Melanie Gielen began brewing with Boomstick Brewing in January 2020. She took the role of Head Brewer/ Brewmaster in May 2021. Her favourite beer style is West Coast Pale Ale and California Common. She is from Cape Breton Island.
Amanda started in the industry as a bartender at Red Cypress Brewery. She has always had an interest in learning more about the brewing process and working in production. She eventually got the opportunity to start volunteering in the back as their keg washer. After a few months of cleaning kegs and scrubbing drains, Amanda was finally hired in the brewery full-time. From there, she worked my way up to assistant brewer and then eventually head brewer.
She is currently the head brewer at Ivanhoe Park Brewing in Orlando. Amanda joined the Pink Boots Society in May of 2017. She was the Florida Chapter co-leader from 2018-2020 and became the chapter leader in 2021. As the chapter leader, Amanda hopes she can continue to provide a safe space and support other women in the industry
Betty was born and raised in Peru and moved to Miami, FL when she was about 14 years old. She has watched the craft beer scene in Miami grow from only a couple of craft beer breweries to more than a dozen now. Wanting to get more involved in the industry, she started working as a bartender for Lincoln’s Beard Brewing back in 2017. Her passion and curiosity for production grew and she was able to transfer to cellarwoman, then promoted to brewer. She has worked for Cigar City Brewing and now works for Motorworks Brewing. Betty has been part of the Pink Boots Society since 2019, and loves the beer community and friendships that have come from it.
Erin is the co-founder of Born Brewing Co. in Calgary, AB. As the Community Engagement and Marketing Lead, Erin works to ensure Born stays true to their values through community partnerships, events, and marketing campaigns. Erin is passionate about small business and supporting local and seeks to make the Craft Beer industry in Alberta an inclusive and equitable space. Erin is also the co-founder and co-chair of Hop Forward Society whose aim is to create a diverse and accessible Alberta beer industry. Her favourite beer style is a Flanders Red or anything spicy.
Chelsea fell in love with craft beer in 2015 after her first bomber of Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen and has been head over heels since. Having worked in various roles within craft breweries since 2017, she graduated from the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in 2021 and has been brewing at Born Brewing Co for 1 year. She volunteers with Pink Boots Society Canada on the Industry Inclusion Committee in her spare time, and always makes time to drink freshies in the sun with friends.
SEASON 3, EPISODE 5: LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME BREW
HEATHER JERRED – TERRITORY MANAGER, COUNTRY MALT GROUP
BRITTANY DRENNAN – SALES REPRESENTATIVE, COUNTRY MALT GROUP
MELANIE GIELEN – HEAD BREWER, BOOMSTICK BREWING
AMANDA MAILEY – HEAD BREWER, IVANHOE PARK BREWING, AND CHAPTER LEADER, PINK BOOTS SOCIETY
BETTY MEJIA – BREWER, MOTORWORKS BREWING
ERIN MCQUITTY – CO-FOUNDER, BORN BREWING
CHELSEA SEVERTSON – BREWER, BORN BREWING
Key Points From This Episode:
- Pink Boots Blend and Women’s Day Brews
- What special events there are for new brew releases and for new Pink Boots members.
- Blondes, Brunettes, and Beers: What it’s like being a woman in the brewing industry.
- Advice from the brewers.
- Pink Boots Purpose to Network and meet women who welcome others to the industry.
Transcript - Look What You Made Me Brew
EPISODE S.3, E.5
[LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME BREW]
[00:00:00] HJ: Welcome back to Women’s History Month on The BrewDeck Podcast. I am your host this month, Heather Jerred. Last episode, we got together with some members of the Pink Boots Society and Yakima Chief Hops to celebrate Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day. If you missed it, make sure to go back and give that a listen.
Today, we’re continuing on with the fun and talking about some of those finished brews. I’m going to be joined by some very talented brewers from Boomstick Brewing, Motorworks Brewing, Born Brewing, and Ivanhoe Park Brewing. Let’s dive right in.
I am now being joined by my co-host for this episode, Brittany Drennan, our sales representative for the Gulf Coast. Welcome, Brittany.
[00:00:43] BD: Thank you for having me.
[00:00:45] HJ: Thanks so much for helping me out with co-hosting duties this month. I really appreciate it.
[00:00:51] BD: My pleasure.
[00:00:52] HJ: We are very excited to have Mel Gielen from Boomstick Brewing in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Welcome, Mel.
[00:01:05] MG: Thank you. It’s great to talk to you guys.
[00:01:08] HJ: We finally got somebody from Newfoundland on the podcast. That’s pretty exciting. As the token Canadian of the podcast group, I’m really excited to bring in some East Coast Canada to the mix.
[00:01:19] MG: I’m happy to represent it. It’s great.
[00:01:23] HJ: We just wanted to chat with International Women’s Day brewers. I know you’ve already made your beer. Can you tell us a little bit about what you made?
[00:01:31] MG: Sure. We brewed yesterday. We brew on a 15-barrel batch system. We made the first go at a sour Saison. I’ve done two pilot batches so far. That is our first go at the 15-barrel.
