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Behind the Beer

SHE'Boogie Bop: A Woman-Powered Beer

June 6, 2017

Four magical words for you, friends: vanilla lavender cream
ale. It’s what happens when the women of the Oskar Blues Brewery Colorado production team
come together for a ladies-only brewing sesh. The ladies – Kristin Hubbard and
Sara Laurienti of the Cellar, Brewster Diana Locatelli, and Brewers’ Assistant
Lauren Laquerre – met recently at the brewbarn in Lyons to bring their original
recipe to life. Their limited release
masterpiece, SHE’Boogie Bop, will be available at CO Oskar Blues locations
later this month.

First, a little bit about cream ales – cream ales are a
distinctly American style that started out in the 19
century. Most
American brewers made ales at that time, but then a bunch of German immigrants
moved in and started making damn refreshing lighter-style beers, which became
wildly popular. American brewers adopted the lighter-style trend with a couple of
differences – mainly the addition of corn for a lighter body, and a vague idea
that this new style was neither an ale nor a lager. Staying true to tradition,
the lady brew crew made SHE’Boogie Bop using corn, wheat and pilsner malt.
After fermentation, they jazzed up the recipe by adding lavender and vanilla
beans because really, why wouldn’t you?

Hubbard explained, “For such a girly-sounding beer, I didn’t
have that intention when thinking of the style we wanted.” Hubbard is a fan of
cream ales, and the flavor combination of lavender and vanilla seemed like an
obvious compliment to the light-bodied, slightly sweet style.
Everybody funked out to the music of Prince while they brewed, with the song “Cream” inspiring the name of the beer.

The four women are accustomed to working at the Longmont Brewery,
which produced around 100,000
barrels in
2016; so brewing at the small Lyons location was a very different experience.
“Everything’s ‘cute’ here,” laughed Laquerre. “It is a much more intimate
location and gives you the feeling of something special.” Lyons’ Head Brewer Juice Drapeau hosted. He’s a guy, but he has no qualms about embracing his feminine side (and he also has really great, flowing locks of hair) so he was allowed to hang around during the process.

They rarely get to work all together in Longmont, so
they were psyched at the opportunity to collaborate on a woman-powered project. 
Laquerre explained, “Every day at most breweries
is a ‘guys-only’ brewing session just because they make up the majority of the
industry. Our ladies-only session was important because it gave us camaraderie
as women in the [Colorado] production department.”

Locatelli agreed, “It’s obvious that the production side of
brewing is pretty male-dominated. I think it was a rad way to celebrate being
brew chicks.”

Though the modern beer industry is a total sausage-fest, women have historically played major roles
in brewing. In colonial America, many taverns were owned and operated by women,
who brewed delicious beer for their patrons. Women were also often given the
task of brewing in their own households. Remember that people were consuming
epic amounts of beer at this time in history. Their average daily schedule
probably included breakfast beer, maybe a beer while astride an oxen or some
shit, a beer with dinner, then a sleepy-time beer. Those were the days; and
colonial women were the driving force behind the production of the ubiquitous

The ghosts of those bonnet-donning beer goddesses can rest
assured that the women at Oskar Blues Brewery are keeping the passion alive on
the production floor every day; and now with the release of SHE’Boogie Bop. “It
was a real team effort,” said Laquerre. “From now on, we want to make this
FemALE project a regular venture.”

If you’re not familiar with the song “Cream,” spice up your
day by Googling Prince’s live Arsenio Hall Show performance. That
early-nineties fashion, incredible back-up dancing, and Prince’s IDGAF attitude
will surely make you thirsty. Then get yerself over to one of the Colorado OBB
locations – The Tasty Weasel Taproom, Homemade Liquids & Solids, Grill
& Brew, Chuburger, or Chuburger RiNo – and try SHE’Boogie Bop. The limited
release will be available March 13.

Calling all female brewers: present your ID (AHA card, business card,
or something else official-looking) to get one pint of SHE’Boogie Bop FREE at
the Longmont Tasty Weasel Taproom while supplies last.

P.S. For more information on the history of women brewers, visit the National
Women’s History Museum Blog

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