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Teaching Brewery steps up support for women in brewing

Raise a glass on International Women’s Day with four new Pink Boots brews from the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.

The NC Teaching Brewery’s new student crafted Pink Boots brews – in support of women and non-binary people in the fermented beverage industry -were released just in time for International Women’s Day: Rose Wellies, Pale Moonlight American Pale Ale, Rose Parks New Zealand Pilsner and Knock Your Pink Boots Off.

The Pink Boots beers were brewed at the Teaching Brewery in January and February involving various classes of students from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program as well as staff and volunteers throughout the School of Wine, Beer and Spirits.

Pink Boots brewing began at the Teaching Brewery in January with Knock Your Pink Boots Off, an 8.6% abv fruited Belgian Blonde (raspberries and passionfruit) designed by students Aiden Hole and Katelyn Buzanko which was brewed by their second semester class, a Pink Boots American Pale Ale (Pale Moonlight), designed by Brewmaster graduate Jenny Lukasiewicz and ‘Rose Wellies’ a Brut IPA recipe from Brewmaster grad and current faulty Nicola Davey – both brewed with third semester students.

On February 9, the Teaching Brewery hosted an open brew for students from various classes to brew Rose Parks, New Zealand Pilsner, which was designed by fourth semester student Noelia Melisa Quiverio Hincapie and second semester student Lina Marcel Farfan Gonzales. The Teaching Brewery also welcomed a representative from Pink Boots Canada and Yakima Chief Hops on February 9.

Pink Boots brewing continues on International Women’s Day. March 8 will be an ‘open brew day’ when students and volunteers will brew another Pink Boots beer, ‘Hazy Boots,’ designed by second-semester students Catherine Lear and Mandy Blais.

“I am super excited to be showcasing the power and talents of women in the brewing industry, be it students just starting out or even promoting those that have been paving the road forward for everyone for years,” said Catherine Lear. “I find it extremely important to not just support but showcase the many talented women in brewing. It is an underrepresented field and is at times difficult to get the recognition that is deserved.”

Nicola Davey, who participated in Pink Boots as a Brewmaster student a few years ago and now teaches current students in the program, has been supporting students with the initiative over the past couple of years by offering advice with recipe development. Davey organized Pink Boots hop rub in 2022 and 2023 which tasks Brewmaster students to complete sensory assessment on 14 different hop samples, and select, as a group, their top seven. Their favourites, along with the other Canadian brewery results, were submitted to the Pink Boots Society who worked with Yakima Chief Hops to determine the hop blend for 2023 and 2024.

This year, Davey and recent Brewmaster graduate Jenny Lukasiewicz (2023) brewed their Pink Boots beers with first semester students.

“The Pink Boots Society has been supporting women in brewing since 2014 by teaching useful skills, raising money for scholarships, and making the beer industry a real, constructive possibility for women. The educational strength of NC’s Brewmaster program and the Teaching Brewery along with the chance to participate in Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day initiatives brings forth an exciting opportunity to unite, recognize and appreciate female brewers,” noted Davey. “I am so thrilled when our female brewers, create and brew their first commercial beers (second semester brewers).

“Their smiles and sense of accomplishment make my day which is why I stay involved.”

The NC Teaching Brewery has been involved with the Pink Boots initiative since hosting its first collaboration brew day 2020.

Brewmaster Professor Jon Downing indicated his strong support for continuing the initiative at the Teaching Brewery.

“We’re focused on awareness and invite students from all fermented beverage-based programs to participate,” he said.

“It is such a pleasure to know the students and faculty are actively engaged in keeping up this important tradition,” said Maija Saari, Associate Dean for the Division of Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies.

“Events that celebrate the accomplishments of women and non-binary people in the brewing and fermented beverage industries are a great way to highlight the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion and why we must persevere to create working spaces safe for all.”

Pink Boots Society Canada is a national non-profit organization helping women and non-binary people in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry advance their careers through education.

Tammy Joho of Pink Boots Canada, joined a Pink Boots Brew Day at the Teaching Brewery on Feb 9.

“The need to support women and non-binary people, transgender women, to provide them a safe space in the industry, still exists,” she said. “We assist, inspire and encourage women.”

Several of the NC Teaching Brewery’s 2024 Pink Boots Series are now available for purchase (while supplies last) at the Teaching Brewery retail store and the Wine Visitor + Education Centre, located at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, alongside products from NC’s Teaching Brewery, Teaching Winery, and Teaching Distillery. Visit



New Pink Boots brews are available from the NC Teaching Brewery