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Sep
4
Anne Sprecher
Listening to Audiences at Museums and Breweries
Women In Beer
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By: Susan Evans McClure

What do craft brewing and history museums have in common? In my experiences working in both fields, I have learned that if you focus on your audience, whether they are beer drinkers, history lovers, or both, you can make personal connections with individuals that will stick with them forever.

I am currently the Director of Programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and as part of my job, I direct programming related to food history at the museum. We use food, from cooking demonstrations to exhibitions to collections to brewing history, to help audiences connect personal with history. Food in museums is about seeing yourself in the story and understanding how you are making history today. But before I came to museum-land, I spent 4 years working in the craft brewing industry, in the Marketing Department of Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, Vermont. I ran brewery events, onsite and offsite, and managed public relations for the brewery. Now this was 10 years ago, so times have definitely changed with that company and with the whole industry, but many of the things I learned there continue to influence the work I do now.

When the National Museum of American History decided to launch an evening program series, we started with beer history. From my time in the world of beer, I knew that beer fans were curious, interested, and wanted to learn…all things that we wanted in a museum audience. For the first event, we brought together a brewer and a historian to talk about the history of American brewing, served amazing beers, and put objects on display from the museum collections related to brewing history. It was a huge hit, and the audience started asking for more.

After learning that our audiences were interested in this topic, our curatorial and archival teams surveyed the museum’s collections and found that the museum had a robust collection of American brewing history from the late 19th and early 20th century, but very little from the post 1960s craft brewing era. Not only did we have a gap in the collections during an important time period in brewing history, we also knew that brewing history topics were connected to larger themes in American history during the second half of the 20th century. In 2016, the museum launched the American Brewing History Initiative, a three year project, generously supported by the Brewers Association, to collect, document, and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers, and the beer industry – with the goal to explore how beer and beer history connect to larger themes of American history.

In 2017, after a nation-wide search and lots of press attention, the museum hired historian Dr. Theresa McCulla to lead the research initiative. With this beer story, we realized, we were really on to something. If you start with a topic that people clearly already have an interest in, you have the ability to go beyond what they think they know and encourage them to think differently about the world around them. Imagine if every time you drink a beer, you think about how connected you are to the history of this country…to the enslaved people and women who brewed beer in the 1780s, to the German immigrants in the Midwest in the 1850s, and to today’s craft brewers. You are part of history. And your beer helps you see yourself that way. When we listened to our audiences, we were able to build something that is both popular and historically relevant. And we plan to continue the work of documenting brewing history at the National Museum of American History for years to come.

As the Director of Programs and Audience Development at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Susan leads a team responsible for inspiring national conversations on the importance of the humanities to civic life. From theater to music to food, she is responsible for public engagement around topics that help individuals see themselves in history and feel connected to their communities. Previously, Susan launched the museum’s Food History Program and managed on-site educational opportunities for visitors. Susan holds an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Theater from McGill University. She is an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies department at The George Washington University and has spoken nationally and internationally on topics from food history to performance theory to museum education. Photo credit: Briget Ganske

Aug
10
Anne Sprecher
Pints, Parenting and Play –>Juggling. It. All.
Women In Beer
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Tami Plourde, Pearl Street Brewery

Today as I spend what is probably my umpteenth beautiful Saturday morning and afternoon holed up in my office, ignoring the perfect 80 degree day with zero humidity (a summer gift in this usually highly humid region of the Midwest), I’m reminded of the dedication it takes to do what we do. As an owner of a brewery, but more importantly a small business, I often miss those moments, those opportunities, the things I love most, to DO what I love the most… sell beer! And that’s ok. It’s not always ok. But for the most part, it’s ok. But I’m trying really hard to find some balance between business and pleasure. The great thing is… lots of the time, my time is both. Yesterday, I spent the evening in Wisconsin Dells, listening to live local music and sipping on a session IPA we brewed especially for this touristy local hot spot we were hanging out at. And they took the entire 20 BBL batch. Not bad for a day’s work… and play.

