#WomanCrushWednesday: Anne Becerra


#WomanCrushWednesday: Anne Becerra

Beer Cred:

Anne Becerra has been actively involved in the beer industry since she “hustled her way into a job” at the Ginger Man, one of New York’s premier beer bars, after returning from an RV trip that would change her life. A former marketing/advertising employee, she realized after quitting her job and traveling across the country and back that she wouldn’t be returning to a desk job.

Today, Anne heads up the beverage program at Treadwell Park, a beer hall and restaurant with locations in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Financial District, where she makes sure to spotlight international classics as well as newer, trendier brews.

“New breweries are fun and exciting, and certainly we want to support them, but we also want to make sure it’s not just chasing trends,” she said. “[That’s] not sustainable for anybody, for breweries, for towns, or for bars. You really have to give credit where credit’s due.”

Well Said:

“A nod to English beer or German beer is not boring. It’s consistent. It’s historical. It is life for so many people. I want to try to really allow people to see how good [the classics] can be and how fun [they] can be, even though they’ve been around for hundreds of years. Appreciate what you’ve got, why it’s special…it’s lasted this long for a reason.”

Find Anne at Treadwell Park or follow her adventures online at @annelikesbeer and @beerincontext. Read about Anne’s latest project, the Cellar at Treadwell Park, here.

Beer Affair


#WomanCrushWednesday: Sonya Giacobbe

Sonya Giacobbe and Cat Wolinski at the Village Voice Brooklyn Pour festival, Sept. 2014.

Sonya Giacobbe and Cat Wolinski cheesin’ at the Village Voice Brooklyn Pour beer festival, Sept. 2014.

#WCW: Sonya Giacobbe

Beer Cred:

Sonya Giacobbe is the better half of KelSo, a Brooklyn-based beer company that launched in 2006 with Kelly Taylor, husband and overseer of the Heartland Brewery restaurant group (the “Kel”) and Giacobbe (the “So”) at the helm.

Recently, KelSo was awarded the Brooklyn-Made Gold Certification from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce for producing local ales and lagers that meet the Gold qualifications of being headquartered in Brooklyn, staffed in Brooklyn and most-if-not-all made in Brooklyn. The Clinton Hill-based beer company’s products (KelSo Pilsner, KelSo Nut Brown Lager) are now available on draft and in cans up and down the East Coast from Philadelphia, Penn. to New London, Conn.

Along with co-running the KelSo show, Sonya previously served as director of the Simon & Schuster and Machete Speakers Bureaus of the Greater Talent Network.

Well Said: 

“You don’t need to push the envelope to make a memorable beer. I want to be able to have two beers with dinner and still be able to give my kids a bath.” — KelSo of Brooklyn, Josh Bernstein, Edible Brooklyn Spring 2011: Issue No. 21 

Cheers to that, Sonya!
– Beer Affair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Kim Jordan


Kim Jordan, co-founder, New Belgium Brewing Company. Photo via NewBelgium.com

#WCW: Kim Jordan

Beer Cred:

Kim Jordan has more than 25 years’ experience in the craft beer industry. As co-founder of New Belgium Brewing Company (est. 1991) and having served as CEO for 15 years, she has strengthened the brewery and craft beer community at large as a leader, speaker and expert in all things beer biz. Jordan recently transitioned into a new role as executive chair at New Belgium, setting her sites set on strategy and  advocacy for progressive business practices both within the New Belgium Family Foundation and on the 1% For the Planet Board of Directors.

Well Said:

“Conservation is sexy.” – “Brewing Big (With a Micro Soul),” Entrepreneur.com, Nov. 2009

Cheers to that, Kim!
– BeerAffair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Christine Celis

Christine Celis (middle) at Clinton Hall, New York City, Jan. 2014

Christine Celis (center) at Pintley’s “(Very) Rare Beer Night,” Clinton Hall, New York, Jan. 2014

#WCW: Christine Celis

Beer Cred:

In January 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Christine Celis at a (Very) Rare Beer Night organized by Pintley at Lower Manhattan’s Clinton Hall. Celis was rambunctious, well spoken and outwardly excited about her recent exploits into gypsy brewing, her beer company in Austin, Texas, the rare Belgian beers she had curated for the event that night, and of course, the legacy of her father, Pierre Celis.

