Get Your Boots On!
Get Your Boots On!
What color are your boots? Teri Fahrendorf’s are pink. Teri is the founder of the Pink Boots Society. The Pink Boots Society is an organization of women who are in the craft beer industry. Teri worked as a brewmaster at Steelhead for 17 years (Pope, 2015). She was the third woman to be hired as a brewmaster, rather than getting the job because of owning the brewery (Pope). After leaving Steelhead, she traveled across the country brewing and distilling along the way (Pope). She came across only 60 women who worked as brewers or distillers at the places she collaborated with (Pope). Such was the beginning of the Pink Boots Society.
“The Pink Boots Society was created to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the Beer Industry through Education,” (Pink Boots Society, 2013).
One fantastic aspect of this organization is their dedication to empowerment through education. The Pink Boots Society awards scholarships to 12 members each year to further their education about the brewing industry. The organization also teaches women in the professional beer world the skills that are necessary to become a Great American Beer Festival judge. I recently participated in a judging event as a steward—stewards pour the beer for the judges. It really amazed me how much there is to know about beer! Lucky for me, I am a woman and have a YouTube show and a consulting business called Beer Snobs so I can join the Pink Boots Society and get my learning on!
A second great quality, and perhaps the most important, of the Pink Boots Society is the support system by and for women in the beer industry. Blogger, Bryan Roth (2014) noted that less than 1% of the workforce in the craft brewing industry is made up of women. That is a scary number with over 3,000 breweries in the United States! My friend, Megan O’Boyle is a brewer at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. She told me she is happy that the brewing facilities are not easily accessible to the public. Before moving to CCB, she brewed at a brewery where the brewing facilities are a part of the tasting room. She said she was asked constantly where the brewer was and was she a waitress. She told me she’s relieved she does not have to defend her position as a brewer regularly. Coincidentally, she is also the Chapter Leader of the Tampa Pink Boots Society.
It is an exciting time in craft beer and for women brewers. Thanks to women like Teri Fahrendorf, Sarah Bartholomaus—co-founder of Foothills Brewing, Kim Jordan—CEO of New Belgium Brewing, Julia Rosenthal—co-founder of Pair O’ Dice Brewing, and Megan O’Boyle, the world of brewing beer is changing!
Pink Boots Society. (2013). About us. Retrieved from http://pinkbootssociety.org/about-us/
Pope, T. (2015, April 6). Pink Boots Society inspires and educates women beer professionals. Retrieved from http://crushbrew.com/pink-boots-society
Roth, B. (2014, April 14). On gender and beer: Why do we think men are from ales, women are from lagers? Retrieved from https://thisiswhyimdrunk.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/on-gender-and-beer-why...