In the world of craft beer, much like most other professions, women have faced an array of challenges. From pay inequality, to sexual harassment, to simply not being taken seriously. The Pink Boots Society aims to help women further their careers in beer through empowerment and education. Not only by raising money for educational scholarships, but also by providing a global network of women supporting each other and their craft. Recently, a California brewery spoke out against the Women's March that happened on January 21st, causing an outrage within the community and even threats to boycott their beer.
We like raising money for charity. And we are at a time and place in our country where Planned Parenthood could use the money, and it ties in well with the Pink Boots where we are raising money for women's health and women's reproductive rights. And with the recent events with the brewery in East Sacramento degrading the men and women who marched in the capital and in cities across the country, we took it personally because we have so many employees, male and female, who did partake in the march. We weren't just offended, we were mad this this brewery was going to degrade our employees and our friends and our women of the industry, which is the way we saw it. So we figured we would raise some money in their name for Planned Parenthood, and partner with the Pink Boots Society to show the women in the industry that we back them and we support them and also tell the people who may not appreciate the women in the industry that we think they're assholes. And we'll do it by raising money and doing it in a positive way."
It's an educational opportunity, it's a networking opportunity, but it allows for a sense of belonging in the industry. I've had opportunities presented to me that I didn't even think were possible. I've learned so much about the business of beer and brewing and a better sense for my place in it all, and it's thanks to The Pink Boots Society. And for Fieldwork to recognize there are some major issues that need to be addressed with women's health and the opportunities there are for women, and provide the time and the space for us all to learn and spend time together is a really big deal. I've never been part of a collaborative brew that had this kind of focus, ever. That is so much about the bigger picture and it's addressing so many issues since the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood."
It's a very accepting and welcoming group. Everybody I've met through the group, we've ended up becoming friends. And it helps add accountability too, to keep us all learning and growing and instead of becoming complacent with what we do. It's a lot of fun, I really enjoy the collaborative feel of the group. We're very well accepted at the all of breweries we've been to so far, so the industry is very supportive and recognizes the need for women to have that camaraderie. A lot of times people will ask, why do you need a women's group? The men are friendly, but they just don't get it. I know a lot of women are too shy raise their hands and ask questions or they'll wait until the end and ask independently. I feel like in these types of groups there's a lot less of that and people are more willing to share their knowledge and their experiences."
Cat Wiest, Brew Master at Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz, has actually been behind a few Pink Boots Brews herself and is one of the main reasons I have any involvement with this group. We worked together briefly at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco and has been a huge inspiration to me ever since. "The name March On, I liked a lot because I felt like after the Women's March it was like, now what? So I has happy that Alex took all of these inappropriate things that were being said on the internet and took them to heart. It's hard for me to take a day off but it means a lot to me, I know I'm kind of just standing here drinking a beer but I'm standing here drinking a beer with these like minded people. This type of collaboration in the industry means a lot to me especially because I work by myself. If I don't reach out to learn from other people or network with other people, I feel like I'm just standing around by myself. And I really respect all the work being done at Fieldwork, all the beers are really good. And it's nice to be around all the big tanks, I miss the big tanks."
March On! is a Strong Blonde Ale dry hopped with El Dorado Hops brewed with pilsner malt and wheat with IBU's between 35-50 and an AVB of 7%-9%. It will be available in the Bay Area mid-February and Fieldwork taprooms will be donating to local Planned Parenthood offices in honor of the cause, keep your eyes peeled!