As heiress to one of the world’s most popular beer brands, Hoegarden, Celis had a hand in bringing the Witbier style back to the United States in the 1990’s. Since then, she’s taken over the family brewery, imported an impressive portfolio of Belgian beers, joined up with a brewpub in Austin and sent her amazingly positive vibes into the craft beer and brewing community across the country.

Well Said:

“The thing about success is, sometimes we don’t know how we got there. With failure, you learn a lot. You learn why you failed, how you failed, and how you can prevent the same failures. Then, success just comes.” — Christine Celis – Brewmaster’s daughter, businesswoman and balance seeker, Coffee With a Stranger, melissalombard.com 

Cheers to that, Christine!

– BeerAffair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Wendy Littlefield

Wendy Littlefield. Photo via LinkedIn.com

Wendy Littlefield. Photo via LinkedIn.com

#WCW: Wendy Littlefield

Beer Cred:

In honor of Brewery Ommegang’s 18th birthday next month and my departure for Belgium today, this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes to Wendy Littlefield. Along with her husband, Ed, Littlefield’s accolades go far beyond a bulleted list. From a romantic start of eloping in college, moving to Belgium and falling in love—with the tradition and taste of Belgian beer, that is—she became the first American woman inducted into the Belgian Brewers Guild and was nominated for the Mercurius Award, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Belgian government.

Back stateside,  in addition to starting two beer businesses, she started several community-driven food and drink events and associations in her now-hometown of Cooperstown, N.Y. (Belgian Comes to Cooperstown among them). You can learn more about the Littlefields in the self-told “Very Long and Boring Story” of  her career in beer—a lengthy one, yes, but there’s nothing boring about it.

Well Said:

“We have been at this business for 31 years and still adore it, and we are still married and capable of working together. How very fortunate we are. We think of ourselves as cultural anthropologists explaining culture through beer.” – “Why We Do What We Do— An Interview With Our New York Distributor,” March 2012, BelgianBeerExperts.com 

#WomanCrushWednesday: Carol Stoudt

Photo via The Daily Meal

Photo via The Daily Meal

#WCW: Carol Stoudt

Beer Cred:

Carol Stoudt is often touted for being a craft beer pioneer,  and not only as a woman—she was crowned “Queen of Hops” (a media-given title) as the first female brewmaster and brewery owner in American history post prohibition, but was also one of the first brewmasters and brewery founders of that time, starting her business in what was arguably the most important year of the craft beer revolution, 1987. Filling rolls that were hardly there to be filled, Stoudt showed the country that craft beer belonged here, and she’s continued to do so for the last 28 years.

Well Said:

“My advice to anyone wanting to get in the business is to work in a variety of types and sizes of breweries or restaurants, as well as sales, if one is planning a micro. One needs not only passion but a willingness to work hard in all areas.” – Journey to the Beer Store, April 11, 2013

#WomanCrushWednesday: Jill Redding

#WomanCrushWednesday is a BeerAffair series highlighting female leaders of the beer and brewing industries. View past crushes by clicking #WomanCrushWednesday or #WCW.

Jill Redding, editor for the Brewers Association.

Jill Redding, editor-in-chief at the Brewers Association.

#WCW: Jill Redding

Beer Cred:

As the Brewers Association editor-in-chief, Jill Redding is responsible for overseeing the bi-monthly publication (every two months) of Zymurgy,  a magazine “for the homebrewer and beer lover” which informs amateur beer makers on trends, best brewing practices, award-winning recipes and industry events, and the New Brewer, “a passionate voice for craft brewers,” created to provide commercial startup breweries with information on topics like brewing technology, problem solving, and management.

