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Above: Den­ise Rar­field, Social Media Chair for the Pink Boots Soci­ety USA, Ava Wilson (aka the Beer Bar­on­ess), and Jayne Lewis frm Two Birds Brew­ing, Australia

It makes sense when you think about it. You’re part of an industry and you want to see people like you suc­ceed in that industry. You reach the top and you reach back to help oth­ers up. This is the essence of the Pink Boots Soci­ety, which recently launched its offi­cial New Zea­l­and chapter.

Star­ted in the US, the soci­ety aims to “empower women beer pro­fes­sion­als to advance their careers in the beer industry through edu­ca­tion”. The soci­ety is a col­lab­or­at­ive one, an organ­ised net­work of female beer pro­fes­sion­als all work­ing towards help­ing women get fur­ther in the beer industry. This doesn’t just mean brew­ers either. The only cri­ter­ia are that you are a woman and that you love beer. Right now the soci­ety has 1,300 mem­bers worldwide.

At Beer­vana I got the chance to sit down with Den­ise Rat­field, from Stone Brew­ing Co. in the US and Pink Boots Soci­ety ambas­sad­or, and Jayne Lewis, brew­er at Two Birds Brew­ing in Mel­bourne and coordin­at­or for the Aus­trali­an Pink Boots Soci­ety. Both had just fin­ished a col­lab­or­at­ive brew in Christ­ch­urch with Ava Wilson, the Beer Bar­on­ess and man­ager of Pomeroy’s Old Brew­ery Inn. Ava would be show­ing up later in the day to host the inaug­ur­al meet­ing for the New Zea­l­and Pink Boots Society.

Back in 2007, some of our mem­bers weren’t even sure if there were oth­er women brew­ers,” Jayne told me. “It’s all about the suc­cesses. The soci­ety offers schol­ar­ships to women in brew­ing, to fur­ther study or for spe­cif­ic studies.”

At the 2013 Beer­vana the attend­ance ratio was roughly 70/30 in favour of men. At the 2014 event it was 55/45. That’s a huge shift and one that hope­fully continues.

Each chapter of Pink Boots works inde­pend­ently of the oth­ers, so while the goals are the same, each region has the flex­ib­il­ity to get to that goal in the way they feel suits them best. For example, New Zea­l­and is small coun­try with a very tight-knit brew­ing com­munity to start with.

By the time you read this, Ava, Jayne and Denise’s col­lab­or­a­tion — the Unite 2.0 Amer­ic­an Stout — will be out. The sale of the beer will go towards the New Zea­l­and Pink Boots chapter. It has a com­bin­a­tion of ingredi­ents from the US, Aus­tralia and New Zea­l­and, and is truly the best rep­res­ent­a­tion of the soci­ety: a col­lab­or­at­ive brew for a col­lab­or­at­ive society.

If you’re inter­ested in sup­port­ing the Pink Boots Soci­ety in New Zea­l­and, it is on all the usu­al social media out­lets. To join the soci­ety, head to the world­wide site:


What to drink

If you can get your hands on it (after hav­ing a Unite 2.0), get your­self a Two Birds Taco Beer. It is not a stu­pid chilli beer, but instead a lovely soft wheat ale that also con­tains flaked corn. Citra and Amarillo hops con­trib­ute cit­rus and fruity char­ac­ters, which com­ple­ment the addi­tions of cori­ander leaf and fresh lime peel.

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