By Bobbi Cullum- Troubled Monk Brewer
I was stoked the very first time I was invited to participate in a women’s brew. As a somewhat informed, dewy-eyed consumer of craft beer…it was like I had won the lottery! Participating in the process from start to finish and shoveling the spent grain out of the mash tun, it was such an amazing day! There’s nothing quite like working together with other strong, passionate women towards a unified goal. Since then, I have participated in a total of 6 women’s brews at 4 different breweries, and it occurred to me that, while supportive of local women’s initiatives, they were not all Pink Boots Brews.
Enter Pink Boots Society.
The Pink Boots Society was created to assist, inspire, and encourage women who are fermented/alcoholic beverage industry professionals to advance their careers through education. (pinkbootssociety.org) Through this, the Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day was born as an initiative to raise the profile of women in the industry, in respect of International Women’s Day on March 8.
I can say with confidence that some of the early brews I participated in were with brewers that eagerly wished to support the initiative but were hoping to see the funds used locally.
Enter Pink Boots Society Canada Chapter.
Formed at the end of 2020, having a nationwide chapter means we can connect other existing regional chapters for greater networking and learning opportunities, and it benefits us to have our own chapter in that there is lowered annual professional memberships dues. To top it off, we will have continued access to all Pink Boots Society scholarships and future learning opportunities specific to Canadian members.
There’s a whole lot that goes into the brewing components before the brew even occurs! Each year, Yakima Chief Hops staff and Pink Boots Society members select the varieties for a new seasonal blend. This year’s blend consists of Cashmere, Ahtanum®, Citra®, Loral® & Sabro® brand hops, creating a blend with tropical, herbal, citrus & woody aromatic qualities. It’s exciting to see the different direction each brewery will take as they create their recipe! Proceeds from the annual PBS hop-blends go into the Pink Boots Society scholarship fund, which helps women in the industry access seminars, classes, certifications and tours.
This year I was fortunate to once again participate in the Pink Boots Brew and much to my excitement…for the first time as a brewer! What a privilege to co-lead the brew with a fellow female brewer and share in the process and enthusiasm of women eager to learn about all things beer. Typically, the Pink Boots Brew is collaborative, done with women in the community and sometimes neighboring breweries. While things may happen on a smaller more intimate scale this year, it hasn’t minimized our anticipation for the process of imagining and creating this year’s brew!
Troubled Monk is in its third year of creating a limited-edition Pink Boots Society seasonal beer and this year, the recipe is for a Dole Whip Kettle Sour coming March 8th.