As with anything new, there’s always going to be a little tweak we’ll do later in the recipe, but so far, everything lined up how we wanted it, which is really cool. It’s our first time using Philly Sour yeast which is actually exciting as well. I’m not sure if many brewers are using it yet, but I was pretty excited to give it a try.
[00:02:12] HJ: I was really just emailing everyone about it. It’s definitely becoming more and more popular. It’s a really, really cool product as well.
[00:02:21] MG: Yeah, for sure.
[00:02:22] HJ: Awesome. What was the inspiration for this?
[00:02:26] MG: Sour beers are very popular in Newfoundland, so we’re opening up to more varieties of sours and a lot of fruited sours. Going this route, we’re going to try something a little different than other people are doing.
This version just landed in line with Women’s Day happening since we’ve not been able to do anything because of COVID. We had plans two years ago, everything fell through, and we’ve not been able to do anything since. It just landed up that we had a new beer ready. We’re like, this would be perfect. Let’s do it. We were ready, and the timing worked out. It’s more serendipitous that things lined up for this beer.
It is inspired. Also, it’s my recipe. The name, artwork, and can would be more in the feminine side of it as well. I don’t know if I should tell, but it’s really cool. I’m excited about it. We were doing a quilt series, different quilts on several cans. The cans won’t all be the same. We’ll just have different quilts going on in each can, and the name is Patchwork. I think that’s perfect for Women’s Day in my mind.
[00:03:37] HJ: I love that. The beer will probably be released by the time this podcast is released, so I think it’s okay to drop it.
[00:03:46] MG: I think so. It should be ready by then. I think by early April.
[00:03:54] HJ: Are you doing any special events for the release or anything like that?
[00:03:59] MG: We haven’t planned anything. My plan is to for sure get some beer to the women that came in and brew with me yesterday. That’s on the docket. As for releases, we’ll, of course, have our taproom. We announce it that way. Then, we will make a note announcing, yes, this was made for International Women’s Day.
We brewed with The Beer Brunettes. They are two women from Cape Breton Island, which is where I’m from. They came over to Newfoundland and got their first experience on our 15-barrel system. They’re super excited, and we had a great time. There are two of them and myself, and then we have our two other guys that work in the brewery. They were there. We all had a great time yesterday doing that.
In terms of a planned event, nothing, but you never know what could happen because it’s Newfoundland. We’ll see what happens.
[00:04:59] HJ: Shout out to Cape Breton there.
[00:05:01] MG: Yeah. I had to say that.
[00:05:03] HJ: I love it. Tell me a little bit about the women that came to brew with you. Tell me a little bit about them. I think it’s a super interesting snap at homebrewers.
[00:05:12] MG: I met one of the women in July. They were here visiting. She was super excited, and she was asking the servers and taproom lots of questions about the brewery so much that they asked if I could come out, meet her, and talk to her. It went from there.
I brought her in, and she was telling me about The Beer Brunettes. They have a brew shed in their backyard. They’re neighbors and best friends, so they share the brew shed. They had their own little mini brewery going on, and they’re super cool.
They brew on the Grainfather, and I also use Grainfather in our brewery for our pilot batches. We just had that in common as well. Their enthusiasm just inspired me. I was like, oh my God, it would be amazing if you guys would come and brew with us. They just lost their minds and said, yes, we have to come to you.
Finally, after COVID restrictions were lifted, they were able to come over, and once again, all just worked out, leading in towards International Women’s Day, where they were here. It just lined up very nicely for that. It was great.
[00:06:20] HJ: I guess we also do want to touch on being a woman in the brewing industry. How did you get into brewing? Did it start with home brewing for you?
[00:06:31] MG: It did, yes. I was actually living in Alberta—my husband and I—and I heard that they started a brewing program at Olds College. I was ready for a change. I was working in tourism and the outdoor industry, and I was just in that mind-frame of, I need to do something new. I’m ready.
When I heard about the program, I was like, oh my God, this really sounds like me. Like I said, we were into home brewing before, just basically Extract Kits and those kinds of things, but then we started getting into more of the all-grain brewing and such just so I could get a feel for it.
I got accepted to the program. That was in 2014. From there, I’ve always been brewing at home. I was lucky when I first started. I had a chance to go into a brewery in Cape Breton with a friend of mine. They had a five-barrel system. I just loved it. I loved the atmosphere, I love creativity, and I like to work.
[00:07:43] HJ: Yeah, it’s not easy work.
[00:07:48] MG: No, it’s not. I was like, I know I can do this. It just feels natural, so it was an easy choice. That’s the long story short of it all, I guess.
[00:07:59] HJ: Also, shout out to the Olds College Program for amazing brewers out there. I just moved from Calgary, so I’ve had a lot of interaction with that.
[00:08:08] MG: Oh, cool. When I started, it was the second year of the program. At that time, there were only six women in total in between both classes. We did our first Women’s Brew together. That was my first International Women’s Brew. It was 2015. That was pretty special.
[00:08:36] HJ: Any advice you would give to women or little Mel back in the day about getting into brewing?
[00:08:45] MG: I would say whatever you come up against in the industry, just keep trying. It’s not easy. There’s a lot of competition. The Internet has a lot of opinions as well. No matter what, just keep trying and following your gut. If it feels right for you, you’ll find where you should be.
It’s been a journey that led me to Newfoundland, and I found the right people. It just worked out without me really knowing. So if you love something, just keep doing it no matter what and see where it takes you. That’s what I told the girls I was with yesterday because they are getting involved with a homebrew store where they’re doing unboxing videos and how-tos, so this is expanding for them.
I was like, you never know where it’s going to take you. Whatever you choose, just keep brewing your beer and loving it, and you’ll find the people that will be into it just as much as you.
[00:09:58] HJ: That’s amazing advice.
[00:10:02] BD: I think the women in this industry, because we’re so outnumbered, everyone’s just super supportive that when you find that group of people, it’s always your crew. You’ll support each other, really just lift each other up, and then opportunities come your way. It’s really special.
[00:10:28] MG: I totally agree with that.
[00:10:30] HJ: I’m definitely loving the support.
[00:10:32] BD: Do you have a Pink Boots chapter in Newfoundland?
[00:10:36] MG: No.
[00:10:37] HJ: I think you’re just included. We have a Canadian-wide chapter.
[00:10:44] MG: It’s not as big here, I don’t think. Maybe just now. I know there are some breweries that do the Pink Boots Blend with their hop editions. Since we haven’t been able to get together in Newfoundland, I’m not really sure how it works for us. There actually are quite a few women brewers in Newfoundland, which is pretty great. We just haven’t been able to get together yet. Hopefully, that happens.
[00:11:10] HJ: We’re getting there.
[00:11:11] MG: Yeah, exactly.
[00:11:13] HJ: Our Pink Boots chapter in Canada—in the previous episode, I had Natasha, who’s the president, to chat about it—just got it fully up and running in 2020. We’re still pretty new on the Pink Boots chapter side of things.
When you start something in the middle of COVID, it’s a little bit more difficult. We’re hoping that we’re able to do more of the Pink Boots stuff up here now that we’re starting to open up a little bit more, and your island is opening up a little more.
[00:11:47] MG: Exactly, yes.
[00:11:49] HJ: For anybody that doesn’t know, Newfoundland is actually an island.
[00:11:52] MG: It is. The big beautiful one. We are having a Come Home Year in 2022, so we’re welcoming everybody.
[00:12:07] HJ: Can you tell the people a little bit about the Come Home Year?
[00:12:14] MG: Honestly, I haven’t really experienced it. I’m just seeing and hearing about it a lot. I don’t know exactly what activities, but there are things that will happen in every community. They’re basically inviting any Newfoundlanders or anybody that wants to be here to come home.
I can’t tell you much about it yet because I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but we’re pretty excited just because of the tourism aspect and just getting people. We’re excited to be able to come back. In our taproom, we’re going to make a beer hopefully to coincide with that. It’s just a nice feeling. I’m excited for it.
[00:12:55] HJ: That will be awesome. Can I also get you to maybe explain to people what being screeched in is because there’ll probably be a lot of that if it’s Come Home Year?
[00:13:04] MG: Yeah. I’ve heard pubs and such are allowed to bring screeching in back, so you become an official Newfoundlander. My experience was probably not the typical one, but usually, you kiss a codfish, and they swear you in. I don’t know the words exactly, but it’s basically saying you’re going to be a Newfoundlander until the day you die, and then you drink a shot of screech which is rum but vegetable. It is sold here, the NLCs, and whatnot, so it’s not something that comes from some hidden area. I think it’s really popular. In some pubs and stuff, they do it. People will make you wear a Sou’wester hat.
[00:13:57] HJ: I have done all of this, but I’m not from Newfoundland.
[00:14:01] BD: What kind of hat do you have to wear?
[00:14:04] MG: A Sou’wester hat. It’s a big, yellow rain hat that comes down over the ears. It’s floppy.
[00:14:15] HJ: It’s almost like a bucket hat, but it’s a rain hat for when you’re on the boats.
[00:14:20] MG: Yeah. It’s something a fishing captain would wear.
[00:14:27] BD: I’m into this.
[00:14:30] MG: Then there’s dancing, eating, and beverages all around.
[00:14:35] HJ: That’s amazing. If anybody wants to go get screeched in, head to Newfoundland and make sure to stop by Boomstick Brewing.
[00:14:45] BD: In the summer, by any chance?
[00:14:48] MG: Yes, it’ll be beautiful. Actually, summers are very beautiful here and fall. We do have lovely weather at some months of the year.
[00:15:03] HJ: A gorgeous little area of the world. Thank you so much, Melanie. I really appreciate you coming on today and chatting with us all things about Women’s Day Brew. I’m excited to see what you come up with for Come Home Year beer because that’s going to be absolutely good.
[00:15:25] MG: Yeah. We have some good stuff coming out, so come to our brewery. There’s also a hotel there, the Hew & Draw. We have everything right in one spot. It’s wonderful.
[00:15:36] HJ: Awesome. Thank you so much.
[00:15:38] MG: Yeah, thank you.