And as a mom, I don’t linger too much on the thought of whether it is appropriate that my 8 year old daughter is currently co-leading our facility tours with our Tour Guide. We have a family business, and we will always do this together. That’s another thing that really helps blur the line between how many “work hours” we’ve logged in and the “quality” time we’ve spent together as a family  🙂

When my schedule allows for it, I travel around Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Working Lives Project to talk about my experience being a woman in a male dominated field. I talk about my start in the industry 14 years ago, when I was unemployed, closing my restaurant after two years of giving it a go and going through bankruptcy. I started to help out my “boyfriend” aka. The Brewmaster go around to bars in La Crosse taking keg orders one day a week for his small nano brewery. It was great. Back then, a big week was a 10 1/2 BBL deliveries for the week. The next day, Joe would load up our blue short bus that we got practically for FREE but the only thing we could afford and he’d deliver the kegs and I’d write the invoices.  Back then, I was one of the only woman beer, liquor or wine sales working the route. So I  got a lot of attention. Was told that I was a refreshing change from those “scraggly men” who come around. I’m not aware of using my feminine wiles to sell beer, but unconsciously… maybe I did. I grew our local sales fairly quickly, and within a few years I was going out daily and we had to hire a full time delivery guy.

But even after a few years of selling beer, I couldn’t say it was my passion. I was still “helping” out. Fully planning on pursuing my plans in life. I couldn’t tell you what day that mentality changed. When I realized I WAS doing something awesome. I was pursuing my plans for my life. But it did. And after that… I was in it to win it.

The past few years have been a whirlwind. We’ve posted double digit growth every year for 18 years and the past two years we’ve posted over 25% growth and are on pace to hit 40% growth for this year. All this talk of growth and we’re still one of the smallest production breweries in Wisconsin.  We fund all of our own growth ourselves, so we only grow as we can afford to. Now, we’ve got to learn how to grow as we can manage to. We’ve hired 6 full-time employees in the last year and have grown our staff from 10 to 25+ including part-time beertenders. And not being one to pass up any opportunities, we opened a print and design company four years ago to cut down on our own design and print costs, and to grow a separate independent company.

All of these things are great things. My point I’m making today, as a woman and as a human being, it is a constant juggling act to figure out how to keep growing, how to keep the creativity up, how to manage the many men and women that work tirelessly alongside of us and how to keep my little family health and happy. Is it because I can’t say I can’t, that I feel the need to talk about how difficult it is to keep all this together? I don’t think so. But somehow through the culture of society, it has become a mandate that we can as women do it all. And I believe we can! But I’ve also learned it will be hard. But it is the passion and the determination that propels us into each day and into each endeavor. I wouldn’t want it any other way. And I think I’m doing alright. And I’ll admit it. I can’t juggle at all.

Cheers to the ladies that keep this industry exciting, interesting and evolving… all while being the foundation of their families!

Tami Plourde is a Minnesota native and longtime La Crosse, Wisconsin resident. She opened her first business venture, a restaurant in downtown La Crosse, in 2001, which she operated for two years. After that, she partnered with Joe Katchever to run and operate Pearl Street Brewery. She is currently a partner and the Director of Marketing and Sales for Pearl Street Brewery. And in her time in this position has helped the company grow from a small 500 BBL producing beer business to one that produced over 3500 BBL in 2015. In 2016, she helped oversee a 28% growth to get to almost 4500 BBLS and in 2017, is on pace for a 40% growth of just shy of 6500 BBLS.  She is currently overseeing an expansion project. She works with sales staff, self-distribution staff, directly with distributors, marketing staff and production staff.

Jul
11
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.

May
24
Anne Sprecher
#PinkBoots10 June 2nd and 3rd
Women In Beer
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Hey Everyone,

We are stoked for the Pink Boots Society 10th Anniversary Conference and Beer Festival (#PinkBoots10), taking place in San Diego June 2nd and 3rd. Megan Parisi, Head Brewer at the Samuel Adams Nanobrewery in Boston, MA, gives the keynote conference speech, then an intensive day of getting professional insights on Beer and the Business of Brewing from some of the leading women in our industry: Abby Heilbrun, Ska Brewing; Amy Newall-Large, Avery Brewing; Bess Dougherty, Grateful Gnome Brewery; Candace Moon, The Craft Beer Attorney; Gwen Conley, Cutwater Spirits; Ingrid Alvarez Cherney, Chicks for Beer; Joyce Turner, Mammoth Brewing Company/Mammoth Distributing; Julie Konileski, Boulder Beer; Karen Barnett, Small Bar; Kate Wallace, New Belgium Brewing Company; Kelly Lohrmeyer, Yakima Chief/Hopunion; Laura Lodge, Customized Craft Beer Programs; Mikaelaa Crist, @craftybeermaven; Nena Parks, White Labs; Nickie Pena, White Labs; Renee Johnson, Fort George Brewery; Rebecca Boyles, Beer Revolution; Susie Baggs, Brown Bag Beverage; Teri Fahrendorf, Great Western Malt, Founder, Pink Boots Society; Ting Su, Eagle Rock Bewery; Troy Bednick, Civil Life Brewing Company.

