The 4th Annual International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day took place on March 8th, coinciding with International Women’s Day. Sophie de Ronde NPD Brewing Technologist at Muntons Malt UK began IWCBD in an effort to build relations between women in the brewing industry, encouraging them to brew together each year on March 8th and raise awareness of women’s roles in the brewing industry. “Unite” was the name coined for this annual beer. The Pink Boots Society, an organization created to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education has embraced IWCBD as their organization’s “Big Brew Day.”
For this year’s brew it was suggested that brewers support locally sourced ingredients in creating their individual versions of Unite Local. Many Southern California women brewers, along with their local Pink Boots chapters, brought women together for quite a few Unite Local brews. The suggested style by Pink Boots was Ancient Historical Ale.
Inglewood’s Three Weavers Brewing gathered Brewmaster Alexandra Nowell and at least 15 additional women, including L.A. County Brewers Guild Executive Director Frances Lopez, Arts District head brewer Devon Randal and Ska Brewing’s Tanya Bultsma, for L.A. County’s Unite Local.
San Diego had a number of Unite Local brews. Second Chance Beer Company’s Co-owner Virginia Morrison teamed with two staff members and six other ladies for their Big Brew Day, assisted by Brewmaster husband Marty Mendiola, and Brewer Craig Gregovics. The finished product was an Early American Colonial Ale, which was tapped on March 25. 20% of all sales will benefit the Pink Boots San Diego chapter.
The women of Coronado Brewing Co, Benchmark Brewing Company, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, Societe Brewing Company, North Park Beer Co, PubQuest, and the San Diego Brewers Guild got together to brew a hibiscus honey cream ale at the Coronado Brewing Company Pub on Coronado.
Eppig Brewing co-founder Stephanie Eppig and the ladies of Eppig joined brewers Nathan Stephens and Clayton LeBlanc to brew a historic Kottbusser bier. Kottbusser, a style that originated in Cottbus, Germany, generally utilizes oats, honey, and molasses within its recipe.
Culture Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Aleks Kostka also brewed a Kottbusser. In celebration of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day she taught her team the fine art of brewing this historic German wheat ale.
Rock Bottom La Jolla’s Head Brewer Carli Smith also reportedly participated in an IWCBD/Big Boots Brew Day brew, as did the women of San Diego Brewing Company, Belching Beaver Brewing Company and the Ladybeards of Burning Beard Brewing.
South Park Brewing and its sister, Monkey Paw, teamed to brew a Scottish-style gruit ale, an ancient ale with locally sourced herbs.
Chino Valley Brewing also produced a brew.
Yucaipa’s newest brewery, Brewcaipa Brewing Co, brought together its owner Kate Daniels, Denise Hoyt the Mayor of Yucaipa, Patricia Barkenhagen Bootlegger’s Brewery, Tina Thompson Armstrong Tustin Brewing, Kasey Davis and Tina Smith to brew an Ancient Ale with local wildflower honey and locally grown kumquats. Brewcaipa’s brewer Derek Bougie confirmed at press time that the beer would likely be ready by the first week in April. Brewcaipa’s tasting room soft-opened in mid-March. Check Facebook or the website for current hours.
Anaheim’s Unite Local was a Belgian-style tripel. Per co-owner/co-brewer Barbara Gerovac, her local ingredient was brewing water that comes from a local well. Other than charcoal filtering, nothing was added or subtracted from the makeup of the water. The recipe is one she created and originally brewed with husband Greg during his term at Huntington Beach Beer Co prior to opening their own brewery. They called the HBBC version Hercules. She also brewed it when she was the brewer at Union Cattle Co now The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. It was also Anaheim Brewery’s IWCBD beer last year. Release was set for March 30, so it should still be available. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Pink Boots Society and to the Orange County Family Justice Center.
This year’s Firkfest cask beer festival took on a varied non-traditional firkin theme. The Firkfest Caskaway Tiki Beer Fest changed it up quite a bit with a callout to participating brewers for tropical-style casks.
Some of you may be asking, “What is cask beer and what-the-firk is a firkin?” Traditional cask conditioned beer begins the brewing process like most beer. The difference takes place after primary fermentation when it is placed in a cask and krausened a proportion of active wort is added, or sugar is added, to aid with promoting a secondary fermentation. Additional hops and other ingredients may also be added. The finished product is naturally carbonated conditioned beer served directly from the cask. A firkin is a British unit of measure and also the size of a kind of keg wooden or metal cask used for cask conditioning, traditionally one quarter of a barrel 72 pints or 9 Imperial gallons.
Perhaps the most interesting and creative theme-inspired brew came from Riip Beer Co’s new Head Brewer, Trevor Walls. Kalua Porker was a 7.5% ABV porter that was conditioned with Kalua pork. Surprisingly, the finished product provided smokiness with an essence of pork to complement the roasted malts in the base porter. He was able to extract most of the fat prior to combining the ingredients so that it retained a nice head and carbonation. Trevor’s second cask was Riipbiscus, an IPA with hibiscus.
The Bruery shared a hearty imperial stout called Share These Nuts with additions of macadamia nuts and coconut. Chapman Crafted’s Brian Thorson recreated his Simcoe Motion IPA with the addition of coconut. Other brews included additions of tropical fruits to base beers.
Los Angeles Beer Works brought Blume Berliner Weisse with passion fruit. They topped each taste with pineapple foam. The team also served Wild Oats oatmeal stout with coconut.
Bruery Terreux’s entry was Frucht: POG, a Berliner wiesse with passion fruit, orange and guava.
Stereo Brewing’s POG Star was a rendition of its Big Star Pale Ale with passion fruit, Mineola tangelo juice and guava added to the firkin.
The Good Beer Co’s Brandon Fender brought the refreshing Horchatorita, a tart and brackish gose-style ale with sea salt, lactose, mandarin cinnamon and vanilla.
Left Coast’s Tropical Tiki Blonde was a formulation of its blonde ale combined with mango, kiwi and additional Simcoe hops.
Anaheim Brewery altered its traditional Anaheim Hefeweizen to a non-Reinheitzgebot level via refermentation in the cask with lightly toasted coconut.
King Harbor’s featured ingredient was also coconut in its formulations of Coconut IPA with lime zest and Sink With California Pale Ale with toasted coconut.
Karl Strauss’ tropical themed beer was its Wreck Alley Imperial Stout with coffee beans, cocoa nibs, cherries and pineapple.
Dole Hole was Tustin Brewing Co’s creation, Jerrod Larsen’s Old Town IPA with pineapple.