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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.

Jun
5
Anne Sprecher
The Serendipitous Cycle
News, Scholarship Recipients
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By Sue Rigler

The Adventure Begins

On September 28, 2014 as I walked out of the restroom at Great Northern Brewery in Whitefish, MT, I noticed a lab across the hallway…beakers, microscope, stir plates, pH meter. My nerdy science-microbiologist inner self resurfaced at this “ah ha” moment, and along with my entrepreneur spirit and love for craft beer, led me to a mid-life career change. I applied to the University of California San Diego Brewing Certification program and was accepted in Spring 2015. I joined Pink Boots Society in 2016, bought myself a 1.5bbl system as a birthday/graduation present August 2017, graduated December 2017 and started my dream job with Krones, Inc. January 2018.

Sue & Alyssa Dunn UCSD classmates & PBS members

I knew zero people in the industry when I started classes and even less about brewing beer. What happened from that moment has been a mere avalanche of serendipitous connections. More than one person has told me I should write a book, or name a brewery, Serendipity. I love to engage in conversations with just about anyone and more times than not, I walk away with a take home message or saying, “OMG, did that really just happen?”

Sue with BJ Anderson & Coworker

Serendipity can also be seen when I reached out to my UCSD instructors for help with my search for a technical sales position. Yuseff Cherney of Cutwater Spirits, suggested I go to Drinktec in Munich for prime networking opportunities. With less than three week’s notice, and Yuseff’s generous help to find accommodations with his German friends, I boarded a plane to Munich. As a result, that is how I got my job with Krones…dropping my personal business card off in the massiveness of Hall B6. It eventually made its way to BJ Anderson, my current boss. Yes, I went all the way to Germany to find my dream job.

Who Knew? Teri Fahrendorf Rides Subways…In Munich!

Serendipity continues on the crowded subway in Munich, after a day at Drinktec. Hundreds of people packed in like sardines. I looked up and said to a woman near me, “Is your name Teri?” That Teri turned out to be our Pink Boots Society founder, Teri Fahrendorf! She looked just like her Facebook profile photo. We talked and walked to Taco Libre where the Munich Chapter was hosting their first meeting. I was graciously greeted by 12 other positive women who live in Germany. We have craft beer as a commonality. It was an amazing and welcoming experience after feeling quite alone in a foreign country. That is the when I truly felt the power of Pink Boots Society and led me to my volunteer position as the Collaboration Brew Day Coordinator. I was happy to assist Emily Engdahl, our Executive Director. Who would not want to work with someone funny, sassy and brilliant? I just wish we lived closer!

Sue Interning at McFate Brewing

From a Subway Ride to Collaboration Brew Day Coordinator

What started with helping Emily pin over 260 participating breweries in 10 countries in Google maps, has now developed into leading an entire team for 2019 Collaboration Brew Day. I can’t believe Emily did this all herself in years past! As I began to collect photos of the brew day, I looked at the consistency of the smiles, teamwork and passion for brewing in every photo. It literally gave me goosebumps and moved me to put together a slide show sharing the global effort of strength, unity and empowerment illustrated by the women of Pink Boots Society. Having gone through the process this year, I’ve documented what worked, some great ideas shared and what could be improved upon. I will make sure it’s available for participating breweries well before Brew Day 2019. I am very honored Emily and the entire Board of PBS put their confidence in me to lead this fun project for next year!

Sue w/ Andrew Fowler, LA Ale Works

A Little Insight Into My Dream Job & the Serendipitous Cycle

Krones has very few females in the field globally. I feel nothing but support and optimism from my Krones family. They are upbeat professionals who encourage me and my participation in Pink Boots Society. My job description is very unique within Krones in the fact that I’m the first hire in the world with the title ‘Sales & Market Segment Analyst’. This newly created job was based on my technical background, brewing knowledge and their need for a business development-type role. My ultimate responsibilities are a hybrid between sales and marketing. To keep my efforts focused, the Krones management team narrowed my day to day activities to breweries in Southern California and Arizona. I collect brewery operations and production data to see if there are noticeable trends and document our strengths and weaknesses in each region.

Krones Canning Machine

Yes, I get paid to engage in conversations about beer, and sometimes sample the product. I know, right?…as I smile. I was hired to keep the Krones big picture in mind with respect to their product lines and various beverage related market segments. In doing so, then recognize synergistic opportunities that arise out of being present in a conversation. Krones has an extremely large product line, but narrowing it down to the brewing industry, they manufacture brewhouses and tanks from 5bbl on up, canning and bottling lines, automation software and systems integration. I am so fortunate to have landed a job with such a reputable company, work with wildly intelligent people and have a boss who believes in my abilities and wants to see me succeed. I absolutely love what I do.I challenge myself to make change where change is needed, I don’t pass up once-in-a lifetime opportunities and I push myself out of my comfort zone. In doing so, it naturally leads me toward prodigious people who, in turn, challenge me to be a better, stronger person. It’s what I call a serendipitous cycle.