If you are in town Thursday evening June 1, stop by ChuckAlek Biergarten for the Welcome Reception.

As for the June 3 Beer Festival, Noon-4pm, Ingram Plaza at Liberty Station, what can we say other than it will be EPIC!  Thirty-eight (38!) breweries, 70+ beers, unlimited 2oz pours, DJ, food trucks, cool peeps….Participating breweries include: Stone, Ballast Point, AleSmith, Allagash, Anaheim, Anchor, Avery, Belching Beaver, Benchmark, Browerij West, ChuckAlek, Eagle Rock, Eppig, Fall, Karl Straus, Laughing Monk, Maui, Modern Times, Monkey Paw, North Park, Pizza Port, The Rare Barrel, Rock Bottom, Seabright, Second Chance, Samuel Adams, San Diego, Sierra Nevada, Ska, Societe, South Park, Three Weavers, Topa Topa, Track 7, and some surprises. Many of the beers served will be limited editions and one offs, including a few #BBB2017 brews. Expect IPAs, gruits, Belgians, Pale Ales that are true to style but also riffs on a given style. 100% of the proceeds go to Pink Boots Scholarship Fund. Cheers to that! (Photo Credit: Mike Johnson, festpics.com)

For full deets and tickets, visit our dedicated website: http://10thanniversary.pinkbootssociety.org/.

May
1
Anne Sprecher
It Really Is A Big Deal!
Women In Beer
0
,

I just met up with a fellow Pink Boots Society member who has been so busy with her new business project that she just now noticed PBS is hosting a 10th Anniversary Conference & Beer Festival in San Diego, California June 2-3. Maybe you’ve been too busy to notice too?

This is a big deal ladies!

Big as in, PBS started when George W Bush was President.

Big as in there were 1,480 breweries when PBS started. This year we’ll hit 6,000, or 4 times as many.

Big as in, PBS has 50 Chapters in 10 Countries, with members all over the world.

Major couch-surfing and collab brewing potential, if you work your membership right.

Big as in, there has never been an all-women professional beer conference, never in the history of the world up till now.

With two educational tracks (Technical and Business)

With 22 women beer industry knowledge leaders speaking:

http://10thanniversary.pinkbootssociety.org/conference/

Event Schedule:

Thursday Jun 1st 6-8 pm: PBS Welcome Reception

Friday June 2nd 8 am-5 pm: PBS Conference

Saturday June 3rd Noon-4 pm: PBS Craft Beer Festival

Combination packages are available for added savings.

Event Webpage: http://10thanniversary.pinkbootssociety.org/

Registration: https://www.pinkbootssociety.org/events/#!event/2017/6/2/pink-boots-10th-anniversary-conference-and-festival

About my fellow PBS friend who was so busy with her new business project that she’d failed to see all the Facebook posts and e-newsletters about this amazing event? She’s going! You’ll want to meet her and the other attendees who are flying in from all over tarnation. Be there! I can’t wait to see you!

Cheers,

Teri Fahrendorf

Founder & Co-Creator

Mar
6
Anne Sprecher
It Was Cold But Oh So Worth It
Women In Beer
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Normally in January I’m working in my brew house at Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz, California and not visiting cold cities across the country. This year was an exception as my mom and I decided to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. That event served as the starting point for my journey. 

As a brewer and general beer enthusiast, any type of trip I take morphs into a beer drinking and brewery tour odyssey. Over the course of ten days I found myself in breweries and beer bars in Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Chicago (D.C. was a just a tad crowded to go hunting for a pub). I met so many wonderful people (and a couple crummy ones). We talked about beer, yeast, hockey, and what it was like visiting the nation’s capital for the very first time during one of the largest demonstrations in history. It was a very American experience for this California native.

Baltimore: Fascinating! So Many Tasty Brews

I have been through Maryland by way of the Appalachian Trail, but I had never been to Baltimore. What a fascinating city! It is both beautiful and gritty with so much history, and so many great places to drink. We first stopped at the Pratt Street Alehouse which offers plenty of English style ales. There I met an old roommate who is now a homebrewer. Like other locals, he suggested The Brewers Art for their well-crafted and impressive beer selection. I loved the speakeasy feel of their below the street entrance. Since my roommate and I hadn’t seen each other in a decade I remember the conversation better than the beers we shared.

