In ancient Europe, brewing was almost exclusively a woman’s role. The medieval times, however, brought about the frequency of brewing in monasteries to accommodate travelers, and as time passed, the number of female brewers dwindled, brewing in the home became rare, and commercial taverns became a predominantly male domain. Today, while women have since shed the label of “alewives,” they are continuing to infiltrate what has since become an XY-dominated scene by owning and running breweries. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit with the mission to encourage the professional advancement of women within the international brewing industry. Pink Boots Society came about when Teri Fahrendorf her brewmaster position with Oregon-based Steelhead Brewery in 2007 and embarked on a gypsy brewing tour of the U.S. While visiting breweries around the country — donning a pair of pink work boots — she encountered many female brewers who were inspired by her nearly two decades making award-winning beer. In honor of the Pink Boots Society South Sound Chapter’s 2018 beer release party at Peaks and Pints tonight, we present Craft Beer Crosscut 3.20.18: a Flight of Pink Boots Society, a flight of craft beer brewed by female brewers.
8% ABV, 25 IBU
Oskar Blues employs many a female brewer at its brewery in Lyons, Colorado. Brewer Diana Locatelli, brewers’ assistant Lauren Laquerre and cellar workers Kristin Hubbard and Sara Laurienti all started out as homebrewers who have now translated their passion for great craft beer into jobs in the industry. Laurienti has been with the Oskar Blues family since she was 16 years old, Locatelli and Hubbard are both coming up on their three-year anniversary milestones with the company, and Laquerre recently joined Longmont production. Their Old Chub is a Scottish style ale brewed with copious amounts of crystal and chocolate malts, a dash of beechwood-smoked malts and Nugget hops. While Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale is a showcase of both hops and pale malts, Old Chub is a celebration of malts. The cola-colored beer features a dense, tawny head, a creamy mouthful and flavors of caramel, chocolate and lightly roasted malt. Complex and rich, it finishes with a whisper of smokiness that calls to mind a fine single malt scotch.
7% ABV, 30 IBU
Bethany Carlsen developed a love for craft beer and started making her own beer about eight years ago when she left her job as a personal trainer to start serving at The Ram in Northgate — with an eye on a brewer job. After a few months an assistant brewer quit and The Ram offered her the part-time position. She took it, and was quickly moved up to being the full-time assistant brewer at the Seattle Ram. She was there for two years before the head brewer position opened up at the Puyallup Ram. Bethany was the head brewer in Puyallup for a little over a year. She left the Ram and joined the Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. where she quickly earned the head brewer job. She teamed up with Tacoma’s own Ice Cream Social for Rocky Road Stout, which is a hearty chocolate stout with cocoa nibs, milk sugar and marshmallow. To finish, she ages it on a heap of amaretto-soaked oak cubes giving it a signature nutty flavor.
6.2% ABV, 36 IBU
When Orval head brewer Jean-Marie Rock retired in 2013, it was his long-term assistant brewer Anne-Françoise Pypaert who replaced him. By doing so, Anne-Françoise became the first female head brewer at a Trappist Abbey. When she started at Orval in 1992 she was one of the first female brewers in Belgium and encountered an industry almost exclusively dominated by men. Joining Orval straight out of university, she has never worked a day anywhere else. The Orval’s brewery produces only one beer to sell, a beer with a high fermentation that continues in the bottle. It’s brewed exclusively from spring water, barley malt, hop cones, candy sugar, and yeast. The tantalizing aroma sings to the nose with candy-sweet overtones and slightly tart notes. Its flavor is pure refreshment with bready, honey-lemon sweetness up front that invigorates the palate and clears the way for the beer’s slightly sour finish.
While growing numbers of women are entering the job force in the craft beer industry, few do the actual brewing. Not the case at Fish Brewing Company, home of Fish Tale Ales, Reel Ales and Leavenworth Biers brewer Stacey O’Connor and filtration queen Jada Peters clean heat exchangers, add hops to the whirlpool, monitor membrane filters, stir mash and on and on, often working on three batches a day. While O’Connor has left Fish to work across downtown Olympia at Cascade Homebrew and Peters still monitors the Fish filtrations, they both had a hand in the brewery’s Poseidon Imperial Stout, an award-winning imperial stout of Olympian distinction. Barrel aged over 18 months in bourbon and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels this noble tonic is born of Northwest Pale Ale malt, plus chocolate, caramel and peated malts. With Columbus hops for bittering and a late addition of Cascade hops for flavor, Poseidon has a heavily roasted flavor that includes dark cocoa and hints of peat smoke. Poseidon possesses a robust dry nuttiness balanced by a serene sweetness.
6% ABV, 50 IBU
Kim Jordan was New Belgium Brewing‘s first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner. She co-founded the Fort Collins, Colorado brewery, formerly the CEO and now current executive chair of the board of director. What started as a door-to-door hustle has clearly paid off, as New Belgium has since been cranking out notable beer and even more notable green awareness practices: the company became the first wind-powered brewery in the United States in 1998 and continues to find ways to be more environmentally efficient. Brewed with tangerine peel, Citradelic pours the color of a glass-blown sunflower or fake-Rolex gold, but with an equally light white head. It smells terrifically juicy, like freshly squeezed tangerines misting into the air. Thankfully, the flavor follows through on the promise of the aroma, revealing an extremely fruity IPA, with juicy flavor dancing across the palate on every sip. Citradelic is nothing short of delicious, a beer you’ll crush in a heartbeat and come back to again and again.