We’re big supporters of beer and the brewing industry. We’re also big supporters of diversity in the workplace and equal opportunity for all. But most of all, we’re big supporters of anything that combines all of the above.
It should then be no surprise that we’re all fired up about the pending release of Lithermans Limited’s Made For Walking IPA, a beer project in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society.
Our most astute readers will remember this exact same story from almost exactly one year ago – don’t adjust your newspaper, this is not a reprint. Instead, it’s a sign that last year’s experiment was more than just a little successful, and that the brewery is now forging a tradition.
The Pink Boots Society is an international society of women in the brewing industry. Formed in 2007, the nonprofit works to assist, inspire and encourage female beer professionals through education. International Women’s Day is March 8, so each year the goal is to have breweries create a special beer around that date to bring awareness to the PBS, which, being a collective group of individuals from companies all over the world, does not produce any beer of its own.
Last year was the first year Lithermans got into the game, and they’re back at it again this year, thanks mostly to brewer Sharon “Dropkick” Curley, a member of the Pink Boots Society and one of the main driving forces behind Lithermans’ commitment to this initiative. Curley had her mom at the brewery last Monday for brew day, when we stopped in to see how the process was going.
This whole thing is really a fun and creative process for everyone involved. The Pink Boots Society selects a certain blend of hops and declares that the official hop blend for this project. This year the blend includes palisade, simcoe, mosaic, citra and floral hops. What the brewer wants to do with that is up to them – note that this is a different blend than was used last year.
“It makes for a fun recipe-building process when you’re not trying to copy something exactly,” Curley said of the freedom of working with a new formula this year.
This year’s version of the Made For Walking IPA, a New Englad-style IPA, will be fruitier than the previous iteration, and it will even feature a different base malt grain – optic spring – a variety Lithermans has never used before. That’s what makes this a pretty interesting project – it is basically a new, slightly tweaked version of a specialty beer that was first made a year ago. If we had to guess, we imagine that Lithermans will be involved again next year, and that even more tweaks to the recipe will come with it.
In terms of stuff that will not be changing from last year’s concoction, first up is the can (and for that matter, the name, too). One of the more recognizable cans on the local beer scene, you won’t miss these on the shelf, with the large pair of neon pink boots front and center that stand right out. The beer will also retain its 6.4 percent alcohol by volume content, as well as hazy golden color.
There’s more to the story here, though.
A portion of the proceeds from all sales of Make For Walking will go toward the Pink Boots Society’s scholarship fund, which pays for women to learn about and get into the brewing industry.
Lithermans will release the beer March 21 at the brewery, when they will be open from 4 to 8 p.m.