[00:15:40] HJ: We’re very excited to be joined by Amanda Mailey, who’s the head brewer from Ivanhoe Park Brewing in Orlando, Florida. Amanda is also the head of the Pink Boots chapter in Florida as well. Thank you for joining us today, Amanda.
[00:15:53] AM: Totally. Thank you for having me.
[00:15:55] HJ: Could you just start us off with a little intro, how you got to where you are, and a little bit about you?
[00:16:02] AM: I joined the industry probably back in 2015. I got a job at a brewery in Orlando as a bartender. I was just really interested in working in the back, so I started back there washing kegs and cleaning drains on my days off. They eventually hired me, and then I was doing both, working in the brewery and the taproom, and they officially brought me on in the brewery. I worked back there for a little bit.
Garett, the head brewer at the time, trained me as the assistant brewer. When he left and opened up his own brewery, I got promoted as a head brewer there. I was there for a bit, and then I’ve been with Ivanhoe Park Brewing since 2019, and I’ve been in Pink Boots since 2017.
[00:16:44] HJ: That’s awesome. Being the head of the Pink Boots chapter, what does that entail for you?
[00:16:51] AM: I was the co-chapter leader for the past two years, and I’ve been doing this for a 1½ years, just planning events and doing all the brew days. Our chapter is the whole state, so it is hard to make sure everyone feels involved. My goal for the year was 20 brew days. We did 16 last year, and we’re already at 22.
[00:17:14] HJ: Blew it away.
[00:17:17] AM: Right. And just planning member socials and little get-togethers in between our meetings, so very casual just like networking and a good way to get other new members.
[00:17:29] BD: This is definitely the most active chapter I’ve been a part of. I’ve been to the San Diego chapter and Portland chapter, and this is definitely the most active one I’ve been in, so it’s pretty awesome.
[00:17:43] HJ: Can you tell us a little bit about the beer you’re going to be brewing this year?
[00:17:48] AM: This year, for my Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, I’m probably going to do a New England IPA. I feel like Hopland would work really well with that. I’m pretty excited about that. I don’t have a name picked out yet because I’m horrible at that.
[00:18:05] HJ: I feel like that takes a special person. I see some of the names, and I’m like, I would have never thought of that.
[00:18:10] AM: Right. Last year, I did Wild Child. The year before that, I did Sad Girls Club. I’ve done six Sad Girls, and they’re like, girl, are you okay? Stop doing such depressing names.
[00:18:23] HJ: So you did something really positive this year?
[00:18:25] AM: Yeah, probably. I just came out with a beer called Cry Baby for Valentine’s Day.
[00:18:31] HJ: I love all of these. I think you’re really good at it. What was it about this particular hop blend that made you think New England?
[00:18:41] AM: The hop that I really like in it is Loral, which is funny. I think this would be the third year that Pink Boots has picked that for their blend. I guess everyone in Pink Boots loves Loral. I just like the really citrus floral notes in it, so I feel like it’d be good in New England.
[00:18:57] HJ: What did you brew last year?
[00:18:59] AM: Last year, I also did New England.
[00:19:02] HJ: We had Kelly and Shanleigh on the last episode we did from YCH. They talked about the hop blends, and they said that you could really see the progression in beer styles and the way that the trends go in beer styles with the way that the hop blends go. I think we’re in that tropical [00:19:22].
[00:19:23] AM: I am trying to get someone to do a Lager because I don’t think the Florida chapter has ever done a Collaboration Brew Day Lager. I love a Lager, so I’m going to bug some people about that.
[00:19:32] HJ: When was your first Pink Boots Brew? When was the first year you started participating in them?
[00:19:39] AM: This will be my fifth one, so do the subtraction on that.
[00:19:46] HJ: Math day.
[00:19:48] AM: Yeah. I was like, oh, man, I don’t know.
[00:19:51] HJ: Any really fun stories from your Pink Boots Brews?
[00:19:54] AM: The first year that I did it, we added strawberries to it. I was like, I’m going to give all the girls tasks to do. Members that don’t brew that are more on sales or in the taproom side don’t realize that there’s a lot of downtime in brewing.
I’m like, oh, I’ll give them strawberries to process. They busted out in 10 minutes. I was like, now what do I do with them? Then, they all just started drinking. It was February, and we did a Stout month. I just have 20 drunk girls running around.
[00:20:26] HJ: Nothing but Imperial Stout.
[00:20:27] AM: They’re trying to get me to drink, and I was like, I have to CIP when I’m done and deal with chemicals, so I’m not going to do that.
[00:20:38] HJ: Safety first. I hope you got to indulge in some a little bit later than that.
[00:20:45] BD: Sorry I missed that one.
[00:20:50] AM: The next one, we’ll do it.
[00:20:52] HJ: I’m going to put interesting travel to come down for that. See if I can make that work. Are any cool events coming up with your Pink Boots chapter?
[00:21:00] AM: We got our next meeting for spring. We’re going to be doing a dessert cheese and beer pairing. We have one of our members that has her own little company where she bakes with beer, so she’ll be doing some special bakes and doing a little pairing with that.
