Brews before bros

By Brooke Weisbecker

The Brut(ure) is Female, the 2019 Pink Boots Brut IPA beer, was released in celebration of International Women’s Day at Stones Throw Brewery on March 8. The beer was brewed entirely by women in the Pacific Northwest brewing community in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society, according to Stones Throw Brewery Events Coordinator Meagan Walker.

Walker said the goal of this event is to raise and donate money for the Pink Boots Society, which she has been apart of for the last three years.

“Stones Throw, along with many of the other breweries in town, are happy to support Pink Boots Society,” she said. “Pink Boots is a collaborative group of women in the industry that encourages and supports women’s education in brewing.”

Walker said the money raised for the organization will go toward a number of educational opportunities for women in the beer industry.

“Some opportunities are as big as a scholarship to travel to Germany and learn more about brewing,” she said. “How cool would it be if one of our very own lady brewers in Bellingham were given that chance?”

Walker mentioned that having a support system for women is important to encourage them in the brewing industry. The Pink Boots brew day gathered about 15 women, two or three of which were experienced brewers and the rest of which were there to learn, she said. 

“Let’s face it, the beer industry is pretty male dominant,” she said. “However, I know a lot of women that have interest in brewing, or learning more about the process. Having a friend or a group for support is a lot less intimidating when approaching something new.” 

Walker said in previous years the Pink Boots brew day was on International Women’s Day, but this year the group decided to brew in January.

“This way on International Women’s Day we get to come together and celebrate all women for various reasons over a pint we made ourselves,” she said.

Jen Knutzen, who helped brew The Brut(ure) is Female beer, said the Pink Boots Society is great as a support group where you have the opportunity to talk to other people doing similar things.

“It’s a very cool group of women, they’re all very supportive,” she said. “If you have any questions or are new at what you’re doing, they’re always going to help you.”

Knutzen started her brewing career in 2013 as a homebrewer and decided to go pro about two years ago, she said. Knutzen also attended the 2018 Cardinal Craft Brewing Academy as a cohort, she said. She mentioned she is noticing more women involved in the brewing industry since she started out.

“It’s definitely happening more,” Knutzen said. “Originally, women were the brewers. Brewsters, historically speaking, made the beer for alehouses, and they were ladies.”

Knutzen also said that the organization offers opportunities for women of all brewing skill levels, and they help women find many different positions in the beer industry.

“You could be a beertender in a tap room, you could be an accountant for a brewery, you could be a brewer assistant or a seller, or just someone who homebrews,” she said.

The event also featured musician Brittany Collins, who performed original songs and covers throughout the evening.

“If you like beer and you like supporting women, this is the place to be!” Collins said to the crowd.

Collins paused between songs and made a toast to all the women at the event.

“Can everyone raise their glasses and toast the women who brewed the beer you are all drinking,” she said. “They kicked ass!” 

Knutzen said The Brut(ure) is Female beer will also be served at The Firefly Lounge on State Street in addition to Stones Throw Brewery and will be available until it runs out.

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