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Article updated March 2022

Women work in all aspects of the beer industry from brewery owners, to packaging, cellaring, sales, and taproom management. The Pink Boots Society was established for female beer professionals to assist, inspire, and encourage women to advance their careers through education. Recently, Pink Boots Society extended its membership to include all women in the fermented / alcohol beverage industry.

Austin’s PBS chapter was established back in 2014 and it continues to grow and thrive under the new leadership of Rebecca Garcia and Shelia Garcia (#TeamGarcia!). For the past two years, and despite the pandemic, the Austin chapter has produced a record number of collaboration beers during the annual PBS Collaboration Brew Day.

I caught up with #TeamGarcia to talk more about what makes the Austin chapter so special.

In your own words, describe the group and what it means to be part of it.

It’s quite amazing to be part of, and help Co-Lead a group created for womyn by womyn, in the professional craft beer and now all fermentations world.  It’s great to have a safe space for us to share our experiences, ask questions without judgment, share knowledge, and just support each other in our accomplishments and push each other towards our goals through a positive group atmosphere.

What makes this group unique?

The Austin Chapter of the Pink Boots Society is unique in that, most of us connect outside of the chapter meetings too.  We are also very inclusive and when new members join, we are sure to make them feel welcome.  When we visit fellow breweries (& now distilleries, wineries, cideries, and seltzer-ies), we are sure to mention the Pink Boots Society and invite them to their first meeting for free and to hopefully join the group.

What type of events do you have and how often do you have them?

We’ve consistently held monthly meetings for years, now those are of course being held on Zoom.  We focus on an educational portion along with a chat-and-catch-up portion to each meeting.  Outside of the monthly meetings which are for members only, we’ve often held public events surrounding the release of as many of our Pink Boots Society collaboration beer releases that we can host.  These have been at the craft breweries themselves, as well as at retail partner locations carrying the product.

Where do you see this group in one year? Five?

In one year, we’d love to see our group able to meet in person (safely) as we have before.  Zoom is a great bridge, but there’s nothing like face-to-face meetings and sharing.  We’d like to see more members and push our Austin membership to 100.  We’d also like to see more breweries support the Pink Boots Society collaboration brew and hit 30 or more partners!  Connecting more with our fellow Texas chapters (North Texas and Houston have active chapters) has also been a goal for us.  In 5 years, we’d hope we would have helped San Antonio get off the ground with their own chapter and maybe even one more in the Valley or El Paso area.  Many more ways of hosting events and fundraising so we can continue the mission of PBS to assist, inspire, and encourage professional women in fermentation through education.

How many members do you have to date?  What do Austin professionals need to do to join?

Our Austin Chapter currently has 40 active members.  We’d love to more than double that in the next 12 months!  To join, you can simply visit the Pink Boots Society membership page here and fill out the form.  Basic requirements are being a womyn in the professional fermentation world earning 25% or more from the industry or retiring with a minimum of 15 years in the Fermented/Alcoholic beverage industry.

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