Jenna Blair
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Jul
15
Kris McDowell
Barth-Haas Hops Academy Scholarship Recipients Announced
Scholarship Recipients
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Jenna Blair of Lagunitas Brewing Company and Anna Vellante of Redemption Rock Brewing Co. are the recipients of the 2019 Barth-Haas Hops Academy scholarship. Each was chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Jenna’s education, a degree in Molecular, Cell and Development Biology and Siebel Institute International Certificate in Brewing and experience in the labs of multiple breweries contributed to her being awarded this scholarship. The selection committee commented that, As a relatively technical scholarship, Jenna is a very qualified applicant and we feel will reap a great benefit. Her extensive experience and knowledge in brewing, brewing chemistry and quality assurance will allow her to use the education learned from the course to apply to her current role.

That current role is as a Quality Technician with Lagunitas, where Jenna not only tests their products but also does wastewater testing and runs company-wide sensory panels. She is looking forward to applying what she learns saying, “I 100% believe that not only would this class benefit our lab but it could fuel research that I would love to begin and that would be supported by my company. This would certainly allow me to share hop analysis techniques with many other local and smaller craft breweries. I have also read through the advertising for the Hops Academy and they mention increasing efficiency and reducing waste. I think that everyone in our thriving industry should be focusing on how we can reduce waste, not only our own monetary gain but also in hopes of making beer production more sustainable as we work towards better usage of our raw materials.” 

Anna comes to the brewing industry with a degree in Global Sustainability with a focus on sustainable agriculture and says that while, “I am still green in the craft beer industry, my drive to pursue a life-long career in the industry formed very quickly. After considering many different possible career paths in the industry, I have come to an intersection of my passions: craft beer and sustainable agriculture.” 

At Redemption Rock Brewing Co. Anna’s role encompasses customer-facing time in the taproom and at festivals/events as well as work with the leadership team on the goal to obtain their B Corp Certification, which measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance, by 2020. This course will be her first introduction to hop farming and “not only add to my personal career development goals, it will provide me with the knowledge I need to gauge my own place of work’s sustainability practices. With a gained understanding of hop production I will be able to measure how closely our supply chain matches our environmental sustainability goals.”

The Barth-Haas Hops Academy is a two-day onsite course in Yakima, WA during hop harvest season 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, Jenna and Anna will each receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when they fulfill the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.