Five Pink Boots beers are in the works

Women in the craft beer business? It’s becoming the rule, rather than the exception.

And nowhere is that more evident than it is here, as members of Pittsburgh’s Pink Boots Society prepare to release five – FIVE – collaboration beers this spring, up from just a couple a year ago.

What changed? There are a lot more members of the local Pink Boots chapter, which serves to promote women in the industry by providing training, scholarships and activities, like attending the annual Craft Brewers Conference. Pink Boots cracked those doors, here and across the country, and women in the biz here have thrown them open and marched on through.

I visited ShuBrew in Harmony, Butler County, earlier this week to check on their brew day, which will result in a hazy IPA that will fit with their Pixelated series. Co-owner Erika Shumaker was there, as were a couple of female ShuBrew employees; the brew day also brought in Lauren Baker, the production manager at Slippery Rock’s North Country Brewing, and Christine Jenkins, who works at CNC Malt House, a new business that set up in an old elementary school east of Butler.

Baker knows here way around a brewery, but for Jenkins, the experience was new. She spent much of the morning helping David Ieong, ShuBrew’s head brewer, who walked her through much of the process.

And that’s pretty much the point, right? Jenkins said the experience she gained this week will help her when brewers approach her CNC for malts – and down the line, that will mean better beer for all of us.

Shumaker said Federal Galley will once again host a debut party for this year’s Pink Boots beers, on a date that has yet to be determined. Also, look for events at Piper’s Pub, the Harmony Inn and at ShuBrew, which will host a tap takeover once all five beers are released.

I can’t wait to taste those beers. And I can’t wait to see what happens as more women get into the business.

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