McClellan’s and Pink Boots Society Team Up For International Women’s Day
It’s no coincidence that on today, International Women’s Day, you’re reading about McClellan’s Brewing Company. Located in Fort Collins, CO, McClellan’s is a small brewery located in a shopping center at the northwest side of town. Their simple facade belies a cozy interior and an impressive brew list that specializes in cask ales. McClellan’s recently collaborated on a squarrel-aged brown ale that will be featured at the upcoming Collaboration Fest in Denver on March 16th. Since their collaboration goal was to highlight and empower women in the craft beer industry, they had an easy choice on who to collaborate with: the Pink Boots Society.
Pink Boots Society is an international non-profit with a mission is to support women in all areas of craft: from brewing, to learning, to finding like-minded drinking buddies. This mission resonated with Haley Warren, a brewer at McClellan’s, and she collaborated with the Fort Collins chapter of Pink Boots to create a beer that was designed and brewed entirely by women.
“I didn’t know very many women in the industry when I started at McClellan’s,” explained Warren, who has been an assistant brewer for almost a year now. “My boss encouraged me to get more involved in the industry and suggested the Pink Boots Society. This collaboration provided the opportunity to expand my network and build a support system within the industry.”
This alliance was particularly fitting given the slogan for this year’s International Women’s Day, which is #balanceforbetter. This theme is intended to promote equal representation for both genders in all areas of business, be it boardroom or brewery. This hashtag and philosophy rang true for Warren, who graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Fermentation Science and credits a strong female support system for encouraging her to dive into this male-dominated field.
“My mom taught me what it means to have a work ethic and how to be humble in the most strenuous of circumstances,” Warren said. “She’s the kindest woman on the planet with the most perseverance and tenacity I’ve ever seen in a person.”
Warren also stressed the importance of education in the brewing profession, and the many non-traditional forms that can take. If you are a woman interested in learning how to brew, don’t talk yourself out of it just because you don’t have a specialized degree. Your local library, YouTube, and online forums are a great place to start. Homebrewing can be the best way to get your feet seriously wet and test those malty waters.
If you’re still not sure how to get started, or if you prefer to learn from someone in person, join the Pink Boots community and pop in for a group brew sometime. Or heck, go grab a beer and chat with Haley Warren at McClellan’s sometime. “I would also like to offer up my services to anyone interested or in need of help or advice,” she said. “I love talking about beer and the community surrounding it.” Craft beer may seem like a boys-only club, but as the McClellan’s-Pink Boots collaboration demonstrates, there are plenty of us out here working together to #balanceitbetter.
Feature image courtesy of Pink Boots Society – Fort Collins chapter.