The California Craft Beer Summit kicks off in Sacramento in a few weeks. Paulina will be speaking as part of the Pink Boots Society- Assist, Inspire, & Educate: How this organization helped develop our career paths session. We got her thoughts on the Pink Boots Society, the Summit, and craft beer in California.
Can you tell us about the Pink Boots Society and your involvement with the organization?
Pink Boots Society is a non-profit organization that assists, inspires, and encourages women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry through education. I joined a little over 4 years ago and immediately joined our local chapter’s leadership team. I was previously the marketing chair (running our chapter’s social media), and now I am the chapter leader for Sacramento.
What can we expect from your session at the Summit?
Our panel will focus on how the Pink Boots Society has developed our careers. We will have past and previous local and national members of leadership who work in various parts of the industry discuss our experiences being part of an under-represented portion of the craft beer industry.
Where has there been the most progress for women and non-binary individuals in the craft beer industry? What areas need the most improvement?
Over the last few years, there have been more breweries opened by women and non-binary individuals, but it is still a small percentage of the entire craft beer industry, especially when you focus on members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ community. The @ratmagnet exposure of sexism and harassment in craft beer forced a lot of breweries to make policy and leadership changes, however many commitments to change turned out to be empty performative gestures. There are breweries that are committed to equity and diversity in craft beer and have created spaces for everyone to feel welcome, but there is still the overwhelming majority of craft breweries that have stuck to the status quo.
Will you be attending other sessions? Which ones are you excited about?
This will be my first Summit, so I’m very excited and a little overwhelmed. I’m still figuring out my schedule. There are so many sessions that will be useful for my current occupation, but many will just be interesting for my personal love of craft beer. I’m definitely excited for the DEI Discussion Tap Talk and DEI panel. This is a subject I am passionate about, and I personally know and admire some of the speakers involved in these sessions.
What do you hope to gain from attending and presenting at the Summit?
I am expecting to learn a lot about the current state of the craft beer industry. The trends are always evolving, so it will be interesting to see what’s been happening across the state versus what I have observed in the Sacramento area. I am hoping to meet some of my craft beer Instagram friends for the first time, and make some new industry friends!
Which breweries near the Summit should we check out?
Sacramento has so many great breweries! Some of my favorites just a short Lyft ride from the convention center are Urban Roots, Touchstone, Bike Dog, King Cong, and Alaro. I would be remiss if I also did not mention Drake’s The Barn, the local taproom for my brewery, which is just over the Tower Bridge. We will be hosting the Welcome Reception on Monday, March 20th.
What’s unique about the California craft beer scene?
California is home to some of the original craft breweries as well as new, innovative breweries that are putting out some of the best beers you can find. California has both quantity and quality when it comes to beer. There is truly something for everyone. Sacramento is the state capital but has a very underrated craft beer scene. I hope everyone visiting for the first time gets a chance to see for themselves what a great craft beer community we have here.
What’s on the horizon for you, and for Pink Boots?
For Pink Boots, we are currently in the busiest time of the year: collaboration brew days. This time of year – centered around International Women’s Day – is our largest annual fundraising event. Each chapter collaborates with local breweries to brew beers that will raise funds for our scholarships. If you are coming to Sacramento for the Summit, some of these beers will be on tap in the area, so keep an eye out! There will be a Pink Boots fundraising event at Loyal Legion on March 21 featuring rare beers, and a local chapter fundraising event at Federalist Pizza on March 22 featuring a selection of Sacramento Pink Boots collaboration beers. As for me, I recently received a scholarship for the Certified Cicerone exam, so I will be spending A LOT of time studying for that!