Pink Boots Society
Home  »  PBS News  »  Pink Boots Society Archives - Pink Boots Society
Apr
4
Anne Sprecher
Cold Stuffed with Hops: Beer Stories from Germany
Women In Beer
, , , ,

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!

Mar
4
Anne Sprecher
The Journey to FemAle Brew Fest
Women In Beer
, , , , , , ,

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

Feb
4
Anne Sprecher
Bière de Femme®& Tips for Creating Your Own Festival
Fundraising, Women In Beer
, , , , , , , ,

By Caroline Parnin, Co-chapter Leader of the Raleigh, NC Pink Boots Chapter; East Coast Technical Manager, Lallemand Brewing/Siebel Institute of Technology

Origins:

Bière de Femme is a festival designed to showcase the women of NC beer, while also raising money for women to pursue their beer career dreams through education. During our May 2016 meeting I challenged the members of the Raleigh, North Carolina chapter with a specific question: Rather than working hard on many small events and spreading ourselves thin, what were some events/projects that could combine our efforts to raise significant amounts of money? In November 2016 chapter members Jordan Boinest and Anita Riley brought forward a festival idea at a meeting and Bière de Femme was born. We decided at that November meeting that we would donate 100% of our proceeds to Pink Boots Society. Our 1st Bière de Femme Festival took place four months later, on March 11, 2017 in Shelby, NC .

In our planning stage we set goals for what we wanted to achieve and they included:

  • Raise money for Scholarships
  • Showcase the badass women in NC beer (with each brewery serving a beer made by women employees specifically for the festival)
  • Provide a tasting and educational experience like no other around (this includes guest learning experiences like a test sensory skills both, a history of women in beer educational wall and also local guild representation, educational programs and ingredient manufacturers providing fun learning experiences on site)

Last year we raised almost $11,000! We hope to hit $18,000 this year. On a side note, co-chapter leader Anita Riley wrote Brewing Ambition: Recipes & Stories From the Women of North Carolina Craft Beer. In addition to being a great read full of homebrew recipes, it’s a great gift. All proceeds go to Pink Boots.

Bière de Femme 2018

The 2nd annual Bière de Femme happens March 3, 2018 in Raleigh, NC. Organization is definitely a task that has brought our team together!  We utilized some great programs for communication, delegated tasks, and kept very open lines of communication throughout the process to be successful. The app Asana for delegation/communication helps us see who is working on what, and progress made. We created a to-do list/timeline and have tried to follow it as best we can. We have bi-weekly check-ins with everyone available.

Each chapter member brings a certain skill set that is extremely helpful in organization – for example Anita Riley (our other Raleigh Chapter Leader) is a writer- so she is our media communications manager.  Katie Smith (Asheville Chapter Co-Leader) is a social media whiz- she handles our posts and also organizes our volunteers. Natalie Anderson (Raleigh Chapter member) who runs a brewery has managed people her entire adult life. She helped us organize the task list and heads brewery communications for the event. Each person’s ownership of certain responsibilities allows us to not stretch ourselves too thin and ensures we move forward.

Helpful Tips for Producing An Event:

If I could offer a few helpful tips to plan successful fundraising events to other PBS chapters they would be the following:

  • Don’t try to do it alone, work as a team or the tasks will be impossible. Delegate tasks to your chapter members; each has skills or contacts that will prove very useful.  Life happens, so have a backup plan in place if someone has to step away from their duties.
  • Contact the board for help, there are many resources available if you need them.
  • Create a timeline with tasks and deadlines and stick to it
  • Delegate tasks – using the app Asana has been our savior for this
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for sponsorship money. You never know unless you ask  In-kind sponsorships are great too, we have received them for glassware/t-shirts/media promotion.
  • Designate one person in charge of money, so things done get confusing.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I must say I am honored to be a part of such a dynamic group of women breaking molds and providing support to one another. North Carolina has come a long way in 4 years with the progression of women in our beloved industry. I hope you’ll be able to join us at Bière de Femme this year!

Cheers to women in beer!

About Caroline Parnin: 

In the spring of 2007 I took a RV cross country road trip with some girlfriends that changed the course my life forever. Instead of LSATs and law school I decided I would pursue my dream of making beer for a living.

I immediately began volunteering at a local brewery in Raleigh on their bottling line on an as needed basis.  They paid me in hi/low fill beer. After a couple years of volunteering, I took an (unpaid) assistant brewer position at a new brewpub in town. Three years later I was sidelined by a kickball accident.

During my recovery I decided that in order to move forward in the industry I would get a formal brewing education. After registering for the full Advanced Brewing Theory course through Siebel Institute of Technology in 2014, I reached out to PBS to see what financial aid resources were available. Founder Teri Fahrendorf replied to my email for help quickly, with some pointers and a wish of good luck. Unfortunately, PBS simply did not have funds to help with that size of a scholarship.

I’ll never forget Teri’s encouragement and support; it was very welcomed. I was the only women working on the production side of a brewery that I knew of in my city. I did not know many women in the industry at all, and I was only one of two women in the Seibel program. As they say, all’s well that ends well. Soon I will become Product Manager for sensory kits and also will take on a larger marketing/business development rolle within Lallemand Brewing/Siebel Institute of Technology.

Jan
2
Anne Sprecher
New This Year: Special Pink Boots Brew Hops Blend!
Women In Beer
, , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Dec
26
Anne Sprecher
Big Cheers for Our Outgoing Board Members!
Women In Beer
, , , , ,

As 2017 comes to a close we extend heartfelt thanks to outgoing board members Sibyl Perkins and Candace Moon. Without their commitment and leadership, Pink Boots Society would not be where it is today. Laura Ulrich did a fantastic job summarizing their valuable service.

Owner of Sibyl Designs, Inc., graphic designer Sibyl Perkins has been working with PBS for over 6 years. She revamped both our logo and website, frequently volunteering for PBS more than working for her design clients. As the Brand Ambassador and Manager for PBS she taught us to understand the importance of branding for Pink Boots.Her IT knowledge helped organize our current structure so all of the board can communicate and work together on items. She has been an invaluable member of our board and she will be greatly missed. Her last big push for us was ALL the amazing work and design she did for the 10th Anniversary website and program. We at PBS owe her a lot. 

 

Candace Moon has assisted PBS for years. She first helped us out with trademarks back in the early days when I was asked to do them, but I am no lawyer and I went begging for help. She’s been an incredible asset to your team by seeking out our new membership platform as well as helping to get it up and running. She has assisted in helping us review, understand and update our By Laws. Her primary focus was on membership and we appreciate the assistance, hours, and wisdom she imparted to the team. Candace continues her work as an extremely busy beer law attorney and just recently joined forces with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP to expand her business. She is truly an important part of the beer industry and we were lucky to have her on the board for PBS.

 

Many, many thanks to you both! 

 

Nov
10
Anne Sprecher
Writing About Beer Culture by Kathy Flanigan
Women In Beer
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I write about the culture of craft beer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. I was a general assignment reporter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which meant I could write about anything editors asked from stories about an overnight children’s shelter to spending 24 hours at a casino.

Then I accepted a challenge to write about issues important to women — “Lean In” was big at the time. Why not? I’m a woman. I’m all for parity.

The first story I wrote was about women and beer. I wrote about how women are a fast-growing component of craft beer’s growth. And then I wrote about beer again. And again. I wasn’t a big beer drinker at the time and I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The women of Milwaukee’s Barley’s Angels group helped me out.

The first story wasn’t so far off track from the original assignment. I found that plenty of women knew about beer; several worked in the industry; and others were more-than-competent home brewers. And yet bartenders would still automatically hand over the wine list when they sat at the bar. Or offer unsolicited advice on fruit beers they might like.

The year was 2013. There were nine breweries and brewpubs in  Milwaukee. Today, there are 31. Two more are expected to open this summer.

It was dumb luck timing for me. It became an opportunity to witness a new wave of Milwaukee’s craft brewery growth from the ground up.

This growth spurt is great news for Milwaukee. Not since the 1960s and ‘70s, when Schlitz, Pabst, Blatz and Miller ruled the nation’s beer supply has beer been a centerpiece for the city. I don’t cover beer for beer geeks. I cover it for people like me who like beer and get excited by the endless possibilities. It’s amazing to consider that most beers use the same ingredients but they can taste completely different.

I remember the night I realized that I had intentionally switched from a wine lover to a beer lover. I was with a friend at Sugar Maple. My friend and I spent years sipping wines and talking about what we liked about them. We ordered a flight at Sugar Maple. We couldn’t help it. We did the same thing. We sniffed. We compared. What does this taste like to you? This one tastes too sweet? This was our wine conversation but now it was about beer.

Last summer I spread my beer evangelism across the state for research on a book Beer Lover’s Wisconsin: Best Breweries, Brewpubs and Beer Bars for Globe Pequot publishing. My research took me to the northern tip of Wisconsin where I met Allyson Rolph, head brewer for Thirsty Pagan Brewing (at 

the time) to the southern border of Wisconsin’s Driftless region where Deb Carey, founder and president of New Glarus Brewing, spent an afternoon showing me the brewery and the new canning line.

Sometimes I just went to breweries like a tourist — occasionally as many as five in one day. They use the same ingredients but each brewery is as unique as the people behind it. Some, like Bloomer Brewing in Bloomer, Wis., served as the neighborhood bar — a place where at least one day a week people came together for beer brewed with original and historic recipes and tacos served from a card table covered in a plastic tablecloth. I didn’t like the beer at Kozy Yak in Amherst as much as I hoped to but I did like the feeling that I was in someone’s living room and the hosts were happy to see me.

I have the best “What I did on my summer vacation” story ever. More than that, I had motivation to continue to write about craft beer. I joined the Pink Boots Society in 2016, after I felt seasoned enough to feel like beer really was my job.

The summertime tour, along with these four years of reporting on beer in Wisconsin, has taught me that the state’s brewers are a committed brunch who build community by working with each other instead of against each other. Sprecher Brewing and Lakefront Brewing brought craft beer to Milwaukee in the 1980s. They see the current craft movement as momentum instead of competition. There’s a Milwaukee Craft Beer League to spotlight beer in our city.

And there’s me. I’m a soon to be a published author. About beer. Go figure.

Kathy Flanigan is a reporter for the features and entertainment section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She’s been a journalist since 1978 covering subjects from how to deal with Southern California traffic to life in the Atlanta suburbs. She lives in Wauwatosa, WI with her husband, Duane, and her dog, Jack. In addition to her daytime job, she is on a book tour for Beer Lover’s Wisconsin.

Sep
4
Anne Sprecher
Listening to Audiences at Museums and Breweries
Women In Beer
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
, , , , , , , ,

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
, , , , , , , , , ,

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/.