Pink Boots Society and a Fresh Hop Pale Ale

From The Iron Horse Brewery Blog

Pink Boots Society and a Fresh Hop Pale Ale

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In my day to day activities at the production facility at Iron Horse Brewery, there are 3 women I see (of 20 employees based out of the headquarters, two women are in production, 1 woman is our HR). Company-wide (including our pub and sales teams), there are 15 women of our 44 employees. While the company average of  34% being women is actually pretty high for the average American brewery, I can still count on one hand the number of times I have seen another woman in the multi-stall women’s bathroom on the production floor at work. In fact, for a while there wasn’t a gal in production, so that bathroom was relegated to certain bristol scale endeavors!  

There is a group for us women in beer, called the Pink Boots Society, founded by Teri Fahrendorf, which was started purely as a list she made of all the other women she knew in the business to pass on to a fellow brewster, Laura Ulrich who had told her she had never met another female brewer. It was a list of 60 names, which quickly expanded once more got wind of a group being formed of women beer professionals. The group has met at every CBC and GABF since 2007, and has since grown to an international non profit group with multiple chapters (in WA we currently have a Seattle and Yakima chapter), and serves as an organization with the focus to “Assist, Inspire, and Encourage women beer professionals through Education” via scholarships and group educational opportunities. I became a member of the Pink Boots society back in 2015 and was in the Seattle chapter until the Yakima chapter formed. In January decided to get some sun and rekindle my vigor for work by attending the National meeting in Austin, TX. Each meeting I have attended, each story I have heard and read, and all the wonderful people I have met on this journey continues to encourage me to give it my all, and support a group so dear to my heart. It’ll be nice to one day to me personally to walk into an MBAA meeting and see more than 20 women in a crowd of 200, and we are well on the way.  

So, let me tell you about our main fundraiser method- Beer Making!! What, you think we’d wash cars in bikinis? F%$#  that noise, we have beer/hops/and malt experts on our teams, let’s use our brains as well as our brawns here! Each year on International Women’s Day, PBS hosts multiple collaboration brew days across the world, wherein each brewery who participates pledges to donate a portion of the proceeds directly to the Pink Boots Society (split by hosting local chapter and the main society). For those keeping track at home, that day is March 8th, which in Iron Horse’s case a chaotic time of year, due to St. Paddy’s day parties, races, etc. So, that won’t work for me or IHB to participate. PBS also encourages having collaboration brew whenever it so happens to work for the chapter, and in our sunny corner of the country has the added bonus of hop harvest access, so we can make a specialty beer that is a rarity in most parts of the world- Freshly Harvested Wet Hop Beer! Why not make a brew that celebrates my favorite time of year, hop harvest!


At our summer meeting, we had a chance to vote on styles that could be brewed (pre-vetted by the IHB sales team, since this is going to our regular market as well), and the winning style we chose was to use Imperial Yeast’s Kveiking a jumping-off point. The Nordic Kveik yeast as a base in order to build a fruity, somewhat rustic pale ale, with the goal being an easy-drinking tropical fruit-forward ale, balanced to hop forward in flavor, ready to quench thirsts after long days in the field, enjoying the fruits of your labors.

The beer is 5.5% and 38 IBUs, and features Copeland Pale and NZ Pilsen malts from Skagit Valley Malting, Baroness Pale Ale malt from Linc Malts, freshly harvested Mosaic Hops from Yakima Chief Ranches (collected at 10 am fresh off the line, put into the tank within an hour!), experimental hop pellets from Hopsteiner (EXP 10416 to be exact!), and fermented by the Kveiking yeast from Imperial Yeast. The efforts of all of these companies and teammates both in the companies, at Iron Horse, and in the Yakima chapter of Pink Boots has made this entire experience a dream, and we look forward to sharing Maeve’s Mosaic Fresh Hop Pale Ale with you. 

Look for us at the 17th Annual Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival, Yakima Valley Hops Fresh Hop Party, our pub, and some other select locations!

PS. We named it Maeve’s Mosaic because, well, alliteration is cool and because Maeve is a female name and Gaelic in origin meaning intoxicating woman.  

PPS. Here’s the trailer we made using iMovie’s Trailer Templates. It’s cool, cause it’s iMovie!

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