The Brewers Association (BA) is a non-profit trade association established “to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.” In addition to its publications, education, insights and statistics pertaining to the craft brewing industry, the BA is responsible for major industry events such as the Craft Brewers ConferenceGreat American Beer Festival, SAVOR and World Beer Cup.

Well Said:

“Kudos to all homebrew clubs for teaching the world to brew, and for giving back to their communities!” — Brew’s Up, Indeed, Zymurgy Vol. 38 No. 5


Cheers, Jill!
Beer Affair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Julia Herz

#WomanCrushWednesday: Julia Herz

Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director. Photo via BrewersAssociation.org

#WCW: Julia Herz

Beer Cred:

Well Said:

“Our craft breweries are small businesses that have helped bring great innovation and a less gender-targeted approach to beer marketing than ever before—I’ll cheers to that!” – Weighing in on Women and Beer, craftbeer.com, Aug. 2015

Cheers to that, Julia!
– Beer Affair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Teri Fahrendorf

This is the second in a series highlighting women leaders in the beer and brewing industry in the U.S. For past crushes, visit the #WomanCrushWednesday tag at the end of this entry.

Teri Fahrendorf

#WomanCrushWednesday July 1, 2015: Teri Fahrendorf, founder and president of the Pink Boots Society. Photo via GirlTalkHQ.com.

Teri Fahrendorf, a self-described “woman beer professional” in the most general (albeit no less impressive) sense, is often celebrated in the craft brewing community for her many roles, contributions and accomplishments across her more than 25 years in the beer industry to date.

She is an acclaimed brewmaster of 19 years,  the second woman to ever achieve the “brewmaster” title in the U.S.¹, beginning at Golden Gate Brewing Co. in Golden Gate, Calif. in 1989 and concluding at Steelhead Brewing Co. in Eugene, Ore. in 2007 (at the latter, she served as corporate brewmaster of the company’s five locations for 17 years).

She was the first woman to be named class president at the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, Ill., where she graduated in 1988.

She is a published author, contributing to such publications as New Brewer, Brewing Techniques, Zymurgy and American Brewer.

She is the “Road Brewer,” an absurdly ambitious and adventurous woman who spent five months camping across the States in a trailer, which she named Big Buddy, to visit and brew at various breweries (you can follow her experiences as she blogged along the way at roadbrewer.com).

In the course of her 25 year career, Fahrendorf has earned professional accolades and craft brewing achievements spanning three Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival (two in 1991 for her Station Square Imperial Stout and Raging Rhino Red, also known as Steelhead Amber, and one in 1999 for an Anniversary Ale); several annual seats as a Beer Judge at five international festivals; 18 speaking engagements as a speaker and education leader at events and conferences around the globe; and board titles as director, advisor or affiliate at five local and national brewing organizations.

Perhaps most significantly, Fahrendorf is known throughout the industry as founder and president of the Pink Boots Society, an international nonprofit association and trade organization created for the education and advancement of women beer professionals. The Society, which she founded somewhat serendipitously at the conclusion of her cross-country “road brewing” trip in 2007, now boasts 2,080 members and counting, chapters in 25 locations across the country, and hosts national as well as regional meetings in the U.S., U.K., Argentina, Australia and Europe.

According to Fahrendorf, seeds for the Pink Boots Society were planted throughout the five month road trip on which she visited 71 breweries across the country, brewing at 38 of them, and imparting her knowledge and expertise to newer female brewers along the way. As she recognized their skills, their want for education and the unanimous curiosity among them regarding other women in the industry (her own 19-year experience being quite exceptional), Fahrendorf saw the need for a way to inform women brewers about the others like them that were making brew-booted strides in the industry.

Inspired by the Red Hat Society and the squeaky rubber shoes on her own two feet, she created a list of the 60 women brewers she’d met along the way and coined it the “Pink Boots Society,” making it available, along with other resources, on her personal brewing and beer career website in 2007. Thus, an industry organization was born.

