In our column in the brandy-new Music Award Nominees edition of Motif, we spill a few details about Long Live Beerworks’ new digs, plus intel about Bucket’s last weekend and goings-on at Revival, Shaidzon, Foolproof, Proclamation, and more.
Pink Boots Society is a nonprofit organization aimed to “assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.” This article by Erika Woodcock, the leader of PBS’ Rhode Island chapter, is part of the pay it forward portion of their scholarship program.
I attended the Pink Boots Society (PBS) 10th anniversary conference. Sitting in a room with so many women — so many powerful, smart, badass brewing professionals — is a bit intimidating. Listening to them speak about topics slightly over my head and seeing the confidence and spirit they exude was inspiring. I wanted to learn more, make more connections, and become one of those influential women.
As soon as I got home, I started on my self-improvement and self-(re)discovery path. I had been brewing professionally for about two years as an assistant brewer at Long Live Beerworks. I basically just did what I was asked without knowing why or how and without digging deeper. After my passion-igniting trip to the PBS10 conference, I set out to change that. I wanted to know more about brewing science and quality control.
The first thing on my agenda was to apply for the scholarships offered by Pink Boots. I was convinced that I would not get it — there was someone out there more qualified, with a better essay and more experience, who deserved it more, etc. But I remembered that Megan Parisi, the head brewer at Samuel Adams and the keynote speaker at PBS10, said something to the effect that women will not apply to anything they don’t feel 100% qualified for but men will just go for it. We need to just go for it. So I put that fear of being underqualified aside and just went for it. One of the first scholarships I applied for was the White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 in Asheville, North Carolina. They offered a two-day workshop outlining some specific troubleshooting points on fermentation and yeast, setting up a brewery lab, and a hands-on portion. I thought it was the perfect thing to get me started with my renewed desire to learn more about the technical side of brewing. I have a science background, being a former science teacher, and yeast processes really interested me. I knew I could use this class as a starting point to become one of those badass brewing ladies. A few weeks later I received a call — I was awarded the scholarship. Turns out “just go for it” was a good motto.
The first day of the workshop, I had that feeling of excitement mixed with anxiety that one gets on the first day of school. The session started with a presentation form Chris White, the founder and president of White Labs — a little history of yeast and the company itself. Chris led a discussion on why he thought brewer’s yeast is a domesticated microorganism. We have conditioned it and selected properties to create what we now think of as brewer’s yeast: no phenols, lots of DNA, big cells, no sexual reproduction, flocculation, stress-tolerant. Yeast has been important to humans for centuries, even before we knew it existed. Yeast was the first genome sequenced and is still used in labs around the world. Chris went on to describe the formation of White Labs, which was founded in 1995. What started as a hobby to find better yeast turned into a demand for a company formed out of the need for a better yeast product. White Labs continues to innovate the world of fermentation.
The workshop presentation was led by Karen Fortmann, senior research scientist, and Neva Parker, VP of operations. Neva was one of the awe-inspiring presenters at PBS10. Topics for that day included things that where over my head and a lot of new and useful information. Yeast metabolism included aerobic vs anaerobic, critical metabolic pathways for brewing, yeast nutrition, flavor contribution and aroma contribution. I heard and absorbed issues on fermentation control point, factors affecting fermentation, and fermentation monitoring. Wild yeast and bacteria handling was also another topic. By the end of the day we moved to some hands-on lab techniques. Day one wrapped up and we were off to happy hour.
That evening was great. At happy hour I got to meet and speak to brewers from many different places. There were very small one-barrel breweries, distilleries, nationwide breweries, breweries in planning. There were a few women at the workshop too. I definitely found time to chat them up. As the evening went on, we formed groups and made our way to different breweries in Asheville. Most of the time the groups ended up at the same places. It was great finding that camaraderie among brewers from many different places. At the end of the night virtually everyone ended up at the same BBQ place.
Day two of the Yeast Essential workshop started with Neva talking about troubleshooting common formation problems; many notes were taken. The day continued with a presentation on yeast propagation, collection and storage. Then came the part of the course about setting up a brewery lab. From the most basic setup, a “break room” lab, with a microscope a few other essentials, to a large lab with state of the art equipment. The day ended with more hands-on lab techniques. After the workshop ended we were offed a tour of the White Labs facility and a beer in the White Labs Kitchen and Tap.
I set out to renew my need for knowledge and to become a leader in my field. This experience has set me on the path to be a badass brewing professional. I will apply to any PBS scholarship I think will get me there even if I have doubt if I will get it or not. I encourage everyone to do the same — just go for it.
Get more information on White Labs at whitelabs.com.
And: Long Live Beerworks will be releasing a new brew to benefit the RI chapter of the Pink Boots Society. Riot Girl was made with a special Pink Boots hop. The beer is slated for late March/early April. Get updates at their Fbook page.
