Stacey O’Connor
Home  »  PBS News  »  Stacey O'Connor Archives - Pink Boots Society
Kris McDowell
Stacey O’Connor Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Recipients

YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Stacey O’Connor of Fish Brewing in Washington is the recipient of the 2017 YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they chose Stacey to receive this scholarship because they feel that although she is a “relative newcomer” she is quite determined and motivated. Additionally, “the course will provide her a foundational understanding of hops that will lend well to her brewing success.”

Stacey’s start to brewing, buying a kit online and brewing what she describes as “one very awful batch of beer on my stovetop” could have stopped her in her tracks. Instead she says that, “even though the beer was terrible I loved the process and I knew I could do better.” To improve she bought books to educate herself, joined a homebrew club and began brewing as often as she could. That determination to learn, improve and grow not only improved her homebrew but ultimately landed her a job in the professional brewing arena.

Fish Brewing head brewer Pat Pearson became acquainted with Stacey at Olympia’s local homebrew club where she impressed him with her knowledge and drive. In April 2016 he offered her a position as a cellar person for their 120bbl system where she took on the heavy lifting involved in the cleaning, kegging, bottling, wet and dry-hopping beers and harvesting yeast strains of many first positions. By the end of the year she had displayed her abilities as a quick learner and proven herself, earning a promotion to assistant brewer. She is now in charge of shift brewing on 120bbl brew days and on her own on the 45bbl system and according to Pat, “is an indispensable part of our team.”

YCH HOPS Hop and Brew School ® is a two-day onsite course in Yakima, WA that will cover topics including new trends in hop breeding, hop chemistry and brewing techniques. Guest speakers include award-winning brewers from across the United States speaking on hop usage, recipe formulation and brewing methods. Local hop farmers will also be in attendance to address the numerous growing aspects of hops from yields and aroma characteristics to new, up and coming proprietary varieties. The course also includes a ranch tour, where attendees will experience the hop fields and witness hop picking, drying and baling, as well as a guided tour of YCH headquarters, where they will observe the receiving and warehousing of the hops.

In addition to attending the course, Stacey will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.