By Anthony St. Clair
For the Oregon Beer Growler
Women beer professionals from all over the world are converging on San Diego for the Pink Boots Society’s 10th Anniversary Conference & Beer Festival June 2-3. In addition to the decadal birthday celebration, the conference brings together all-female faculty — a first for beer conferences — who will lead workshops and discussions on a range of topics.
Yet the conference represents far more. It kicks off the future of what executive director Emily Engdahl calls a “sisterhood” of craft beer professionals in the 1,200-member organization, which has 50 chapters in 10 countries from Australia to Spain.
Engdahl first became involved with Pink Boots in 2013. The Society had recently received 501(c)(3) status, and Engdahl wanted to help out at a fundraising party held that February. By June she had assumed her role of executive director (though she also has a full-time career as an office manager and fiduciary at a family business). “I’ve seen these women not just on a professional — but personal level. They come together,” says Engdahl. “I loved the tribe, everyone I met, the camaraderie, the amazing wealth of knowledge I found in the beer industry.”
And yes, that includes the pink, which has also made the organization a sometimes-lightning rod for controversy.
“I take issue when people tell us we shouldn’t be pink. If you are a feminist, why the hell would you let anyone tell you what color you’re supposed to wear?” says Engdahl. “I love pink. It’s one of my favorite colors.”
She also points out that in the 18th century and until World War I, pink was a masculine color: softer than the more aggressive red, but still manly. Girls wore blue. “We are reclaiming pink. It’s the ultimate feminist movement to wear pink,” says Engdahl. “Just as you shouldn’t tell a girl she should only like fruity beers and not stout, why would you tell a girl she shouldn’t wear pink if that’s the color she wants to wear?”
Pink Boots evolved out of co-founder Teri Fahrendorf’s 2007 road trip, where she worked to connect with female brewers and help further their careers all while donning a pair of brewhouse-ready pink boots (a pre-trip gift from Fahrendorf’s mother-in-law). While traversing some of America’s 1,511 craft breweries, she kept hearing the same thing from the women brewers she met: “I thought I was the only one.”
Fast-forward 10 years, and Fahrendorf can see how much has changed. “We were pioneers,” she says. “Having Pink Boots, whether members or not, gives women confidence to shoot for the top. Some women don’t need it, but some do. Sometimes it takes a very simple role model. We’ve changed the dialogue, and the dialogue now includes women.”
From fewer than two-dozen women at their inaugural lunch in 2008, Pink Boots had grown to about 2,500 members in 2015. At that point, membership was free (though many members would donate funds) for women making any portion of their income in the beer industry. In 2016, Pink Boots made some big changes: they established a more organized board, started charging membership dues and gave chapters more control over money and communication. And to qualify for membership, a 25 percent income threshold was instituted.
“We wiped out our entire membership database,” says Engdahl. “Now we’ve already rebuilt over half those numbers. It’s a more professionally and educationally centered organization.” By 2018, Engdahl estimates membership will be above 2,250.
With U.S. craft breweries potentially topping 6,000 by the end of 2017, Engdahl is not surprised by Pink Boots’ growth — or the number of women joining the industry, though how that’s happening has changed. People often found a job in craft beer either through family business ties or via a winding, indirect path. Now Engdahl sees young adults enrolling in college or vocational programs specifically to launch careers. “Brewing and brewing science is a viable lifestyle, one you can enter deliberately and with intent,” she explains. “That’s very exciting and very different from any other way that we’ve seen brewing become a vocation before.”
The anniversary event was made possible thanks to “an amazing team of women who dreamed up this whole conference,” says Fahrendorf. As the Society’s most active chapter, San Diego was a natural location. But in addition to providing education and motivation, Engdahl wants women to come out of the conference knowing “they can do what they want to do in the industry and nothing holds them back,” she says. “I want these women to be seen as role models and as heroes in the industry. Breweries exact a lot of social change, and I think it’s important to remember the social magic we do in beer.”
