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Athens Pink Boots Society Chapter Launches with Leadership from Terrapin Employees

Terrapin’s Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day is to be held on International Women’s Day, March 8th.

“The Pink Boots Society was created to assist, inspire and encourage women and/or non-binary individuals in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education.” – Pink Boots Society mission statement

As Pink Boots Society chapters sprang up across the brewing industry, the women of the Athens brewing community saw an opportunity to unite in the burgeoning beer town. In 2022, several women at Terrapin set into motion the steps to establish a formal chapter based in Athens.

Building a chapter in Athens felt like a natural step for Terrapin after the success of our 2021 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day beer, Light the Way. Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2021 event to be scaled down, it still created a sense of unity amongst the women of Terrapin and reinforced Terrapin’s support of women in the brewing industry.

Terrapin Brewing Supervisor Jess Hurd pouring in hops for the 2021 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day
Terrapin Brewing Supervisor, Jess Hurd, pouring in hops for the 2021 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day

Read more about our 2021 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day here!

The inspiration for forming a Pink Boots chapter in Athens came to fruition when Terrapin Quality Assurance Technician and co-Chapter Leader, Olive Overmoyer, was granted a Pink Boots Society Scholarship to study yeast fermentation. When Olive got the opportunity to present what she had learned to Terrapin’s female & non-binary employee resource group, She’s OG, she realized that there was a real opportunity to bring in other women in the area.“I felt that it would be nice to benefit women in the industry throughout all of Athens,” said Overmoyer, “so we started reaching out to women at the other breweries and gauging interest.”

When the Athens Pink Boots Society Chapter was established in February of 2022, the chapter leadership at Terrapin immediately went to work planning the 2022 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, this time with the goal of bringing together as many female and/or non-binary employees of Terrapin as possible. Invitations were also extended to other women and/or non-binary individuals from the brewing industry in Athens and Georgia-based Molson Coors employees, Terrapin’s parent company.

When it came to creating the beer itself, Overmoyer, Terrapin Quality Assurance Manager, Abbey Vickers, who also serves as the Athens Pink Boots Society Event Coordinator, and Terrapin Brewing Supervisor, Jess Hurd, knew that the malt, the base of the beer, should be something as special as the Pink Boots Collaboration Day hops blend. After working with Terrapin’s co-founder, Spike Buckowski, to come up with the idea to brew a SMASH-style (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, Spike recommended sourcing the malt from a craft malt house based in Asheville, North Carolina, Riverbend Malt House.

Riverbend Malt House maltster Erin Mellenthin, who will be a special guest at the 2022 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day
Riverbend Malt House maltster Erin Mellenthin, who will be a special guest at the 2022 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day

Riverbend Malt House was a natural fit for such a personal brew. Riverbend supports local farmers by deriving 100% of their raw materials from within a 500-mile radius of their malthouse. “We chose this blend because it is a mix that comes from farms in Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay so it was grown in sandy loam soil and it’s been exposed to all the nice, salty air,”said Overmoyer, “that one is a fruitier, sweeter malt and makes up about half of the blend.” For the rest of the custom malt blend, Overmoyer said it was made up of “some barley from Shelby, NC grown in the southern red clay soil,and it has more melon character. Finally, and most importantly, we made sure to include some malt from Tennessee as an homage to our first female brewer here at Terrapin, Jess Hurd, who hails from that great state.”

Terrapin’s custom Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day maltgerminating at Riverbend Malt House
Terrapin’s custom Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day malt germinating at Riverbend Malt House

Several female employees from Terrapin got the chance to visit Riverbend Malt House to see the custom malt blend germinating, a crucial part of the process where the malt is laid out on the ground after steeping and periodically raked to prevent the active grain bed from becoming too warm and letting the rootlets grow together. The group from Terrapin had the opportunity to not just see the malt that will be used in the Pink Boots Collaboration Day brew, but also got to smell, touch, and even taste the malt.

Terrapin employee Abbey Vickers getting the unique chance to interact with the malt blend at Riverbend
Terrapin Quality Assurance Manager, Abbey Vickers, getting the unique chance to interact with the malt blend at Riverbend

After germinating, the malt blend will be dried and kilned, which is where the malt achieves its signature flavor and color. To decide on the final flavor profile of the malt, the Terrapin team got to visit Riverbend’s lab for a tasting session. After trying several “malt teas”, made from malt steeped in hot water, a final decision was made on flavor profiles that would perfectly compliment the Pink Boots hops blend.

After drying & kilning, the malt will be cleaned of its rootlets, the byproduct of which will then be sent off to local farms to use as animal feed, and sent to Terrapin’s Atlanta Brewery and Taproom for our Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day.

Terrapin’s Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day will be held on International Women’s Day, March 8th from 12:00-2:00 p.m., at Terrapin’s Atlanta Brewery and Taproom. All women and/or non-binary individuals in the Athens brewing community are welcome to attend the event which will include education on the Pink Boots Society, watching the hop addition to the Collaboration Day Brew, a sensory experience highlighting the hops and malts used, and special guests! For more information about the event, reach out to Terrapin’s Director of Marketing, Brianna Carbonell at brianna@terrapinbeer.com.