Photo courtesy of Rebecca Garcia

When I started writing for CraftBeerAustin.com back in 2015, my first series of articles was about Women in Beer. With inspiration from the ladies of the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society, the Women in Beer series has returned. This edition features Rebecca Garcia, Production Coordinator for American Canning and chapter co-leader for the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society.

Describe your average week. What are you responsible for?

I am the production coordinator for our shrink-sleeved can line. That includes handling all associated paperwork, inventory for sleeves and cans, acting as a communication liaison between multiple teams, and to a degree, shipping coordination. We’re still a small business so we all tend to help out in a lot of different roles.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I know it sounds cheesy, but I love the people I work with so much. We’ve been lucky to build a team of people that care about the role we play in the industry and each other.

What challenges have you faced in this or previous roles in the beer industry?

From a work perspective, the global can shortage has been incredibly stressful. Breweries need to be able to can their beer and we want to support them, but we can’t compete with the truly big companies that run the show with manufacturing facilities that were already underproducing against the demand that existed pre-pandemic.

As the Pink Boots co-chapter leader, it’s been a wild ride as well! We (Sheila Garcia and I) took the reigns the same week lockdown happened and trying to transition into a role that was suddenly virtual was challenging to say the least. I think we’ve learned a lot and made it through so far relatively well.

Also to a much lesser degree, a lack of good steel toe boots for women in my size. Small footed ladies need toe protection, too!

How long have you been working in the beer industry? What did you do before this role?

I’ve only been in this role for closing in on two years, but I’ve been volunteering in the beer industry for about 7 years. Professionally, I was in the food industry for several years and also helped run the Austin Flea. I’m a bit of a ‘Jack of all Trades’, which has been really helpful in my current role.

If someone asked you to describe the current state of today’s craft beer climate what would you say?

Right now we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, so everything feels tenuous and honestly, kind of scary. I don’t know what the beer industry is going to look like in a year. That said, I think there’s a lot of breweries out there doing amazing things. I feel very lucky to be in Austin, surrounded by so many great craft breweries.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you, your company, and/or the industry as a whole?

Support the community! This pandemic continues to affect the craft brewing community we love and we have to do everything we can to help them out. Now is the time to convince your online D&D group, your weekly Zoom workout class, and your work Slack buddies that it’s time for them to get into this craft beer craze. Tell them your favorites and encourage them to go out there and pick up a 6-pack! Buy some merch, buy some beer, tip well.

Has Pink Boots played a role in your career? If so, how?

Wow, where to even start! The biggest thing would be the fact that I met my current employer while volunteering at the Pink Boots national conference. But aside from that, Pink Boots has been such an amazing way to build relationships and learn about different aspects of the industry. I’m so grateful for this community and honored to lead our chapter.

What question(s) are you tired of answering/getting asked?

I generally want to always answer anything someone asks me as it pertains to beer or my work because I love both and I’m happy to share. But I guess on the flip side of that, I am tired of feeling like I’m being asked questions for the sake of gatekeeping.

What beer are you currently enjoying the most?

I feel like I could spend several paragraphs digging into this question but I’ll try to keep it short. Lately, I’ve been drinking lots of Hold Out – Last Light, ABW – Lazer Salad, St. Elmo – Tiny Viking, Blue Owl – Tiki Hop Totem, and Live Oak – Smoaktoberfest.

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