#CBC15 in Portland, OR

I’m very excited that I’ll be covering the BA‘s Craft Brewer’s Conference from Portland this year!  This is where the Pink Boots Society organization is headquartered out of, and it will be my first time in that region. I’m so excited to see these gals and all of our attending members!

TeriF_Nic_cropped Em_Nic_cropped






During the week of #CBC15 I’ll be talking to dozens of Pink Boots members and lady brewers to get their perspective for our Pink Boots podcasts and for this site.









Do you have questions about CBC?  Is there something specific you want me to cover?  Email me:  editor@thirstygerman.com – or send me a TWEET me – @ThirstyGerman









Crafty Ladies Brew Day at Joyride


Denver – CO

There were a few lucky Crafty Ladies who recently got the opportunity to brew a beer with Joyride Brewing .  The Crafty Ladies have been well known to brew dark, stout-like beers, but this time we’ve changed things up a bit.  This time, we got to brew a hoppy RED ale!


Since there are a lot of members, we took shifts to help our host brewery at rotating times, and working in shifts. I thought I’d help out in the morning as we prep the tanks, grain and mash in.








We organize our  644 lbs of grain.   I didn’t get a copy of the exact recipe, but there were a few Crystal varieties and darker, roasted barley grains. You know, brewer’s chex mix!








Brewing the hard way.










After lots of boiling and stirring (on Dave’s part), we got to cleaning our fermenter so we could transfer our beer to a clean vessel.

We checked in to get our degrees Plato, which was looking good and with a clean fermenter, we were ready to transfer beer.

During some of the hurry up and wait times, Dave would tell us story about the brewery and some of their experiences getting started. This also included the background story of the elephant of their logo.  Back in the early 1900′s, Roger was an elephant from Barnum & Bailey’s Circus that would give neighborhood kids a ride around Sloan’s Lake – the elephant would “vacation” out here after touring the country.  Well, after Roger died,  he was honored on a mural that stood on the building where Joyride is now. Unfortunately, Joyride was not able to keep the mural due to zoning laws, but they chose to honor him and Edgewater’s colorful past, by using his image on their logo mascot. With six, garage doors that open to overlook Sloan’s lake, and more than that to choose from in house beers, I definitely encourage you to stop by and check them out. Oh, and hope to see you there on St. Patty’s Day!

Thanks to Dave and Nate at Joyride for hosting the Crafty Ladies.









Pink Boots Society Launches New Podcast Series

As the International + National Chapter Liaison, I’m very excited to announce that I’ve launched a new podcast series for Pink Boots Society!   I hope you all will join me on this weekly adventure.

Cheers,    Nicol


January 21, 2015

Portland, OR -

Pink Boots Society is a non-profit organization that empowers women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through educational scholarships. The organization saw a large growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 and in the first quarter of 2015, over 1,500 female members.

With such a large growing member base, Pink Boots Society has launched a weekly podcast offering a digest of what is happening in the organization. The podcast will cover any special events, news and scholarship information, as well cover new chapter highlights, feature member interviews or discuss the global impact of the organization.

Tune in each week, as members are brought on to the show to discuss their corner of the industry and provide their insight to other members, and listeners.

LISTEN NOW: >> http://PinkBootsSociety.org/Podcasts

Special thanks to the Brewers Association and CraftBeer.com for their support helping us spread the word about our new series!



Pink Boots Society is an international nonprofit and USA tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. We inspire, encourage and empower women beer professionals to advance their careers through education. Our members are the beer industry leaders of tomorrow, and they inspire women consumers to choose beer as their adult beverage of choice.

Media Inquiries & Contact Info:

Company: Pink Boots Society
Contact: Nicol Winkler
E-mail: nicol@pinkbootssociety.org

Celebrating Women + Beer

It’s the start of the New Year and I have a fun event coming up next weekend I wanted to share with you all!






DATE: Saturday,  January 17

LOCATION: Twisted Pine Brewing Co. – Boulder, CO

TIME: 12:00-6:00pm

As the International + National Chapter Liaison I will be representing Pink Boots Society at a  fundraiser event at Twisted Pine Brewing on Saturday, January 17th.  The event will run throughout the day, but there are two special times to catch the full beer tasting and beer-infused food pairing hosted by the executive team at Twisted Pine.  After the 5-course food and beer pairing, the event continues with a special brewery tour with more beer surprises before heading back to the tasting room to close out the tour, host some trivia, and give everyone a chance to mingle or ask questions.

