Central Texas has a distinct and growing beer culture and women are not only present in every aspect of it from brewers, distributors to consumers; they are also well-respected leaders shaping the craft beer culture. Our Women in Beer series highlights the women in our community shaping the beer scene including members of the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society. This edition features Stephanie Alaniz, beertender at Hold Out Brewing.
Describe your average week. What are you responsible for?
I am currently a beertender and my line of work requires me to give exceptional service and pour outstanding beer for everyone to enjoy.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love bringing people happiness and serving people through craft beer. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have acquired about beer and converting people’s opinions on craft beer. But most of all I love the people who work in the beer industry.
What challenges have you faced in this or previous roles in the beer industry?
Constantly transitioning and pivoting during the pandemic as laws and regulations were changing daily was definitely challenging. But during this tough time I’ve found that the craft beer industry is very resilient.
How long have you been working in the beer industry? What did you do before this role?
I have worked in the beer industry for 4 years. Before transitioning to the beer industry I was a part-time waitress at a wine and beer garage in Arizona. My time at South Rims Wine and Beer Garage was the onset to my beer interest as we had rotating craft beer on tap. While working there I was also juggling a full-time job as a Preschool teacher assistant.
If someone asked you to describe the current state of today’s craft beer climate what would you say?
Craft breweries have had to work even harder through these tough times to stay open and relevant. They have had to get creative and innovative, by turning parking lots into patios, finding ways to serve food on-premise, and creating exciting to-go options. Through these challenges, I’ve seen the beer community unite and come together to support one another through co-packing and collaborations. I am very proud of the industry and have appreciated it even more by seeing everyone work together as a team.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you, your company, and/or the industry as a whole?
I am excited to continue down this journey with learning and growing in the craft beer industry. Achieving the goal of obtaining the cicerone level two I believe it will open up many opportunities to achieve my dream of becoming a beer event coordinator/teacher. Working on developing more beer/food pairing events, supporting our industry with beer tasting parties either at ticket sold events at a specific brewery, or even doing virtual beer tasting classes to promote and support our craft beer industry. I would love to share my knowledge through consulting start-up breweries and educating team members on proper beer knowledge and serving. Or just even teaching beer enthusiasts a little more about beer. Most of all I am excited to immerse myself further in an industry that I admire, the culture is like family, no one is out to compete against one another, we’re competing to create a path for our industry together.
Has Pink Boots played a role in your career? If so, how?
When I first joined Pink Boots I was hoping to make friends in the industry that had similar interests as well as learn from others as I was getting ready for my Cicerone Level One: Beer server certification. As I received this certificate I was hooked and knew I needed to go for Cicerone level 2. Later I applied for a scholarship through the program and was selected. I am extremely excited to embark on this new opportunity.
What question(s) are you tired of answering/getting asked?
“Do you have bud light? “ I respond with the “water station is to the left”…. Just Kidding. Although I’m tired of getting this question, I do like the challenge of changing a person’s opinion on a craft brew and converting them to delicious beer.
What beer are you currently enjoying the most?
I’m really enjoying Flavor Country by Austin Beerworks. This beer is perfect for any time of the day. Drinking this beer has me reminisce of summertime in the middle of winter.