Eight years later, the Pink Boots Society continues to foster the female brewing community by “empowering women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education,” by way of meetings, scholarships, volunteer opportunities and events that have gradually expanded, along with the Society’s membership itself, since its founding in 2007.²

At present, Fahrendorf is the specialty malt account manager at Great Western Malting in Vancouver, Wash., where she continues as “the West Coast’s unofficial craft beer ‘Goodwill Ambassador,'” as well as a speaker, beer judge and writer. Most importantly, she continues to inspire women like me, industry-wide and out, to march proud in our brewing boots as future leaders of the craft brewing movement in the U.S.

For a full history of Teri Fahrendorf’s brewing industry experience and accomplishments, visit terifahrendorf.com.

¹The first female brewmaster in the U.S. was Carol Stoudt, who acquired the role, at the eponymous Stoudts Brewing Company, in 1987.

²Although the Pink Boots Society originally began as a trade group exclusively for female brewers, it has since expanded to include any “woman who earns at least part of [her] income from beer.”

#WomanCrushWednesday: Mellie Pullman

Now in a millennial world, it’s not so surprising that women are joining the beer community in troves, stepping onto the scene as sales representatives, marketing coordinators, reporters (ahem) and imbibers, and—although they are still few—brewers and brewmasters.

But before there were us gals who started appreciating good beer post-2000 (although we still may feel uniquely, utterly female in a scene that continues to be dominated by beer guts and beards), there were women like Mellie Pullman, who I’d like to spotlight for my first #WomanCrushWednesday (#WCW) post here on Beer Affair.

I do not mean this in the literal or romantic sense, as I’ve never met Pullman personally, I mean it simply in the sense that my “love affair with beer” (where the name Beer Affair came from) is due in part to women who flew their freak flags high before it was popular, or even possible, for gals like me to be a part of the beer community.


“Replanting the Seeds of Brewing,” Craft Beer & Brewing, May 15, 2015.

After re-reading a feature written by Tara Nurin in Craft Beer & Brewing last month, “Replanting the Seeds of Brewing,” I was reminded of all of the women I have yet to meet, the history I have yet to learn, and the amazing strides women have made in this still-young industry since it began its second wind in the 1980s.

As a young woman swept up into the romance of the craft beer world just five or so years ago, I have to acknowledge the true pioneers before me, and commend these ladies for stepping up to the plate when it was even harder to be a female in a male dominated business like beer. (Or, as Nurin phrases it, for each woman who had to “finesse her way out of enough brewer-as-bearded-German-guy stereotypes.”)

In the days before national women’s industry groups like the Pink Boots Society (and in my case, local groups like the Beerded Ladies), these gals were among the first to explore the beer business, truly planting the “seeds” that sprouted roles for women in the brewing industry today. Among the “firsts” these femmes accomplished, Pullman is particularly #WCW-worthy for the following:

1. She was first female brewmaster in contemporary U.S. history;

2. She helped bring Utah its first brewery, Wasatch Brewery, in 1986; and

3. She lobbied to modernize the alcohol laws in Utah which were, even up until the late 80s, quite restrictive.

Beginning with Pullman and moving through the significance several more, Nurin’s article attributes beer props to Beth Hartwell, who co-founded Hart Brewing in Kalama, Wash. (now Pyramid Breweries) in 1984; Rosemarie Certo, who co-founded Dock Street Brewing in Philadelphia in 1985; Carol Stoudt, who became the nation’s first female sole proprietor-brewer in 1987; Barbara Groom and Wendy Pound, the first female ownership team in the industry, who opened Lost Coast Brewing in Eureka, Calif. in 1990; and Teri Fahrendorf, currently specialty malt account manager at Great Western Malting in Vancouver, Wash., who entered the industry at 1988 as a brewing intern and now has 19 years’ experience as a brewmaster and brewery supervisor at various locations.

Although you can take the woman out of the brewing industry (according to Nurin, Pullman left her post at Wasatch just three years after co-founding it), you can’t take the brewing industry out of the woman—Pullman is now serving as an associate professor at Portland State University, where she teaches several courses in the Business of Craft Brewing Certificate program.