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The following day my mom and I ventured over to Heavy Seas Brewing, one of the first craft breweries in Baltimore. Here I was introduced to the very popular Loose Cannon IPA but the real gem is Siren Noire, an imperial chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels. It has the viscosity of dirty diesel fuel, and that’s just how I like it. My mom will drink a couple of 4oz tasters and call it a day. As we bonded over our brews I noticed that she leans heavily toward dry and bitter red ales. Of the many bars we visited in historic Fells Point, I must give a shout out to The Wharf Rat and their bartender AJ. He hooked me up with a killer flight (I let him pick the beers after outing myself as an IPA loving Californian).  The winner had to be Yards Brewing Company Poor Richards Tavern Spruce.  I’ve been working on a spruce ale, and hope that it can come close to the quality of this particular beer. After a fun few days getting to know Baltimore through its craft beers my mom flew home and I headed to Milwaukee. Baltimore – you have not seen the last of me.

Milwaukee: A City of Surprises & Friendly Beer Folks

I try to visit Milwaukee every year. The city is beautiful and clean, the people are friendly (I don’t get California hate like I do in some other cities), there is cheese and more cheese, and it’s the birthplace of beer in America. I love Milwaukee! This trip the first brewery I visited was new to the city – MobCraft. I loved their Ode to Sahti juniper berry ale (like I said, I’m working on something similar myself), but their unique business model perplexed me. Instead of deciding to make beers they like and they expect their customers will like, MobCraft crowd sources its recipes. The public nominates a recipe idea online; the recipe with the most votes gets brewed. As a professional brewer who prides herself on her ability to design crowd pleasing recipes, I have trouble being enthusiastic about this practice. From a homebrewer’s standpoint – this is killer! Your recipe brewed by a professional brewer and purchased by MobCraft’s customers – it’s like seeing your name in lights! By producing an amateur brewer’s innovative recipe MobCraft benefits by gaining a whole new crew of fans, all the people who voted for the recipe and their friends. Apparently the model works for them. The bar was busy.

Pocky the Pony

I work on a small brewpub system at my brewery so I had to visit D14. The guys there were friendly. We had good conversations about yeast and logistics in tiny spaces on small systems. They gave me some helpful tips for serving off a keg through my 75 foot draught system while working on the tank.

On this trip I finally made it to Milwaukee Brewing Company. Their production manager, Kurt, gave me a tour and we had a few beers together. I like checking out things like draught line manifolds and steam generators because…I just like those things. MKE Brewing makes their own biodiesel, which they use to run one of their steam generators. That type of innovation is laudable. They have an awful lot going on in their space, another thing I really appreciate. Standout beers were the Hop Happy, and the very discreetly boozy Grand Madame barley wine (aged in sherry barrels). Milwaukee has so many new breweries I didn’t have time to visit my regular stops, but there’s always next year.

I must give additional Milwaukee shout outs to Wanda at Uber Tap Room (who serves me every time I come into town), and Bailey at Ale Asylum, who was not only friendly and knowledgeable but she stashed the beers I had collected throughout the day so I could get through security and watch an Admirals game. Thanks ladies!

Chicago: Cold City, Cool People

Because I’m a weenie about flying I wanted a direct flight back to the Bay area. Best option, hopping on Amtrak to check out The Windy City for a couple days! This is the way to go, and I will visit Chicago every time I visit Milwaukee from now on. Chicago is home to Revolution Brewing, which is home to Will Turner, who was the head brewer at MY brewery “back in the day”. So of course I went to visit. He gave me a tour of the gorgeous pub, brewhouse, and cellar. I delivered some of Seabright’s Blur IPA and Oatmeal Stout, just in case he missed them. Revolution’s most popular beer is the Anti-Hero IPA, but my favorite was Deth’s Tar, a barrel aged Imperial Russian Stout. Typical for January, Chicago was only 20F degrees and snowing; unreasonably cold for California coastal me. Maybe that’s why I kept leaning to the dark and heavy beers.

Will pointed me toward Haymarket Brewing, and I am so glad because not only did I love their beers but the staff was delightful. They helped me out with printing my impulse buy Blackhawks ticket, put me on their free shuttle to and from the game, and had a fabulously rich The Sun Comes Up Tomorrow coffee IPA for me to enjoy (repeatedly). I even made some new friends at their bar. For my nightcap I chose Indignant Bourbon Imperial Stout and I slept like a baby.