As Engdahl looks ahead to the next 10 years, she hopes she will be able to look back and see that Pink Boots has changed the industry and overall awareness of broader societal problems that can make it difficult for women to advance. “I want it to not matter if you’re a man or a woman in the beer industry. Do you make good beer? Are you a nice person?”
She also suggests ways men can support women in craft beer. “Speak out and make sure you are being the best feminist you can be. It doesn’t have to look big or heroic. It just has to be the normal everyday things we do to encourage society toward equity,” says Engdahl. “Make sure your daughter isn’t getting left out of STEM in middle school. Get your sister a homebrew kit. Patronize businesses that support Pink Boots and tell them you are glad they support women in the beer industry. For associations, ask for more diversity in the board and in presenters.”
Pink Boots, though, isn’t about special treatment — it’s about equity and betterment for all. “I hope I can work myself out of a job,” says Engdahl, but cites educational system deficiencies, sexual harassment issues and inequality around the world as proof we’re not there yet.
The Empowerment Project documentary, produced by Heartfelt Productions, was in McMinnville filming Teri Fahrendorf and the Pink Boots Society in 2013. The organization was at Heater Allen Brewing doing a collaboration brew with Lisa Allen, the assistant brewer and daughter of the brewmaster and owner, Rick Allen. Photo courtesy of Teri Fahrendorf
By Patty Mamula
For the Oregon Beer Growler
The day I caught up with Teri Fahrendorf, she was fielding phone calls, filing reports, handling customer requests and troubleshooting right and left -- a typical day in the life of the multitasking female beer pioneer. When we finally connected after a day of phone tag, she talked freely and fast -- so fast I struggled to keep up.
Ever the trailblazer for women and beer, Fahrendorf took on a new role about six years ago as a sales rep for the Country Malt Group. She handles nine different malt brands as well as hops and other beer supplies for the company, a subsidiary of Great Western Malting.
Recently business has been hopping (pun intended), so her territory of Oregon and Washington was reduced by about half to Washington only. Fahrendorf sees herself as a good malt ambassador and consultant in the brewing process. After spending nearly 20 years as a brewer, she has plenty of credibility and experience to draw from.
She was the first female craft brewmaster who was not an owner, hired in 1989 at Golden Gate Brewing in California. The two women craft brewers who preceded her were Mellie Pullman, a brewer and partner at Schirf Brewing Company in Park City, Utah, and Carol Stoudt, brewmaster and owner at Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pa.
Fahrendorf’s interest in beer grew out of homebrewing. Tired of working as an analyst, she decided to go to the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago to see if she could get a job as a brewer. Of the 24 people in her class, she was one of two women, the only microbrewer and one of the few who weren’t working for a large, domestic brewery.
“The first day of class, they asked what brands do you brew? I didn’t brew brands, I brewed styles. I looked up all the breweries in Chicago and organized brew field trips -- a beer of the world tasting tour with all different styles,” said Fahrendorf. She also organized a class brew. Her classmates recognized her initiative and selected her as the first female class president.
Once she got her start, she was off and brewing, working 17 of her 20 years at Steelhead Brewing in Eugene. Then she shifted gears to take a brewing road trip, allowing her to visit women brewers around the country, before launching the wildly popular nonprofit Pink Boots Society with the sole purpose of supporting women in beer. To become a member, you simply have to earn some income from beer and membership is free.
In its eighth year, Pink Boots is growing faster than ever, with chapters all around the globe. At the beginning of the year there were 1,350 members and now there are 1,700. That’s about 100 people joining each month. The networking benefit of Pink Boots is huge, but other pluses are educational seminars, meetings, the Craft Brewers Conference gathering and scholarships. “We award one new scholarship a month in the United States. We have two selection teams of volunteers that review the scholarship applications,” said Fahrendorf. ” Often the scholarships are for residence-based brewing courses. “We try to cover at least $250 a day, “she said.
