This month’s feature is on Teri Fahrendorf, a craft beer brewer making her own space in a male-dominated industry. Teri has a pretty impressive resume: the first woman craft beer brewer to attend the Siebel Institute’s Master Brewer Program in Chicago, she went on to become the third woman craft beer brewmaster in the country at Steelhead Brewing in Eugene, Oregon—and the first hired directly, rather than as part of an ownership team. After 19 years at Steelhead, her cross-country travels and brewery visits inspired her to create The Pink Boots Society (named for her signature footwear), an organization that empowers women in the beer industry to advance their careers through education. Pink Boots currently serves over 2,500 members in about 30 countries, and gives away 12 scholarships per year in the United States.
Highlights from their conversation include Teri’s introduction to fermentation (via wine made from Welch’s grape juice concentrate), her interest in “microbreweries” vs. large brands like Coors, and the challenges faced by women in the brewing field.