Not gonna lie, I had a bit of a hangover when I woke up in my hostel the next day. I spent the morning exploring the Riverwalk, downtown, and strolling around the shore of Lake Michigan where my beach dwelling body went completely numb in the frigid wind. I went on the giant Ferris wheel at Navy Pier because the bubble was heated – even though I have a fear of Ferris wheels. That afternoon I flew back to San Francisco then drove to Santa Cruz, where a nice breeze and a warm sky greeted me. It’s hard for me to take time away from my brew house, and it is stressful to return and play catch up. But it is so worth it. Not only did I participate with my mom in a powerful demonstration of unity in our nation’s capital, but I met old friends, I made new friends, I expanded my professional network, and I had some killer and inspiring beers. I’ve also added to my list of places I think are great and need to revisit. Should you find yourself in my town, and I hope you do, please come by and say hello!

Cheers beers!

Cat Wiest is the head brewer at Seabright Brewery in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA. Before joining the brewing industry she was a baker, a commercial fisherman, and a bouncer. She started brewing professionally in 2012 following a bout of desperate unemployment during which she received her quarterly Bitch magazine containing an article titled “We’re Here, We’re Beer, Get Used To It”. She found inspiration in learning that women were the original brewers, priestesses of the fermented beverage. Inspired, Cat started making her own beer! Just a few months later she was hired as a shift brewer at a large production brewery, and has been brewing ever since. Her favorite recipes to write are for hoppy red ales. She loves drinking thick viscous stouts, high and dry IPA’s, floral pales, and face puckering sours. In her occasional free time, she is a beach bum, a triathlete, and a hockey fan.

 

Dec
14
Anne Sprecher
Notes on Being a Chapter Leader by Nichole Sykes
Women In Beer
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Being involved in the Pink Boots Society is such an empowering and meaningful part of my life, and being a Chapter Leader is even more fulfilling. On PBS’s social media members have asked for suggestions about how to start or lead a chapter. I want to share some ideas and tips I have learned and put in to practice as Chapter Leader with you all, so here goes!

Background: I work at two breweries in San Diego, CA wearing a number of hats. Earlier this year when Laura Ullrich became president of PBS I suddenly became the SD Chapter Leader!  The SD chapter is the largest and most organized mainly due to Laura. We have an incredibly large pool of women here who are dedicated to growing our industry. Originally part of a SoCal chapter, as membership increased SD split into our own more localized group. When I started showing more interest in PBS (I had already been a member for a few years and was working with Laura at Stone Brewing Company) Laura was happy to let me jump in and help her with meetings and start doing a little more coordinating. I wanted to get involved because I saw a great chapter that I wanted to help become even better.

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Meeting photo sent by Nicole Sykes for her blog post.

San Diego Chapter Meeting 2016

Chapter Meetings: I recommend you all decide together as a chapter how often to meet (at least once a year!). Our chapter meets monthly, which our members enjoy. I keep a google spreadsheet with all of my chapter information and on there I keep a list of members interested in hosting meetings. Right now I am in the middle of finalizing all of my 2017 meetings. From there I will typically reach out to the member hosting two months out and begin the actual planning of the meeting.

At our most recent meeting we had a brainstorming session for new meeting, fundraising and informal hang out ideas. Our best brainstorming is done in person (rather than over email/Facebook). A lot of our hosts have their own ideas for meetings but it’s not a requirement and I like to be prepared. Part of me wanting to be more involved was to make sure our meetings are as meaningful as possible to the members.

I find that delegating is key (although difficult at times for me!) to keep the chapter functioning. Someone helps with social media and I also have someone handle the check-ins at meetings so I can greet people and make sure everything is ready to go. Every meeting is educational and welcoming. When we have time and the meetings aren’t too large I like to do introductions before I go over business and before we start the meeting.

We had a lot of successful meetings this year because of our members. Some of our members prepping for the advanced cicerone test led an off flavors class that we’ll repeat this year. Fortunately, we didn’t have to charge members because it was done with homemade spikes and a local brewer donated the beer to us. We hosted a few pairing events and were able to keeps the costs around $5 per member because of our member connections and donations. For the most part I really don’t have to do too much to lead the educational portion because I rely on the members to take that on.

This year I want to focus on more fundraising opportunities because we don’t do any outside Big Boots Brew Day. We also want to try to have more non-meeting get togethers. We have had informal bottle shares before and last year did a tour down to Tijuana visiting craft breweries and meeting other women working there in the industry. On the top of my ‘to do” list right now is another casual bottle share and putting together a painting and drinking evening.