In exchange for the scholarship, recipients are expected to “pay it forward.” This payment can take many shapes, from writing an article to giving a talk at the Craft Brewers Conference. “We are creating women leaders. Many of these gals haven’t been in that role before,” said Fahrendorf.
The organization is all-volunteer with the exception of the executive director Emily Engdahl. As the founder and executive director, Fahrendorf is the face of the organization, even though she is always trying to “get it off her plate.” The more it keeps growing, the more she is called in to help put out the fires.
One of the recent fundraising events for Pink Boots was a collaborative brew in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8. More than 100 breweries participated in making the same recipe. This year it was the 2015 Unite Red Ale. A portion of the sales from the beer go to Pink Boots.
In Oregon, the participating breweries were Lompoc, Green Dragon, Fort George, Chetco and Wild River. The brewing was open to any Pink Boots member, not just brewers. Breweries interested in participating in 2016 should check the Pink Boots website this fall.
What comes next for Fahrendorf? So many adventures await. “I feel like my whole life has been a Joseph Campbell ‘hero’s journey.’ I love what I’m doing right now, my job with Country Malt,” she said. Still, she would like to cook and homebrew more and wants experience with barrel aging and sours and, of course, she is always ready to help emerging people in the beer business.
By Emily Engdahl
Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, BridgePort Brewing Company, is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2014. Along with changes coming to Hop Czar, BridgePort is adding the “BridgePort Trilogy Series,” brewed to honor pivotal moments in BridgePort’s history by highlighting the adoption of aroma hops and the IPA movement, and exploring what’s still to come for craft beer in Oregon.
Jeff Edgerton, Brewmaster for BridgePort Brewing Company, is watching the horizon for what’s next and laying groundwork for the future of BridgePort by following the path laid by his predecessor, Karl Ockert.
“It’s great to be turning 30, but it’s even more exciting to see how far the craft brewing industry has come in the last three decades,” says Edgerton, who grew up in Canby, at the north end of the Willamette Valley hop growing region. He remembers the common childhood sight of the hop fields as he traveled through Woodburn, Silverton and Mt. Angel with his family. “BridgePort and a handful of other craft brewers picked up on these varieties and started making flavorful, all-malt beers that had incredible taste and aroma.”
“30 years ago we took our inspirations from traditional British brewing styles. Since then, the innovations we have seen in pushing flavor boundaries is amazing. The UK and European brewers are trying to catch up with us,” says Karl Ockert, former brewmaster at BridgePort.
Karl Ockert began homebrewing with his mother when he was about 10, igniting a love that led him to study fermentation sciences at UC Davis. After graduation in 1983, he returned to Oregon and was hired by Dick and Nancy Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards. Says Ockert, “Dick helped start Cartwright Brewery a year earlier and was interested in starting a small “micro-brewery” in Portland.” They launched BridgePort in November 1984.
“My goal with BridgePort from the start was to help pave the way for a specialty brewing revolution in the US. When the Ponzi’s and I started BridgePort in 1984 the beer scene was so different than it is today. It was not common to find anything but the regional lager brands (Rainier, Oly and Blitz) on tap. An exciting bar might have Blitz Bavarian Dark or Guinness on tap. Brewers like ourselves, Kurt and Rob Widmer, Art Larrence and Fred Bowman, we all worked so hard to sell exotic micro brewed beers that no one had ever heard of, for twice the price of domestic lagers, and luckily some of the more forward thinking bar owners like Don Younger, Bill McCormick, the McMenamin brothers, among many others embraced our efforts to get this started.”
The revolution has gone global, Ockert explains. “Fast forward 30 years! Now just about every bar you walk into will have a majority of craft and specialty beers on tap.” Ockert gave a recent presentation on West Coast IPAs to a gathering of brewers from the United Kingdom. Additionally, says Ockert, “German brewers adapted their brewing laws so they can now add hops after the brew kettle and are actually producing some dry hopped IPA’s. That is incredible considering where we started out. I am very proud to have been a part of the revolution, which is still on-going… America has gone from being the laughing stock of the beer world 30 years ago to its envy. That says a lot.”
