Pink Boots Collaboration
It’s the Year of the Woman, if you haven’t heard.
Women have been surging into Congress, their voices are being heard far and wide, and women everywhere are becoming a force to be reckoned with.
And Cape May Brew Co. is glad to be a part of it. We’re proud of the women around our brewery, and, in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society — a national organization of females in the beer industry — they’ve created a very special brew, exclusively conceived, designed, and executed by the women of CMBC: Maybe She’s Brewed with It, a kettle-soured ale with cherries and mangoes.
“I feel it’s important to show that there are women working in this highly male-dominated industry,” says Social Media & Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg, who spearheaded the initiative.
It’s true. When you think of a brewer, you likely think of a guy in skinny jeans with a beard to his navel, smelling of sweat and hops. However, there are women in this industry, and, while we don’t have any actively brewing beer, a third of the Brew Crew are women.
“We have some boss ladies in the place,” Courtney says, “and they deserve a beer.”
While this is our first time participating, in 2018, 260 breweries in 10 countries brewed a beer in honor of their women.
“We brought up doing it last year,” Courtney says. “When we did the planning for 2019, when we looked at our demographics — not just us, but craft beer in general — women are a huge chunk of that, and growing.”
In 2018, the Brewers Association found that over 31% of craft beer drinkers are women, and that’s up two percentage points since 2015.
“We didn’t want to put women in a specific category — ‘oh, they only love IPAs, or they only love stouts, or they only love fruit beers’ — we wanted to do a beer driven toward women, so it came together in a beautiful relationship of this beer we wanted to do a year ago and this idea that came up with the planning to collaborate with the Pink Boots Society.”
We’re brewing this beer on International Women’s Day, Friday, March 8th, a day that’s celebrated as a national holiday in some countries, as a holiday for women in others, and ignored entirely by some cultures. Us? We’re brewing a killer beer.
“Pink Boots Society annually holds a brew day on International Women’s Day,” Courtney explains, “bringing awareness to women in the brewing industry.”
Everything about this beer was decided upon by the women of the brewery — from the style to the final description.
“Every step of the way, we asked the women of the company to give their input,” Courtney says.
We asked them if they wanted to see a beer that was fruity, sour, hoppy, clean, or simple. The vote came back fruity and sour, so then they decided between the fruits. We asked them how sour they wanted it to be. We asked their ideal ABV.
“It’s going to be a cherry-mango, kettle-sour ale,” she tells us, which sounds faboosh! “They decided that, on a scale of one to five of sourness, they wanted it to be about a three.”
The process was also a good team-building exercise for the women of the brewery.
“We all work in different departments,” Courtney says, “so it was nice to get to know each other and see each other in a different light.”
And when it came to the final recipe implementation, Innovation Director Brian Hink really only guided the women, helping put together questions to guide the design and suggesting some limitations that production might hit.
“He really let us do our thing,” Courtney says. “He kept us organized to get the answers he needs to order the materials and get everything going.”
Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) and the Pink Boots Society come out with a different hops blend for each year of the collaboration, and this year is no different.
“We used YCH’s Pink Boots hops blend,” Courtney says, which is a fruity and tropical blend of Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Sabro hops, with just a touch of dankness.
The malt from this brew comes from our good friends at Rabbit Hill, bringing another level of femininity into the mix — Hillary Barile who, along with brother Blair and father Abe, runs Rabbit Hill Farms. We began using their uniquely floor-malted grains with the first incarnation of Three Plows IPA back in 2016, and we’ve used them whenever possible as their operations have grown. This time, we’re using their pilsner and wheat.
Ultimately, this initiative has given the women at the brewery a sense of passion and pride.
“This is our beer,” she says. “It makes people feel wanted and included. We’re hitting a time when women are being heard. We have the platform now, so why not take advantage of it?”
We’ll be covering the brew day on Friday with a guest blog from Marketing Assistant Kristen Taylor, who will be an active participant in the brewing process. Stay tuned!