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2021 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day: Hold Out Brewing

by | Mar 16, 2021

Written by: Ashleigh Hayden, YCH’s Field Marketing Manager 

With over 300 breweries purchasing the 4th Annual Pink Boots Blend and sharing their stories with us over social media, we are amazed and humbled by the creativity and passion shown by women across the industry.  Among the many stories told, one caught our eye early on and we’d love to share their story.

We sat down with Head Brewer, Brent “Schmitty” Sapstead and Sheila Garcia, Marketing & Hospitality Manager of Hold Out Brewing to discuss why making just one Pink Boots Collaboration beer was not enough.

Hold Out Brewing is a brewpub in West Downtown Austin that opened May 7, 2020 next door to their sibling restaurant, Better Half Coffee and Cocktails. “It has been fun to bring a brewery to a neighborhood that hasn’t had one.  We are walking distance to houses and condos and enjoy being a brewery that anyone in the community can come to and be in a place that is welcoming to every aspect of life,” Garcia said.

Charitable work is such a part of the ethos at Hold Out Brewing, they even created a charity arm of the brewery, “Save Austin, Drink Beer.”  In 2020, Hold Out Brewing gave to a different charity every month through their “Save Austin, Drink Beer” campaign.  In 2021, Hold Out Brewing is moving to quarterly program to be able to work more deeply with the four selected charities, including monetary, product, and volunteer hour donations.

Shortly after opening last year, Hold Out released two beers with Pink Boots Blends, one with the 2019 blend and the other with the 2020 blend.  Session Boots was a delicately tart, stone fruit pale ale that swims in peach and apricot. Juicy Boots was its big sister, with a hazy grace and a bounty of dank citrus glory.  In their release post on Instagram Schmitty said, “There’s a common thread that ties together the hardest working folks I’ve met in the beer world – they are all women. For an industry that has historically been dominated by XY chromosomes, I’ve been blessed to work with a consistently flourishing group of commanding female coworkers. They run breweries, brewhouses, cellars, labs, and more – all of the things that take your favorite beverage from grain to glass.”

Schmitty knew he wanted to go bigger than the previous year and asked the female leaders in the organization if they wanted to collaborate or each brew their own.  As the women met, they realized there was an opportunity to take their four very different recipe ideas and make a mixed 4 pack with all four beers.  “For him to allow us that space and then us to get creative on our own has been an amazing process,” Garcia said. “Schmitty is blowing that out of the water with four different beers to be released. We’ve got to make a six-pack next year, I guess.”

Here is a sneak peak of the beers being brewed the week of March 8th and beyond by the women of Hold Out Brewing:

Sheila Garcia, Marketing & Hospitality Manager at Hold Out Brewing and Austin Pink Boots Chapter Co-Leader, is making a West Coast IPA with Chico yeast and targeting 50 IBUs with a dark straw-like color.

Stephanie Duran, previous Sous Chef at Better Half Bar (currently with Suerte), will be brewing a Hoppy Kolsch inspired by her favorite beer, Carl, brewed by St. Elmo Brewing, with yeast donated from the brewery. Their female brewer, Meike Rossman, and fellow women on staff will be joining this brew day for a collab within a collab.

Lindsay O’Rourke, Executive Pastry Chef at Hold Out Brewing & Better Half Bar, is making an Irish Red Ale, one of her favorite styles which also represents her heritage. Her brother was even named after Killian’s Red Ale and if there’s an Irish Red on the menu – she’s most definitely ordering one.

Lauren Dickens, Creative Director of Hold Out Brewing & Better Half, created a Summer Stout recipe with Schmnitty, which will include seasonal fruit to compliment the aroma hop additions.

 The Austin Pink Boots Chapter has had a special role in the 4th Annual Pink Boots Blend, selected as one of 14 chapters/teams to help select the hops and quantities used in the blend.  The Austin Chapter was founded in 2012 with three members and are now upwards of 50 members and growing.  Austin was also the host city of the 2019 Biennial Pink Boots Society Conference, a two-day event with more than 200 women from across the industry in attendance. 

The 4th Annual Pink Boots Blend was chosen via a virtual hop selection event involving women in beer from across the globe, including Sheila Garcia and Chapter Co-Leader Rebecca Garcia of American Canning. The newest blend consists of Cashmere, Ahtanum®, Citra®, Loral® & Sabro® brand hops, creating a blend with tropical, herbal, citrus & woody aromatic qualities.

Each year, YCH contributes the sales proceeds from the Pink Boots Blend to the PBS scholarship fund, which helps women in the industry attend educational seminars, classes, certifications, and tours. Using the scholarship program, PBS aims to inspire and assist women fermented/alcoholic beverage professionals to advance their careers through education. Scholarship opportunities are open to women anywhere in the world who are actively employed in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry.

Since 2018, more than $257,000 has been contributed to the Pink Boots Society scholarship fund from the sale of the Pink Boots Blend. With this community-based blend, we are passionate about promoting diversity from the brewhouse to the taprooms and hope to inspire brewers worldwide to do the same.  There is still a small amount of the blend left if you are interested in purchasing via our online store at shop.yakimachief.com.

If you are in the Austin area and interested in purchasing these beers, follow @holdoutbrewing on Instagram for release date details.  If you are not in Austin and are interested in drinking a 2021 Pink Boots Collaboration beer, check out this map for a beer near you or you can donate directly to the Pink Boots Society here.