Since departing Bridgeport in 2010 with over 27 years experience, Ockert has become the Technical Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA, www.mbaa.com ). Ockert’s position within the MBAA allows him to continue participating in and enjoying the camaraderie of the brewing industry. “Its almost magical to watch the bonding process as people from competitive global breweries sit and talk brewing with people from small brewpubs. They learn from each other and that same feeling of openness is prevalent in this industry more than any other that I know of,” he says.
Edgerton concurs “People that work in brewing make it their lifestyle, not just a job. So not only do I get to work with a product that I love, I get to be much more creative than most people do at their jobs AND I work with people that love their jobs as well. All of us here at BridgePort operate under one main mantra: Quality above all else. We love what we do, we aren’t in this to get rich or famous, and wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.”
By Emily Engdahl
It’s a wet and rainy (typical) winter morning in Portland. Entering the Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe on NW 23rd Avenue, I’m welcomed by rows and rows of chocolate truffles, confectionary creativity, and the warm smile of Chris Crabb, Oregon’s Craft Beer Sweetheart.
Crabb is an integral part of several beery endeavors, breweries, and fests across the state - and one of the kindest and hardest working women in the industry. I had an opportunity to chat with her about her roles in celebrating Oregon beer, being a go-getter, and parenting a teenager. Despite myriad challenges and the hard work involved in balancing a successful career, family life, and hobbies (Crabb has exquisite taste in antiques and collectables, creating vintage looking family photo postcards along with her husband and son each holiday season), she is ever cheerful, always professional, and a pure delight.
You are one of the most important figures in current Oregon Beer culture - how did you begin working in the industry?
First, I don’t consider myself all that important, but I truly appreciate the compliment! I stumbled into this industry by luck. I was working for a PR firm in the early 1990s, and it leased office space to Gill Campbell, an event promoter who owned Campbell Productions. Gill was looking for someone to do PR for her client, the Oregon Brewers Festival, and hired the firm; I was assigned as the account manager. 1995 was my first official OBF. That same year, Gill and Art Larrance started the Winter Ale Festival (today the Holiday Ale Festival) and I worked on that one as well. Gill went looking for her own office space in 1996 and took me with her. I continued to work for both festivals and started picking up other beer accounts along the way (including working eight years for BridgePort). She (Gill) closed shop in 2003 to run the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., and the beer clients stayed with me. That was when I started Crabbsoup Public Relations.
You work on several fests around Oregon - can you tell us which ones they are?
I work on four big festivals, and promote several smaller ones that are brewery specific. The big ones are The Oregon Garden Brewfest (April 25-27, 2014) in Silverton; the North American Organic Brewers Festival (June 26-29, 2014) at Overlook Park in North Portland; the Oregon Brewers Festival (July 23-27, 2014) at Waterfront Park in Portland; and the Holiday Ale Festival (December 3-7, 2014) in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland.
We all know you as the one who knows EVERYTHING about Oregon beer fests - what kinds of things do you do for the fests, and what is your favorite task or activity surrounding fests?
I have different roles for different festivals. This summer will mark my 20th year with the Oregon Brewers Festival, and my role has increased as time has gone on; currently, my job description for that festival runs four pages long! In a nutshell, I handle pre and on-site communication with the brewers, the vendors, the food vendors and the public; I do all the advertising, social media, public relations, posters, work with the mobile app developers and update the website. I manage all aspects of the brunch and the parade; I gather all pieces for and edit the program; and I am onsite every hour of every day, from 5 a.m. on the opening day doing morning TV until 8 p.m. on the last day, tearing down. While onsite, I handle media opportunities and check in with vendors, but mostly I operate the Information Booth. I decided we needed one a few years back, and figured I knew enough about the festival to answer just about any question thrown at me. (Number one question at the OBF? Where’s the ATM.)
