A new Pink Boots collaboration brew for diversity

During last month’s Good Beer Week, Pink Boots Society Australia partnered with Cryer Malt and Yakima Chief Hops to produce the Saint Hildegard XPA charity beer.

Hosted by Melbourne’s Hawkers Beer, Pink Boots members joined international guest Kelly Lohrmeyer of Yakima Chief for the brew day. The brainchild of Hawkers brewer Melinda Foulkes, Saint Hildegard XPA was brewed with donated time and ingredients.

The hop blend used in Saint Hildegard was developed by Pink Boots Society America in collaboration with Yakima Chief. This is the second year that the two US-based organisations have come together to produce a hop blend which, this year, includes Loral, Mosaic, Simcoe, Sabro, and Glacier varieties. The idea behind the collaboration is to further the education of women in beer. Yakima Chief donates US$3 for every pound of the hop blend sold to Pink Boots’ American scholarship fund. Last year the hop company raised about $40,000.

This is the first year that Pink Boots Society Australia has partnered with Yakima Chief to bring the Pink Boots hop blend to Australia. Yakima Chief donated 125 kilograms of the hop blend to the project.

The Saint Hildegard malt profile was made up of majority pale malt, with some wheat and light Munich. Cryer Malt donated additional amounts of Pure Oregan base malt and Caramel Steam specialty stewed malt. The latter was developed at the Malt Innovation Centre for Great Western Malting in Washington State.

Foulkes and the team brewed 160hL of the XPA, which, thanks to the Hawkers sales team, will be available nationwide in draught and in 375ml cans.

Having worked on a previous Pink Boots brew in February this year, Foulkes said that her motivation this time around was to create a beer that wasn’t so stereotypically ‘female’.

“I went to the Stomping Ground brew day in February and there was this op-ed guy doing a story with us and he was like ‘great, you’re making a beer that ladies can drink’ and we were all like ‘there’s no such thing’,” Foulkes explained.

“The first thing I knew is that I wanted to make something hop-forward, not a girly beer, and go against the misconceptions of women drinking beer.”

Having now experienced her first brew day in Australia, Lohrmeyer told Brews News that Hawkers did a great job making it a unique experience.

“They really rolled out the red carpet, they put on a show with the vests and a really good beer tasting, I was super impressed,” she said.

Hawkers has pledged to raise between four and five thousand dollars, which will be divided between Pink Boots Society Australia Sponsorship Fund and the Asylum Seekers Research Centre.

Hawkers founder Mazen Hajjar told Brews News that partnering with industry bodies like Pink Boots and non-industry bodies like the ASRC is one way to try and encourage more diversity and inclusivity in the beer industry.

“Beer should be a universal human conversation,” Hajjar said.

“Beer should not be appropriated by any sex, religion or individual group – it’s much older and broader than that.”

The 4.6% abv XPA celebrates 11th Century Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen OSB, who is known as the first person to describe hops scientifically.

Pink Boots will launch its Saint Hildegard XPA on Thursday, June 20 at Melbourne’s Peaches bar on Swanston Street from 6pm till late. All are welcome.

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