knit local community with all of our fellow women beer industry professionals joining us from near and far. Our Austin Pink Boots Society chapter has been active since 2014, and monthly meetings have given us a chance to forge strong relationships, and support each other through collaboration and camaraderie. Serving as hosts and organizers for the Pink Boots Society’s next biannual conference is a real honor for our chapter, and one we’re jumping into with both feet!

We hope you’ll all consider joining us in Austin next January for jam-packed long weekend of education, networking, and great beer. You can learn more and register for the conference at https://www.pinkbootsconference.com. A special Early Bird registration rate of $125 is available to PBS members through October 1st, so we definitely encourage you to sign up early to save!

 

 

Caroline Wallace is the Deputy Director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and Pink Boots Society Austin Chapter Co-leader. Laura Christie is the Owner and Founder of Hopsimath, a craft beer education company providing seminars and workshops for the beginner and the connoisseur. Together, they are excited to welcome Pink Boots Society members to Austin for the 2019 conference.

Aug
5
Anne Sprecher
Follow Your Dream. Find Your Tribe.
Women In Beer
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By Maggie Skinner, Chapter Leader Pink Boots Wisconsin

Going back three or so years ago, I was working in the corporate world selling parts for telescopic conveyors for a Milwaukee company. I was really into beer and loved learning all I could about it. One snowy day, I sat down with a local brewer who was in need of a sales
representative and convinced him I was the person he needed to sell his beer. Without any prior beer sales experience, I took the job working for Brenner Brewing. I cut my salary in half, left my corporate insurance, and sought a better future for myself and my son. When I first started working for Brenner Brewing, joining Pink Boots Society was one of the first things I did. I was so in love (and still am) with the idea of women supporting each other in such a male dominated industry.

About nine months into working as a brewery rep, the brewery’s future became unclear. A single mom, I needed some stability. I took a
position with Johnson Brothers; a distributor with a small beer portfolio. After six months there, I was recruited by Wisconsin Distributors (WDI) for my current sales position. WDI is the largest AB-InBev distributor in Wisconsin but had just acquired a craft-only Milwaukee territory.

I’ve been with WDI for a year now and it’s really changed my perception of business and beer. When I started working for them, I was very starry eyed about selling such a large portfolio of craft beer to the Milwaukee market. And while I still love my portfolio and WDI does a good job of acquiring brands and expanding what we have to offer our accounts. I just understand the business more and more every day. We have a small Milwaukee team and I’m the only woman on it. I would say it was a struggle for my immediate boss to have a woman on board. Lots of emails that started ‘Gentlemen…” but things have changed and for the better with an understanding of how each other work. I think my biggest struggle is being wrapped up in craft beer all day and then realizing your Madison and Appleton teams sell Budweiser. There is an acceptance that has grown while working for WDI of Anheuser Busch and their products.

Wisconsin is still gaining understanding that women can brew beer, sell beer and in general have an understanding of beer. Milwaukee’s beer history is built by breweries started by men and I look forward to creating new moments in Milwaukee’s beer history with all the women I know in beer. I took on the role of Chapter Leader less than six months after becoming a member. I jumped in and thought I knew what I was doing. Silly me! Over the last two years, we’ve been part of Pink Boots Brew day, held a meeting every quarter (usually in a different part of the State- It’s a BIG state!), increased membership, participated in the Wisconsin Science Fest, and in general grown in the beer community. This year, Pink Boots Wisconsin will be a presence at the Great Taste of the Midwest, and we’ll elect a new Chapter Leader. I’ll happily move on to the finance committee and continue to be a participating member.

About the Author: Maggie Skinner works for Wisconsin Distributors as a sales representative. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her 13 year old son, Ian. Maggie started the Milwaukee chapter of Girls Pint Out in 2015 and is the Pink Boots Society Wisconsin Chapter leader. Some of her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, baking, being out on the water as much as possible, baseball, football, basketball, and of course, beer.

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
0
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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
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