My role with the North American Organic Brewers Festival is very similar to the above, plus obtaining all the permits for the event. My role with the Oregon Garden Brewfest is strictly public relations, which keeps it simple; and my role with the Holiday Ale Festival is somewhere in-between, mostly PR and social media but also communicating with brewers and producing the program.
My favorite? I love working with the brewers – who wouldn’t, they are talented, witty, irreverent, amazing! – but I also love working with the public. With the festivals, I often act as a concierge, recommending hotels and restaurants and pubs and beers. I am a Portland native and incredibly proud of this town. I want everyone who comes here to not only enjoy the beer, but the entire city and all that it offers.
Which festival is your personal favorite to attend?
That’s like asking which of my children is my favorite! (By the way, I only have one child, so that is an easy answer.) Each of the festivals I promote offers something different to love. The Oregon Garden Brewfest is held in such a beautiful setting, and they let you walk around the gardens with your beer! It has a really sweet, small town community feel to it. I love the NAOBF for its park setting and its mellow vibe. Very family friendly, it’s as if everyone there is having a picnic on the grass with a beer in hand. The OBF is great people watching, but my absolute favorite part of that festival has to be the kick off parade - it’s become an amazing tradition. And the Holiday Ale Festival is so festive, held in the heart of the city in the winter with the clear tents that allow you to see the Christmas lights above.
Do you like beer? What kinds? Are you learning to like new styles?
I love beer! Although I am very picky about styles. I have a certain palate and know what I like. I’m not a fan of malty beers, I find them too sweet. Also not a fan of lagers. I used to be a self proclaimed hophead, but the older I get, the bitterer the beers seem to taste. These days, I lean toward a lovely non-Imperial IPA, a tart sour, or a chocolate stout. Stout is truly my new favorite, which is great as it pairs so well with the dark winter months. I’m also becoming a bit addicted to ciders.
What do you love about Oregon beer culture?
I love the camaraderie of it. It truly is an industry where rivals are friendly and supportive of one another. They help each other out, and you can’t say that about most other businesses. I also love the fact that new breweries open all the time in Oregon, yet rarely do they close. The beer lovers in Oregon go out of their way to help these places not only survive, but flourish. Soon, it won’t be a Starbucks on every corner, it will be a craft brewery. I also love the reporting of our craft beer scene - we have a ton of beer and event bloggers in this town, and I’ve grown to develop really great relationships with so many of them. As a PR person, that’s my job, but I would count many of these media among my friends.
What do you do for fun?
I’m self-employed, I work 24/7! Fun for me is spending time with my husband and son. And planning our next trip to Maui, which is where we love to be.
Do you have any funny stories about working on the beer fests for us? Ever had a keg not show up until the last possible second? Any other YIKES! moments?
We’ve had many kegs not show until the last possible second; which may not sound like a big deal, but when they arrive on a tractor trailer rig in the middle of Naito Parkway and you have thousands of people on the festival grounds - it is! Unfortunately for the readers, most of the stories I have either can’t be shared or shouldn’t be! Oddly enough, they usually involve porta potties..
You run PR/Marketing for several breweries around town. Which breweries are you associated with?
I am lucky enough to work with Lompoc Brewing, Cascade Brewing, Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub, Kells Irish Pub, and the newly opened Growlers Hawthorne. I also do project work for Sierra Nevada Brewing. And believe it or not, I have non-beer related PR clients as well, including the amazing people at Tea Chai Te, the Oregon Garden/Oregon Garden Resort and Portland International Raceway.
It’s 6 p.m. on a “typical” Tuesday night - where do we find you?
Typing one last email before making dinner and helping my son with homework. Because as much as I think I have the greatest job in the world, I am a mom, first and always.
By Emily Engdahl
Looking for delicious combinations to tempt your tastebuds? Combine a celebration of Stout Month with the plethora of chocolates available from local artisans for February and Valentine’s Day. We perused the cases at Moonstruck Chocolate’s NW 23rd Avenue location with Oregon’s Craft Beer Sweetheart, Chris Crabb. Truffles and bars - from milk to bittersweet - there’s a chocolate to suit every taste, and one to match beautifully with this month’s star; stouts! Look for these and other seasonal stout releases at your local brewer and raise a pint to Stout Month!