She’s one of our members. She’s actually on the Pink Boots National Board. She always does the FemAle Brew Fest in September. That’s always something that most of the members go to, always my favorite beer fest. Brittany, were you there last year?
[00:21:29] BD: I could not make it now. I’ll get to the next one for sure.
[00:21:37] HJ: That’s great. Do you typically do a special release event when you release all the Pink Boots Brews?
[00:21:43] AM: Yeah. My brewery usually does. The way our chapter works, because we’re so spread out, we try to do one giant brew day that a lot of members can go to, which is hard now with COVID. A lot of breweries want to keep it limited.
In the past, we did a big one at Cigar City called You Should Smile More. I think this would actually be the third year that they’ve brewed that one. We’re doing a release party member social to get new members. It’s the night before our spring meetings that people can make a weekend out of in Tampa.
[00:22:16] HJ: One other thing that we’ve been asking the other women that have been coming on is if you could give any advice to women wanting to get into the industry or if you could go back to baby Amanda before she got into the industry, is there any advice you would give yourself or women trying to make that leap?
[00:22:36] AM: Honestly, I’m not trying to give a plug but joining Pink Booths, especially our chapter. We are so active, and I feel like we’re all really good friends.
Ali, who works at 7venth Sun, knows that if something happens, she can call me at 5:00 AM. She’s done it before. She’s upset about something or confused about something. It’s just like a nice solitary safe space because it’s not like a guy is going to talk down to you, but you might just be more comfortable.
[00:23:10] HJ: You’re reaching out to other women in the industry. I think that’s something that’s really amazing about Pink Boots and all the Pink Boots events. It is an amazing networking event. You gain friends for one and other connections in the industry of people that you can rely on, ask questions to, and reach out to when you need a hand or something. It’s a really awesome thing.
[00:23:35] AM: In our chapter, we’re going to try to set up a mentorship program where people could say, oh, I work at this brewery, and I succeeded in doing this. We’re really good at making Lager. If anyone needs help or wants to reach out to someone, hit her up. We’re trying to get that going.
[00:23:55] HJ: I think that’ll be great. Any other plugs you want to give us? Anything going on at the brewery that everybody should know about?
[00:24:03] AM: Come on down and have a Cry Baby with me. Strawberry Rhubarb goes up because I’m salty about love. Get it?
[00:24:12] HJ: I like it.
[00:24:17] AM: It was our Valentine’s Day beer, and they’re like, really, girl? Really, yeah. That’s what we’re doing.
[00:24:22] HJ: It just makes me think of the Johnny Depp movie.
Thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate you coming on. I hope that your brew day goes really, really well.
[00:24:37] AM: Everybody, thank you so much.
[00:24:39] BD: Thank you.
[00:24:41] HJ: We are now being joined by Betty Mejia, a brewer from Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton, Florida. Welcome, Betty.
[00:24:47] BM: Hi. Thank you for having me.
[00:24:51] HJ: Let’s just kick off with how you got to be a brewer at Motorworks Brewing.
[00:25:00] BM: I was very involved in the industry. I lived in Miami before Florida. I wanted to get more involved, so I started bartending at an up-and-coming brewery, Lincoln’s Beard. Then, I wanted to get even more involved, so I asked to intern in the production side, and they hired me right away because they needed help.
I started helping out the head brewer, then I moved up to brewer. I wanted to be even more involved in the industry, so I joined the Pink Boots Society Florida chapter. Then, I moved to Tampa because, in Tampa, the number of breweries is bigger. Right now, we’re more than 60 breweries in the Tampa Bay area.
I was able to move in 2018 with my son, and I got a job at Cigar City where I worked in a cellar, and then I moved to brewing full-time there. Then, I wanted a different change, so I started in Motorworks last year in September.
[00:26:13] HJ: Awesome. You haven’t brewed your Pink Boots Brew yet. Do you have that planned for its coming up in a couple of weeks?
[00:26:22] BM: Yes, I’m doing it on the 25th.
[00:26:24] HJ: Perfect. Brittany, I think you’re going to be joining on that one.
[00:26:29] BD: I will be there, yes.
[00:26:32] HJ: All right. Can you give us a little sneak peek into your recipe, what you plan on making, and maybe a little bit of the process of how you plan on utilizing that awesome hop blend that they have this year?
[00:26:43] BM: Yes. I am brewing a 30-barrel cold IPA. I want to do something a little bit different and new. I have never done a cold IPA before. I tried them before, and they’re very drinkable and really crushable on the bitter side as an IPA. That’s what we’re doing. We’re using all 44 pounds of the Pink Boots Blend in it and some in the Whirlpool, and some in the dry hop.
[00:27:16] HJ: What was it about these blends that inspired that style?
[00:27:21] BM: The blend is very citrus-forward. It was going to go well with mostly IPAs. I didn’t want to do just an IPA. That’s why I figured a cold IPA will be just a good twist on it. I think it’s going to be great in this beer.
[00:27:36] HJ: For the brew, you said it’s the Pink Boots chapter Florida’s Collaboration Day that you’re going to be doing.
[00:27:43] BM: Yeah, I’m with the Pink Boots Florida chapter. I’m the co-leader. Usually, brew days are countrywide. We have different breweries in Florida doing it, and I’m just one of them.