In our column in the brandy-new tattoo edition of Motif, we write about the big doings at the Guild, with the addition of Night Shift and Wash Ashore; and collect some kool brew news from Whalers, Crooked Current, and the Malted Barley.
This just in from Escondido, CA:
Stone Brewing Sues MillerCoors for Deceptive Use of the STONE® Brand
Today Stone Brewing filed suit to defend its iconic STONE® brand against one of the world’s largest beer conglomerates, MillerCoors. Stone, known for being the antithesis to “Big Beer,” has long waved a flag of bold character, individualism and independence. The suit alleges that MillerCoors is trying to rebrand its Colorado Rockies-themed “Keystone” beer as “STONE.” The craft beer pioneer feels that it has no choice but to combat MillerCoors’ aggressive marketing moves, which abandon Keystone’s own heritage by falsely associating with the one true STONE®.
“Keystone’s rebranding is no accident,” said Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO. “MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word ‘STONE’ visible. Same for Keystone’s social media, which almost uniformly has dropped the ‘Key.’ We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoor should be ashamed.”
The Complaint alleges federal and state causes of action for unfair competition, trademark infringement and related claims. “For two decades our team and our fans together have given depth and meaning to the Stone brand,” expressed Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “Our fans have come to trust us to deliver consistently fresh, high quality beer. They trust that we’ll do so in a way that’s ethical and betters our communities, our planet and the entirety of craft beer. By deliberately creating confusion in the marketplace, MillerCoors is threatening not only our legacy, but the ability for beer drinkers everywhere to make informed purchasing decisions.”
Never one to miss an opportunity to poke fun at Big Beer and its consumers, Koch added with a laugh “We all know Keystone is specifically designed to be as inexpensive, flavorless and watery as possible. We can’t have potential Stone drinkers thinking we make a *shudder* light beer. Or for our fans to think we sold out. MillerCoors needs to stop marketing its stuff using our good name.”
Twice named as the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine, Stone Brewing continues to gain devotees, solidifying its commitment never to sell out to Big Beer. Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, the beer industry’s Domestic Premium category dipped four percent in 2017, equating to a $12.5 billion loss. Says Greg Koch, “No wonder MillerCoors is trying to misappropriate what it could not otherwise accomplish by itself.”
Stone Brewing is represented in the lawsuit by Noah Hagey, Rebecca Horton and Toby Rowe of San Francisco litigation boutique BraunHagey & Borden LLP.
In order to meet market demand, Night Shift Brewing has partnered with Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The need to seek resources outside of Night Shift’s original Everett facility became apparent when existing space was officially maximized in early 2017. The company’s leadership has described this new partnership as a “sustainable way to test growth” while they evaluate future opportunities to expand capacity.
For Night Shift’s Head Brewer Joe Mashburn, Isle Brewers Guild (IBG) represents an opportunity to grow and learn in a tried-and-true environment. “IBG is already producing great beers with their other brewing partners, so it was an easy decision to partner with them. They share our passion for quality and consistency, and are committed to helping us produce Night Shift beers at their top-notch facility.”
Night Shift Brewing joins a client list that already includes two members of the Night Shift Distributing portfolio, Great North Aleworks of Portsmouth, NH, and Devil’s Purse Brewing Company of South Dennis, MA. Products produced at the Pawtucket facility will not only be available in Night Shift’s current markets – Massachusetts, Maine, and New York – but also at The Guild in cans and on draft. This will mark the first time Night Shift Brewing’s beer can be purchased in the state of Rhode Island.
“As Night Shift Brewing continues its great growth and popularity, Isle Brewers Guild is excited to partner and help support their production needs,” said Jeremy Duffy, Co-Founder and Partner at Isle Brewers Guild. “The brewers are already working with the Night Shift team, and are excited about the world-class beers that are about to be produced.”
The Night Shift Brewing production team will continue to be extremely hands-on with all recipes and processes, traveling to Rhode Island for brew days, and performing extensive quality control testing on all products entering the market. The first products from this partnership will be hitting shelves and draft lines in February 2018!
ABOUT NIGHT SHIFT BREWING
Night Shift Brewing was founded in 2012 by a trio of friends with a shared passion for homebrewing. Through culinary inspiration and determined innovation, we aim to create memorable beers that offer a wide array of unique, complex flavors.
In our column in the brandy-new edition of Motif, Bucket prez Nate Broomfield talks about why he’s closing the brewery and muses on the beer scene in Rhode Island. There are also details on the latest addition to said scene, Beer On Earth, plus a lightning round of news from Foolproof, Revival, Newport Storm, and Ragged Island.
Bonus content: happify yourself with this Wonderful Video Experience [and read about the Actual Wonderful Experience here]: