Whatcom Women in Beer is a coalition of females from various breweries in Whatcom county. WWiB has a goal of helping women who are interested in the beer industry, in whatever role interests them, gain the education and opportunities needed to pursue their dreams. The beer industry has many facets, but there have been a lack chances available through the years, and WWiB is looking to help change that.
WWiB is an unofficial chapter of the Pink Boots Society an organization dedicated to achieving the same goals. PBS was founded by Teri Fehrendorf , a long time professional brewer. She has an interesting tale to tell, and I strongly recommend visiting her site and reading it yourself. As she traveled the country as a “gypsy” brewer, she found female brewers across the nation who felt that they were nearly alone in the industry. Teri saw this as an opportunity to build a network, thus PBS was born.
WWiB is taking some of the same strides on the local level. A few months ago a meeting was held at The Local, on the northern end of Railroad Ave. Present that day were women from several local breweries, and associated businesses; Colleen Kuehl of Wander Brewing, Janet Lightner of Boundary Bay, Jen Tadder Kulshan Brewery, Shannon Larkin from Tap Trail; Shannon Vincent, who spent the summer interning at Boundary Bay as part of the beer program at Skagit Valley College; Theresa Collins, who recently accepted a position with Left Hand Brewing as their PNW ales rep; Jen Meadows who is coming to Bellingham as part of the newest Melvin Brewing project and Katie Johnson, who has a long history in the industry, as well being a local artist.
The result of this huddle was the decision to brew a fun, easy drinking Fresh Hop Pale, using Whatcom county hops exclusively. This band of rascals gathered on brew day at Boundary Bay to brew a single batch of this beer, which will be available around Bellingham during Bellingham Beer Week. This fresh hop brew was made using 2Row Pale malt as a base, with Willamette, Centennial, Ahtenum,
Cascade, Nugget, and other local hops. The beer ended up with 50 IBUs, and finished at 5.9% ABV. My shaker pint glass was served during the recent WWiB event in Boundary bays beer garden as part of Bellingham Beer Week. The beer poured a very lightly hazy light gold color with about a third of an inch of white head that had moderate retention and very light lacing.
The aroma had a light grain scent as a base, a slight yeast note, and a very floral hop scent. As I tasted it, I got more of a citrus hop flavor, while the floral and grain aspects remained. There was a solid tang of citrus on the finish that lingered for a moment before wafting away. The body was typically medium, as one would expect from the style, and was smooth with just a light bite at the back. Drinkability was good, an easily quaffable brew that was shared, appropriately, alongside a couple of my favorite female friends. My overall view of this beer is that these easily met their goal of creating a fun, easy drinking brew, that helped foster the ever strengthening bond among our breweries.
I strongly suggest you grab a couple pints and help support a great effort that will benefit us all in the long run. Whatcom Women’s Fresh Hop Pale, gets an enjoyable 5.5 on my 110 scale.