Benefits of Brewing a Collaborative Beer: For the first time ever, our chapter members brewed a collaborative beer for San Diego Beer Week 2016. Along with almost every brewery from SD, volunteers from the chapter poured it during the San Diego Brewers Guild Fest. Because our chapter is a nonprofit and SD guild affiliate we participated for free. Our goals were to promote PBS as well as recruit women in our industry who weren’t familiar with the organization and/or our chapter. It’s always fun to brew together and was wonderful to educate folks about us! We did this at the last minute so it was a learning experience for us. PBS Executive Director Emily Engdahl helped us out by sending materials and banners, and I have a much better idea of how to run this in the future. Next year we’ll have literature and cards to hand out to interested women.

When it comes down to the success of our chapter it all boils down to the members! Their dedication and brains are really what makes our chapter phenomenal. Every one of our members brings so much to the table and we try to utilize everyone’s different positions and knowledge. Learning from each other is incredibly rewarding.

I have SO MANY ideas for meetings, so please send me an email if you need help with anything! Pbssd@pinkbootssociety.org I would love to help. Cheers!

Jun
18
Sibyl Perkins
Three Weavers PBS Night!
Fundraising, Women In Beer
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PBS 3 Weavers

Are you an L.A. Pink Boots Member?  Are you anywhere near Inglewood?  Be sure to check out Three Weavers Brewing Company from 4-9 on Monday June 22nd for L.A. Beer Week!  A great line up of brewster brews will be tapped and all proceeds will go directly to our Pink Boots Society Scholarship Fund!!  Three cheers for Three Weavers!!!

“For Pink Boots’ L.A. Chapter’s L.A. Beer Week event, Three Weavers is handing over its Inglewood tasting room for a mini charity beer fest featuring beers from some of the best breweries in Southern California, all of which happen to have lots of cool women involved in their operations. Golden Road, Eagle Rock, Monkish, Noble and more are all sending kegs, and with 100 percent of proceeds going directly into the Pink Boots Scholarship Fund, you can feel good about giving back, too.”

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Read full article HERE

Tickets available HERE

Apr
11
Sibyl Perkins
Inspiration Begins in Your Boots!
Women In Beer
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PBS-CraushBrew

Another great article on the roots of our boots!  Thanks for empowering women in the craft beer industry, Teri!  Education and communication are catapulting us through that glass ceiling.

“While Teri knew that women worked at breweries across the country, the women she met didn’t realize that other female brewers actually existed. As a result, they all asked Teri the same question: how many of us are out there? Teri had no idea so she started tracking the women brewers she met along her trip. Her initial list of 60 women became the inspiration behind the Pink Boots Society.  In 2007, Teri founded the Pink Boots Society, an international non-profit organization that empowers women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education. The organization’s name was inspired by Teri’s pink boots she wore throughout her trip.  In 2008, she invited the women she met on her trip to participate in their first meeting at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego. They brainstormed and discussed the challenges they faced as women in the beer industry. As a result, they realized the industry needed a stronger female voice.”

“We never had a meeting with all estrogen in the room. We wanted to create an organization just for women. If we didn’t stand for something, then we didn’t stand for anything. It was important to differentiate ourselves in the industry.”

Read full article HERE.

Jan
16
Sibyl Perkins
Twisted Pine & PBS Event!!
Women In Beer
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Twisted Pine

Hey Hey Ladies!  Nicol Winkler is our Pink Boots Society International and National Chapter Liaison, and is one woman behind January 17th’s Colorado collaboration between PBS and Twisted Pine Brewery.  The event will start tomorrow at 12pm with a special tapping of Alpha Queen, a double IPA brewed by the women of Twisted Pine.  Members of both collaboration partners will be on hand, you can purchase tickets for a food pairing, beer touring, art filled event, or you can show up for a fine craft beer and good company. 10% of proceeds for the entire day will be donated to the Pink Boots Society!  Cheers to Twisted Pine Brewery!

“I think the event is a fantastic opportunity for the Boulder and Denver beer-lover communities to get together and celebrate a 19-year Twisted Pine history that has been guided by strong, female leadership. Their leading ladies, AND men, will be with us on Saturday to talk to us about their story, and their beer. The ticketed tours will be running at 3:00pm, and 4:15pm featuring a 5-course flight and beer-infused food menu, a private brewery tour, and trivia component at the end. However, 10% of the tap room sales all day, will benefit Pink Boots Society / 501 (c)3, so we encourage people to just stop by for a beer as well.”  Nicol says.  She will be kicking off the tour.

Read more about the event in BeerChow.com’s write up for this great event!