The result of a recent gathering of the most talented women in New Mexico craft beer is set to go on tap this weekend. Bossy Hazy Guava IPA is the latest creation of the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society, brewed this time around at Bosque North back on International Women’s Day (March 8).
I caught up with Bosque director of culture and engagement Jessica Griego in person and Santa Fe Brewing lab director Monica Mondragon on email to learn more about the importance of this annual brew.
“We’re excited to release this beer,” Jessica said. “Monica from Santa Fe, our chapter lead, reached out to us this year to host. John (Bullard) was super excited to do that, especially with Bosque North having the space and the ability to do some fun things, make it really educational this year. John was on board as soon as I asked him.”
The recipe for Bossy (7.4% ABV) was created by one Bosque employee, with other members of the chapter then joining in for the actual brew day.
“What’s super exciting about this beer, it’s called Bossy, made by Mercedes (Donio), who’s our QA/QC lab tech,” Jessica said. “She actually is responsible for the entire recipe, the name, all of which is exciting to have the sole female on our brewing team get to do that. She led that charge and we all followed suit. We brewed it on International Women’s Day, which was great that that timing worked out.”
In addition to Bosque and Santa Fe, there were also representatives from Canteen, Sidetrack, Steel Bender, and Tractor, in addition to some special guests from Central New Mexico Community College.
“Every year we’ve had women from CNM, so that’s great,” Jessica said, noting again the educational aspect of getting to brew on a full-sized commercial brewhouse. “Especially for them, they get to ask John and (Danny Ray), our brewer that day, they get to ask all the questions, and really get in there and get that hands-on experience, which is cool for them.”
It can still be an educational experience for the participants who are already established in the industry, Monica wrote: “Every year is a great experience meeting new ladies working in the local beer industry. We don’t always have the same group of students/professionals every year, so it’s the perfect time to connect and network with our fellow ladies in the industry.”
Each of the participating breweries will have Bossy on tap starting Friday, save for Santa Fe, which will put it on tap Monday. Jessica said other breweries who are planning to purchase the beer and put it on tap include Truth or Consequences Brewing and High and Dry, and she hopes there will be more.
“We still have about four barrels worth of product, so if anyone is interested in putting it on at their taprooms, we’d be happy to sell to them,” Jessica said.
Fifty percent of all proceeds from the beer go back to the Pink Boots Society, which was founded to “to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education,” per the official site.
“This is a yearly fundraiser for PBS, and the last two years, a certain percentage of the funds we raise come back to our local New Mexico chapter,” Monica wrote. “We will be able to use these funds locally for more educational possibilities members on the local level, as well as nationally.”
Jessica said that all women in the industry, no matter their experience level or specific brewery role, can benefit.
“We’re really looking to continue education in general,” she said. “The fundraiser will help do that. We’re looking into doing some sensory panels, more travel days, just provide whatever women in this industry are interested in learning. That’s kind of where we’re at now, just exploratory things, like what do we need in New Mexico, what can we do to raise each other up and create a stronger community of women in the industry. That’s all the way from women owners to women brewers to QA/QC techs, there’s so many women everywhere in New Mexico who have their hands in every part of the business. It’s exciting.”
Jessica added that PBS has a goal of starting a Las Cruces chapter in the next year, with Bosque Las Cruces taproom manager Dakotah Vaughan and New Mexico State University Professor Catherine Brewer taking on leading roles.
Another goal for next year will be to make the release of the collaboration beer a specific event.
“In Q4 of this year we’re going to have it all (figured out) — what the beer is, who’s brewing it, when the release party is, and make it a little bit more of a party,” Jessica said.
That was not possible this year due to the Bosque staff working on their many projects, plus another leader in the local chapter, Tractor president/co-owner Skye Devore, being called away to deal with matters at the State Legislature.
“March always feels like everything happens at once,” Jessica added.
That it does, but there will certainly be plenty of time to set aside this weekend to grab a pint or two of Bossy to support this worthy cause.
To all the hard-working women in the New Mexico craft brewing industry, cheers!
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