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This was a particularly special occasion for a handful of reasons – we were brewing up a beer to celebrate the strong women in our beer family, and our brew day had two mini-bales in utero! Both Marketing Manager Danika and Oregon Sales Rep Kat came with a little one in tow – Danika ended up giving birth to little Danny Lee just one week later!
Women are central to the history of Bale Breaker – owner/co-founder Meghann Quinn’s great grandma, Leota Mae, founded the family hop farm with her husband, B.T. Loftus. Leota Mae is such a core character of the brewery's story that we named one of our classic IPAs after her – Leota Mae IPA is a testament to the woman who set the family on this course. Leota Mae is a great example of the tenacity and drive it takes to be a woman in a historically male-dominated industry – throughout the 1940s, she was the only woman hop drier in the Yakima Valley!
That attitude has been pervasive in Bale Breaker’s nearly 7 years, carried in part by Meghann’s own drive to succeed in the male-dominated craft beer industry. As the team continues to grow, the male-to-female ratio continues to tilt. Women are such an integral part of our brand that it seemed obvious to celebrate International Women’s Day in a big way this year, celebrating the women in our brewery, our industry, and our community.
We’re lucky to be in a community like the Yakima Valley, full of female-owned companies – which is why we invited a handful to come in and host a pop-up shop to help us celebrate this day. Come meet the women behind Girls with Grit, Crafted, Rooted In Candle Co, and Simply Crafted by Jenn. We’ll also be releasing the beer the women of Bale Breaker brewed up – Golden Girls Raspberry Ale features 150lbs of golden raspberries that Christine Walter of Bauman’s Cider Company brought over from her family farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
And how perfect is it that in the same week we’re celebrating International Women’s Day, we’re hosting a Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day? Pink Boots Society is a non-profit whose mission is to assist, inspire, and encourage women beer professionals through education. Pink Boots gives scholarships to women in the beer industry nationwide to advance their careers. Nationwide, Collaboration Brew Day is an opportunity to raise the profile of women’s roles in the beer industry; here in Yakima, it’s an opportunity for women in non-production roles and in the hop industry to get some experience on the brew deck. We brewed up a hazy IPA on Thursday, March 5, and will be releasing it soon – featuring Yakima Chief Hops’ Pink Boots Blend, made with Azacca®, El Dorado®, Idaho Gem™, and Loral® hops.
Be sure to join us on Sunday, March 8, from 12-5pm as we celebrate equality in all industries and support the women in our community.
Posted March 05, 2020