[00:27:58] HJ: Awesome. Do you know how many women are going to be coming in for it?
[00:28:03] BM: I think about 15 right now. I’m trying to recruit more if you want to travel to Florida.
[00:28:13] HJ: I might.
[00:28:14] BD: That’s your second invitation to Florida.
[00:28:17] HJ: That’s true. I’m putting this onto the boss. I will see if she’ll okay that trip for me because I would probably not say no to a trip to Florida right now.
[00:28:29] BM: There you go. We have really nice beaches.
[00:28:34] HJ: I’ve seen. Brittany sends us some pictures from time to time, so we can be a little jealous of the sunshine.
How many Pink Boots Brews have you done? I guess this is obviously not your first.
[00:28:49] BM: Hosting this is going to be my third one. I did two at the last brewery I worked at, at Cigar City.
[00:28:54] HJ: I heard that they do a big one.
[00:28:57] BM: Yeah. I have participated in a lot of them.
[00:29:03] HJ: Any really fun beers or particular favorite beers that have come out of these brew days?
[00:29:10] BM: All of them are amazing. I believe the last one we did with Cigar City was a triple IPA. It was kind of a saying that women don’t drink hops. Some people call those girly beers, so we wanted to do something more impactful.
[00:29:25] HJ: My favorite beer definitely does not have gender, just a reminder. That’s actually really funny because in one of my Pink Boots Brews—I think it was my second or third one—I had a female friend who was a brewer. She reached out. She’s like, we’re doing a triple IPA. I’m like, cool, I’m in, let’s do it. We all like the hops.
Why, for you, is this Collaboration Brew Day important? Do you find the Pink Boots Society important? How has it been impactful for you?
[00:30:01] BM: It has helped me network and meet a lot of women that I look up to, and they have made me feel more welcome to the industry. They have become my best friends, and they have always pushed me to my goals harder than I would have done by myself.
[00:30:24] HJ: That’s awesome. That little inspiration behind you?
[00:30:31] BM: Yes.
[00:30:33] HJ: Something we’ve asked all the other women that we’ve been interviewing for this particular episode of the podcast is if you could give any advice to women that want to get into the industry, or if you could go back and give yourself some advice when you were first starting out or first interested in getting into the craft beer industry, what would you say?
[00:30:55] BM: I always tell people that working at least in production is a lot of hard work, and you just have to be ready for it. You have to know that it’s going to be hard work.
Join Pink Boots and contact any of us. Everybody’s very welcoming. Even if you’re not in the industry yet, we will help you. We’ll try to post about new job openings. We spread the word really easily. We are a big network, especially in Florida. I’m pretty sure it’s like that in other states, too.
[00:31:28] HJ: You have a very active chapter down there. Brittany was saying that’s one of the most active chapters she’s been involved in.
[00:31:37] BM: We try to do a lot of member socials and try to be very open and communicating. Right now, I think we’re at about 20-something Pink Boots Collabs this year, and we’re trying to push a little bit harder to get the word out.
[00:31:54] HJ: Is there a really strong female brewer presence in Florida? Obviously, I’m a member of the Pink Boots Society in Canada, but I’m not a brewer. I do qualify to be a member of the Society. Is there a really large female brewer population itself?
[00:32:16] BM: I think it is growing, but we have members from every part of the industry.
[00:32:21] HJ: Sales and sellers.
[00:32:24] BD: There’s definitely some room for improvement on women brewers and promoting women into that role for sure. I think it’s a smaller percentage, but obviously, we’d love to see that grow.
[00:32:36] HJ: That sounds like you got a lot of really great support there.
[00:32:41] BM: Yes. I’m always trying to get women more involved. Even though you said I want to work in production, there are marketing options or to sell in front of a house. There are different areas in the industry that you can be involved in.
[00:32:57] HJ: Absolutely. It’s all-encompassing. It’s like what we’ve said in the last episode. We talked a lot with some Pink Boots board members in the Canadian chapter that it’s not just beer. We’re really trying to reach out to women in the fermented beverage industry—wine, cider, distilleries, and stuff. Do you have a member base down there that is encompassing more distilleries or cideries?
[00:33:23] BM: We are currently trying to get some more members in the distillery and cider areas. I don’t remember right now if we have any at the moment.
[00:33:32] HJ: Any actual release day plans for your Pink Boots Brew? Any big events?
[00:33:39] BM: Yes. I still don’t know the date exactly of the release, but we’re hoping to have a big party at the brewery for members and non-members, too, if they’re interested. Drink beer and just have a good time. The brewery has a really nice outdoor area, so I am very excited to just hang out there.
[00:34:01] BD: Do you know what you’re going to name the beer yet?
[00:34:04] BM: Yes. It’s going to be called Don’t Call Me a Little Girl.
[00:34:11] HJ: I like it.
[00:34:17] BD: I think there’s an inside story behind that, but I won’t make her tell it on the podcast.
[00:34:24] BM: There is. The marketing person can tell you the story behind it.