Kells Brewpub | Kells Irish Stout | 4.7% ABV
Notes of coffee and chocolate with a mild toffee sweetness, finishes dry with just a hint of tartness. Look for it on nitro.
* Pair with Moonstruck Peanut Butter Sea Salt Caramel Eclipse Truffle
Lompoc Brewing | Stout Out Loud | 4.9% ABV
This pitch black ale has strong flavors of roasted coffee, chocolate and raisins balanced by acidic dark malts. Ends with a creamy, smooth finish.
* Pair with Moonstruck House Spirits Distillery Liqueur Truffle
Cascade Brewing | Diesel Barrel Aged Stout | 12% ABV
Aromas of dark sweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and molasses. Dark coffee and milk chocolate intermingle with roasted malts and dark molasses to finish with slight Bourbon heat and a lingering sweet dark chocolate flavor.
* Pair with Moonstruck Molasses Plantation Caramel Chew
Pints Brewing | Steel Bridge Stout | 5.2% ABV
Rich and chewy, this robust stout is girdered together with Midnight Wheat, Black Prinz, Roasted Barley, Special B and Chocolate malts. Jet black with a thick brown head, loaded with espresso, coffee and rich malt flavors.
* Pair with Moonstruck Mayan Milk Chocolate Bar
Laurelwood | Organic Portland Roasting Espresso Stout | 6.3% ABV
In collaboration with Portland Roasting, a base stout is complemented by cold steeped Organic Guatemalan and Ethiopian blend, accentuating the roast, chocolate and coffee flavors. A smooth dark ale with layers of dark, rich roast flavor.
* Pair with Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bar
pFriem | Belgian Stout | 11% ABV
Dark as midnight with aromatics of coffee and cardamom, the complexity of bold flavors of cocoa and cinnamon are only upstaged by its sheer ease of drinkability—a rarity with more common stouts.
* Pair with Moonstruck Sea Salt Cajeta Caramel
Boneyard | Backbone | 6% ABV
Rich, creamy stout combining three of our favorite things; espresso, beer & chocolate. Boneyard and Backporch Coffee Roasters collide, creating a flavorful & aromatic ale using cold extraction espresso. Breakfast or dinner...It’s up to you!!
* Pair with Moonstruck Italia Espresso Truffle
Boneyard | Suge Knite | 13% ABV
This imperial stout pours black with a dark creamy head. Rich and bold with flavors of oak, whiskey, molasses and dark fruits, it is surprisingly smooth and drinkable for such a big gnarly beer.
* Pair with Moonstruck Wild Huckleberry Truffle
BricktownE | Rock Steady Stout | 6.9% ABV
it’s a foreign extra wheat stout served on Nitro. Roasty, creamy and slightly chocolatey, make up the tasting notes.
* Pair with Moonstruck Extra Bittersweet Black Cat Truffle
Caldera | Old Growth Imperial Stout | 8.8% ABV
Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Growth Imperial Stout, aged for three months in two different types of Bourbon Barrels.
* Pair with Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Tumbled Beer Berries
McMenamin’s Concordia Brewery | Black Sea Imperial | 9.5% ABV
Russian Imperial made in honor of this year’s winter Olympics! This stout has huge roasty, chocolate and burnt malt flavors, well balanced with choice hop addition.
* Pair with Moonstruck Grenada Truffle
Migration | Bootstrap Imperial Stout | 10.1% ABV
This dark, full bodied stout has been aged with bourbon, oak and maple syrup. Forward rich dark
chocolate and roasted notes paired with subtle hints of vanilla and smoke linger on the nose and palate. The supple maple sweetness and woody tannins lend to the depth of this well balanced imperial.
* Pair with Moonstruck House Spirits Distillery Krogstad Aquavit Truffle
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