About the Author

Escape from Alcatraz 2018

Sue was destined for the beer industry. At the age of 10, she collected beer cans and wore a Budweiser t-shirt. Originally from Iowa, Sue lives in Manhattan Beach, CA where she raised 4 kids, one still living at home with her. She attended Arizona State University, received a degree in Microbiology and now sits on the LA/ASU Leadership Council. To officially immerse herself in the brewing industry, Sue commuted from LA to San Diego to attend UC San Diego’s Brewing program. Eager to learn how to brew, Sue set up her 1.5 bbl brewhouse in a garage in Tempe, AZ equipped with a walk-in cooler and a mini lab to come full circle with her micro background. When she is not out talking to breweries and crunching data for Krones, pinning Google Maps for Pink Boots, or seeking out a fresh IPA, she can be found in the pool or ocean, on a spin bike or out running along the strand. Sue is a veteran spin instructor of 19 years, and has completed multiple races, including Ironman Arizona and just this month, her second Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

Jan
2
Anne Sprecher
New This Year: Special Pink Boots Brew Hops Blend!
Women In Beer
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We are so excited about Pink Boots Brew this year! Thanks to the generous folks at YCH Hops, we have an amazing and unique blend of hops chosen by our members for this year’s Pink Boots Brew (formerly Big Boots Brew).  Read the YCH Hops blog for the background story AND learn what hops the blend contains. At the end there’s a link to order hops for your brew this year. Make sure to order your hop blend by February 1st!

PINK BOOTS BLEND RELEASED

by Cait Schut / Communications and Outreach Manager 
December 20, 2017 / News & Events


YCH HOPS and the Pink Boots Society, a global nonprofit organization supporting women in the brewing profession, are thrilled to announce the release of an exclusive hop blend to celebrate women in the beer and brewing industry. This proprietary hop blend officially named Pink Boots Blend will be available to commercial brewers and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pink Boots Society scholarship funds.

The idea to collaborate on a hop pellet blend stemmed from a casual conversation between YCH HOPS CEO Mike Goettl and Regional Sales Manager Kelly Lohrmeyer while walking through the hop fields during the annual Hop & Brew School event. They both spoke of their shared passion to encourage and support female brewing professionals. What started as a casual conversation quickly led to a partnership with The Pink Boots Society (PBS).

“Organizations like Pink Boots Society have been close to my heart being a woman in the beer industry,” says Kelly Lohrmeyer, YCH HOPS Regional Sales Manager for the Pacific. “I’ve grown close with President Laura Ulrich since moving to California, so when Mike suggested we look at working with PBS on a blend, I knew that Laura’s team could help make this a reality. I am very excited to see where this blend goes in the beer community and in accelerating collaboration across the globe with women and beer!”

During the 2017 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, YCH HOPS staff and PBS members met to rub, smell and experience a selection of hop samples for the upcoming blend. This year’s blend includes Palisade®Simcoe®Mosaic®Citra® and Loral®.

“During the meeting and hop rub at the Great American Beer Festival, one goal that stood out amongst all of us was that we wanted a multi-purpose hop,” says Laura Ulrich, President of Pink Boots Society. “Ideally our choice of blend could be used for bittering, aroma, and during dry-hop. A brewer can use this hop through the brew, or just in a single charge. The blend character itself is fruity but not overly tropical, with more dominant citrus and herbal notes. The small addition of Simcoe® gives the blend just a hint of old school, while others like Loral®, Citra®, and Palisade® will help drive the fruit flavors forward. And really, who doesn’t love Mosaic®, so we added at touch of her too.”

The hope is that a new blend will be chosen during the harvest season by members of Pink Boots Society and processed into traditional T90 pellets at YCH HOPS production facilities. The hop blend will be released to commercial brewers prior to International Women’s Day on March 8th and are encouraged to create their own celebratory brews. The blend will be sold by YCH HOPS with limited availability, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Pink Boots Society Scholarship funds.

Pink Boots Society Scholarship funds help to allow women in the industry attend educational seminars, classes, certifications and tours. Using the scholarship program, PBS aims to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers through education. Scholarship opportunities are open to women anywhere in the world who are actively employed in the beer industry.

The annual Pink Boots Blend is YCH HOPS’ latest commitment to embracing and furthering diversity in the industry. They are proud to support women from across many facets and functions of the brewing industry. The YCH HOPS family also includes a female hop grower/owner and three women that sit in senior leadership positions, including two in the C-suite.

Click here to download a copy of the Pink Boots Blend Order Form.

For new customers, please complete a YCH New Account Request Form.