[00:34:29] HJ: Can we find that on social media if it gets posted? Can we get the story out there? Obviously, the day isn’t quite planned yet for the event, so do we just keep looking at the Pink Boots Society Florida chapter social media as well as Motorworks social media?
[00:34:47] BM: Yes. The Pink Boots is Pink Boots Society FL for Florida. You can also follow Motorworks Brewing on Instagram. My Instagram is @bettys_brew.
[00:35:01] HJ: Awesome. Any other cool things coming up this year for Motorworks that we should be looking out for?
[00:35:07] BM: I’m hoping to get to do more beers. I am trying to have a big group of women this year for the Pink Boots, and I’m even inviting non-members, hoping to get them excited to join and maybe have more brewers coming up.
[00:35:23] HJ: Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate you taking the time. I know it’s probably an insanely busy day to chat with us. Thank you so much, Betty. We really appreciate it.
[00:35:35] BM: Yeah, thank you for having me.
[00:35:39] HJ: We are very excited to welcome two women from Born Brewing in Calgary, Alberta, Erin McQuitty, who is one of the founders of Gordon Green, and Chelsea Severtson, who is a brewer there. Welcome.
[00:35:52] EM: Thanks for having us.
[00:35:53] HJ: Erin, maybe we’ll start with you. Tell us a little bit about starting a brewery.
[00:36:00] EM: We opened up like you said in 2018. The brewery taproom was definitely my partner’s dream and passion. I always love craft beer but never really aspired to work in the industry.
Once we were open and running, we just very quickly recognized that one person could not run the business, so we made the decision to bring me on as well. I left my day job, and I’ve been here ever since and loving it. I wouldn’t change it for anything now.
[00:36:26] HJ: Amazing. Chelsea, tell us a little bit about your journey that found you at Born Brewing.
[00:36:32] CS: I started in beer about five years ago. I started just as a brand ambassador at Big Rock. At the time, I was just looking to supplement my income a little bit. I didn’t think too much of it. Then, it turns out I really like beer and really enjoyed working in the industry.
After that, I worked at a co-op for a little bit, and I worked in the taproom at Eighty-Eight Brewing for a little while. I worked in packaging at Last Spike, and then I ended up going to school for brewing doing the Olds Program. I finished that in the spring. I brewed at Annex for a little less than a year, and now I’ve been at Born for about a year.
[00:37:08] HJ: Wonderful. Tell me a little bit about the beer that you have brewed for International Women’s Day and how you came up with the recipe.
[00:37:17] CS: We actually did two beers, but our main beer was Break the Bias. It is a hop Belgian ale with black currant and lime peel. We had sent out a poll to everyone that was going to take part in the brew day just to see what everyone wanted to brew, and it came back as a 30-30-30 split, so no direction whatsoever from that.
Erin, our taproom manager, Serena, and I sat down, and all threw something into the hat. This was the hodgepodge gear that we came up with.
[00:37:52] HJ: That sounds awesome. What about hop blends made you think of this style?
[00:38:01] CS: Super fruity and super fun that way, but then it also has these really interesting woody, herbal notes that I thought would work really well with the Belgian beer.
[00:38:11] HJ: For sure. It sounds sexy and quite delicious. If you guys could just hold some for me until I get there, that’d be great. How many women did you have that come out to brew?
[00:38:21] EM: We had just over 20 of us here on the brew day. A lot of folks stayed for the whole day, and a few folks came in and out. It was a really good representation of some of our peers, vendors, customers, and then just a few folks from our personal communities as well.
[00:38:38] HJ: Wonderful. We definitely had some Canada malting representation there for the day, too. That’s great.
Chelsea, you said this is the second beer that you’ve brewed for International Women’s Day.
[00:38:51] CS: Yeah. The first Pink Boots beer that I did was at college. That was last year, I guess. For that, we did a Session New England, which was a pretty chill, easy beer to get into. That was definitely my warm-up round for Pink Boots.
It was COVID too, not that it isn’t COVID now, but it was more COVID then, so we didn’t have as many people. It was a little bit less intimidating that way, but it was a good warm-up.
[00:39:21] HJ: You said you brewed two beers with the hop blend.
[00:39:25] CS: Yeah, for this year. I knew that we were going to have some hops leftover, so I’ve really wanted to brew an Italian Pils for a while, so basically, we did that except with the Pink Boots Blend. We called it a dry hop pils instead.
[00:39:45] HJ: Awesome. We had a few other brewers on this episode, and we talked to some other brewers in the last episode about hop blends. I don’t think anybody was making the same style of beer. I think it’s really, really interesting what can be done with these hop blends. Everybody automatically assumes you just make an IPA because you have a hop blend, but it’s been great to see all the creativity that’s really come out of it.
[00:40:07] CS: What’s really fun about this year’s blend is it wasn’t just fruity, just floral, or whatever. There were so many different directions that it could be taken in, which is super fun.
[00:40:19] HJ: It was a really nice blend. It’s really cool that you get to brew something that’s so exclusive. You’re not going to be able to get it again, it comes out once a year, and that blend isn’t going to be made again. It’s neat that you get that opportunity to just work with it.
[00:40:37] CS: Absolutely.
