Two local breweries led by female head brewers are collaborating on a beer to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Sisters Carol and Susan McLeod, owners of the coming Hold Fast Brewing, and Jen Leonard, executive brewer and co-founder of Tie & Timber Beer Co., crafted the beer. They plan to brew 18 kegs of the Berliner-style weisse this weekend at Tie & Timber’s Rountree neighborhood brewery.
International Women’s Day is next week on March 8.
“The timing couldn’t be more perfect for this collaboration,” Leonard said.
The beer will be available at Tie & Timber at the end of the month and will run about $6, she said. The name of the beer hasn’t been decided yet, but Leonard said the team would hash it out over the weekend of brewing.
The beer features light hops, a golden color and a tart bite of lime zest, according to a news release. The brewery will offer an option to add cherry syrup, reminiscent of a cherry limeade. Berliner weisses are traditionally the lightest of all the German wheat beers, according to the beer style guidelines published by the Brewers Association.
The collaboration joins female brewers across the country who will brew limited-edition beers through the Pink Boots Society, which has a goal to support and encourage women in the beer industry through educational opportunities. Membership is open to women who earn 25 percent or more of their income working with beer, Leonard said.
“Pink Boots is really exciting for me,” Leonard said. “It will allow me to share the education of what I’ve been through and continue to learn from others in the industry.”
Leonard established the third chapter statewide and the first in Springfield during the past couple weeks. Half of the proceeds raised from the beer will remain local to fund educational events and speakers for chapter members. Another portion of sales will benefit the national organization.
Leonard said local classes would cover topics such as technical brewing, marketing, stress management and tips on taking care of your body in the physically demanding job.
According to a 2014 Stanford University study, only 4 percent of brewmasters across the country are women.
Carol McLeod said International Women’s Day is about women’s equality in the workforce and making needed changes in society to enforce that concept.
“Having more diversity in the workplace allows for more ideas and experiences that can make companies better,” she said in the release.
Tie & Timber is coming up on its first anniversary next month, while Hold Fast Brewing is under construction at 235 N. Kimbrough Ave., the long-vacant former home of Fire Station No. 1.
The McLeod sisters said in an interview with Springfield Business Journal last fall they are planning on a summer 2019 opening.
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