Our Pink Boots event is tomorrow, March 8th! It will be a great evening celebrating the women in Vermont brewing thanks to our very own Julie Smith. Not only is she our Brewery Lab Manager, she is also a Co Leader of the Vermont Pink Boots chapter! Get to know Julie as she talks about our beer, Blooming Boots, and the Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day.
Tell us a little bit about this year’s brew
Typically for Pink Boots, we have a meeting and do sensory on the hops selected for the blend. It allows all the ladies to voice an opinion on what type of beer they’d like to see the hops go in. So each year the style selected is by majority opinion from those meetings. This year’s hop blend features Loral, Eukanot, and HBC-586. When we sampled it as a team, we picked up on it being really floral, herbal, light, and aromatic. We wanted to brew a beer that would allow the hops to shine and impart their unique flavor and aroma to the beer.
It seems to be a trend that we like doing lower bitterness level beers for our Pink Boots team. We also really like to let the hops be the star of the show since the blend is so unique every year. This is our first year brewing it on the Waitsfield system so we’re able to create a 45bbl batch versus a 7bbl batch.
How does this year’s hop blend compare to previous years?
Loral seems to make an appearance most years. Over the years, the blends have been very herbal and floral with great aromatics. The alpha acids remain fairly low: 10-12%, so there’s a lot of room to make a variety of styles.
How did the team land on Cold IPA?
We were considering a number of similar styles: a lager, classic ale, Kolsch, etc. Cold IPA is a new style and someone mentioned. It combines the best of both a lager and an ale/light IPA so we figured why not give it a try! Especially since it’s new and we can put our own spin on it before it gets too defined and prevalent in the market.
Tell us about your involvement with the Vermont chapter of the Pink Boots Society
A while back, VT had a Pink Boots chapter, but it went dormant due to the nature of the state. We’re all spread out and there’s really no central spot for everyone to easily gather. It’s also hard to get the word out to all the women involved in the fermented beverage industry. Clara Walsh, from Good Measure, and I started back up last year. We’re hopeful that we can offer events to meet peoples needs and act as a support service for the industry. Our hope is that women in the industry can use our Pink Boots chapter for meeting others in the industry, educational services and scholarships, a forum to ask and answer questions, and a supportive environment.
What’s your favorite part about this project?
I really enjoy guiding the project as a whole and seeing women from across the company create a beer together, learn more about the brewing process, and watch our team progress every year. It’s always great to see someone who thinks creating a beer is out of their skill set – but then get to be a huge part of every step in the process!
Why is it important for Lawson’s Finest Liquids to participate in the Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day?
It really promotes pink boots as a whole, but also showcases the amazing talent we have on staff here. It shows our company rallies behind the women in their organization and makes each year such a delight. For me, it’s great to have the support of the company and be able to bond with the other women in our organization that I don’t get to see too often. Hopefully, it inspires other breweries and any ladies out there to get involved.
Anything you want to add about the beer or the Release Party?
I know red clover ale company is coming and they don’t have any ladies on staff, so they’re brewing with their female family members and I think that’s super cute and awesome.