[00:40:38] HJ: Awesome. And you did a release day for it? You released the beers on International Women’s Day?
[00:40:41] EM: We did. We did a bit of an industry night at our place on the eighth, which was really fun. Definitely, one of Chelsea’s ideas is that a lot of people would be brewing that day, so we could offer them a bit of space to come and celebrate after their brew day.
We launched both beers on tap and the break devices in cans on that day, and then we have a big event day happening tomorrow as well to just keep the celebrations rolling.
[00:41:07] HJ: Perfect. Is that at the brewery as well?
[00:41:10] EM: Yeah. We’re going to have the taproom obviously open and running, and we’ll have both of the Pink Boots beers available again tomorrow. We’ve opened up the space to a couple of local women-owned businesses that don’t actually have their own brick-and-mortar stores. They’re going to come down and do a little bit of a pop-up. We’re just calling it a Badass Business Day.
[00:41:31] HJ: Oh wow. Can you tell me a little bit about the vendors that will be coming down there?
[00:41:34] EM: Absolutely. Ugly Apparel Co is locally owned and operated. The owner makes some really awesome apparel. She’ll be down and set up here selling whatever she has on the go.
Then, we’ve got Busy B Boutique which makes handmade scrunchies, different kinds of hair clips, and things like that that I’ve gotten to know at a few different markets that we’ve been at.
Both businesses are, for the most part, online, so they have their virtual platform. It is always nice to be able to take our taproom space and amplify some other locally-owned businesses.
[00:42:06] HJ: That’s really cool. One thing we’ve been asking everybody—all the women that we’ve interviewed—is if you could give advice to other women that want to get into the industry, or if you could go back in time and give advice to your younger self before you got into the industry, what would you say?
[00:42:24] CS: For me, I think the advice that I give to people trying to get into the industry is to just go to events and meet people, especially now that restrictions are a little bit lessened. There is stuff happening again. That’s the most valuable thing, I think. The more people that you know, the more beers that you’re drinking, and the more people that you’re talking to, the easier it is to wiggle your way into things. That’s a lot of beers wiggling your way into things.
The advice for younger me would be to just insert myself into things a little bit more. If someone or somewhere isn’t giving me what I need, just move on and find that somewhere else.
[00:43:07] EM: If I had to give someone some advice, I think it would be don’t be afraid to acknowledge what you don’t know. There are tons of room to grow and learn within this industry, and you don’t have to know everything about everything to make a space for yourself. Don’t be afraid even if you feel like you don’t know enough to go after that position or go after that job. If you have the passion, I would say anyone that I know in this industry or in any business I’ve worked with will be willing to help you get to where you want to be.
Advice for my younger self is probably similar. Don’t be afraid to learn on the go and just accept what you don’t know.
[00:43:42] HJ: That actually happens a lot. For myself, even, I’m like, I’m not going to apply for that job, or I’m not going to do that because I don’t know this. You can say that you don’t know this, and you can still learn how to do this.
[00:43:54] EM: Yeah. So much of it can be taught to you. If you have the passion and you’re excited to be there, you’re going to pick it up and learn it.
[00:44:01] HJ: Yeah, absolutely. Great advice.
Thank you both for joining us. Anything really cool coming down the pike for Born Brewing that we should know about?
[00:44:11] EM: We’re turning four at the end of April, so we have a week’s worth of festivities and four new beers coming out.
[00:44:19] HJ: Wow. Four already. It feels like yesterday.
[00:44:24] EM: It does. From a marketing-type events thing, that’s what I got coming down. I know Chelsea’s got lots of fun recipes coming out here soon.
[00:44:33] HJ: Do you want to give anybody a sneak peek, Chelsea?
[00:44:40] CS: For our birthday beers, we’re going to do an IPA 4-pack, but they’re all very different so keep your eyes peeled for that.
[00:44:49] HJ: Perfect. Will that be posted on social media and all that fun stuff?
[00:44:53] CS: Yes, definitely.
[00:44:55] HJ: Everybody, go and follow Born Brewing.
Thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate you taking the time.
[00:45:03] CS: Thanks for having us.
[00:45:04] EM: Thank you for having us.
[00:45:05] HJ: All this talk about the Pink Boots Hop Blend is a great reminder that now is the perfect time for hop contracting. Hop contracting is important because it enables growers to commit resources to new acreage of crops, and it shares a steady supply of quality hops at a fair price.
If you want to learn a bit more about hop contracting, go back and listen to season one, episode four, titled All Things Hops. If you have any questions or you’re ready to get started with hop contracting, just make sure to reach out to your CMG sales rep.
We have a couple of fun things coming up. First, our very own Tyler Schoales and Tim Roberts will be presenting on the 2021 Barley Crop at the Craft Beer Professionals Spring Virtual Conference on April 4th. This is a free conference, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Additionally, we’re all counting down the days to the Craft Brewers Conference on May 2nd in Minneapolis. Only 38 more to go. Are you going to be there? Come visit us at booth 2818. We can’t wait to see you.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Thank you for joining us for Women’s History Month. In the next episode, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into Pale Ale Malt. Do you think you know everything about Pale? Think again. Cheers.