Some of the leading ladies of Twisted Pine will be with us, hosting the event.  Jody Valenta, Twisted Pine’s GM,  was recently featured in a Boulder Daily Camera article. This article is a great ready if you’re curious how breweries stack up to each other on the number of women they’ve hired. Interesting insight there, and a great story about Jody’s history leading up to where she is now!


Jean, Twisted Pine’s CEO, Kelly in Events/Marketing, Justin and some of their brewers all will be on hand to talk to us about their 19 year history of brewing beer in Boulder, CO.

The event is open to the public and tickets start at just $25.

Tours are at 3:00pm & 4:15pm.





Agaveras, Agave IPA: sharp cheddar cheese and salted meats

Billy’s Chilies, Chile ale: chips and queso with salsa and guacamole

La Petite Saison, Belgian Farmhouse Ale: mango lime sorbet

Hop Zealot, IPA: jerk chicken skewers (chicken/pineapple/pepper) vegetarian option available

Big Shot Espresso Stout: chocolate almond biscotti


Ladies do you love craft beer merchandise?

TShirtMockup-400x259For just a $10 upgrade that will get you a custom event t-shirt made specifically for this event! If you’re a craft beer fan, I would definitely snag one of these as they will only run this once.

$35 Ticket: Tasting, Pairing, Tour & Event T-shirt


Also joining us for this event is the talented, and new Pink Boots member, Amanda Willshire with Awd aRT. A myriad of pieces will be on display, and Amanda is also creating a special piece to donate to help us fundraise!







Pink Boots Society is an international nonprofit and USA tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. We inspire, encourage and empower women beer professionals to advance their careers through education. Our 1,000+ members are the beer industry leaders of tomorrow, and they inspire women consumers to choose beer as their adult beverage of choice.


Crafty Ladies visit Epic Brewing Co.

Howdy fans!

Alright, well summer has flown by, and Oktoberfest season always keeps me busy with Oktoberfest Tampa so it hasn’t been easy for me to keep up. But we’re past all that and I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and share some of my beer adventures here on the site that I didn’t get a chance to write about before my busy season began.

In this post I’ll share all about my brewery tour with one of my favorite lady beer groups, the Crafty Ladies, at one of my favorite breweries here in Denver… EPIC BREWING!!








It’s no shocker that I am a fan of EPIC brewing.  I’ve been known to host a few hand sales for them to help out their solo, man-of-awesome, Colorado beer rep: John Turk; a good friend who I often co-host the Colorado Craft Beer Show with.  It’s not complicated, I like EPIC because they make great beer. 25 taps, 3 on nitro and they all show an incredible amount of skill and respect to their styles, with some seriously added hopped flare that is always pronounced, but not overwhelming. I consider it, EPIC-style.

As I gear up for this Crafty Ladies tour and help EPIC get ready for the rush of women about to arrive, I take a moment to reflect at how each of the brewery tours that I get to participate in is different. One would think that once you’ve taken a few dozen brewery tours, they are all the same, right? Well, no. Last I knew, there are over 500 members of the Crafty Ladies Beer Club so each time I attend a tasting at HTB, or go on one of their field trips like this tour to EPIC, I see new faces!  It’s an incredible group of ladies that are genuinely interested in learning more about beer in order to make smarter ordering and purchasing decisions. Additionally, the space, service, timing, and product all differ from one brewery to another, so it all comes into play.

The Crafty Ladies Beer Club has done a nice job of engaging the breweries in advance and collaborating with the breweries to develop unique tours and experiences for the ladies. I’ve been around since the foundation of this particular ladies beer club, and EPIC did ask me for a few pointers, which I was happy to share.  Jennie, their tap room manager, is a blast to work with!

Back to the good stuff – the BEER!

We started off our 2-hour event/tour by getting settled in and trying a beer or a taster as we were waited for all the ladies to arrive.  What was my go-to-brew? HSL, of course -Hop Syndrome Lager. On draft, it’s just right. It starts off like a light and crisp lager with gentle hop notes that are not overpoweringly bitter.  It’s a very complex and balanced beer. HSL is often compared to Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, or Victory Prima Pils, neither of which tickles my tastebuds like the HSL. I was happy to introduce the beer to some of the other ladies as well!

Mingling at the beginning. EPIC BREWING – Denver, CO







Since there were upwards of 40 women participating, the plan was to split us up into two smaller groups, to get a more hands-on experience.  There were approximately 20 ladies per group.

One group would stay in our special section of the tap room, and talk with “Ant” (Anthony) about the origins of Epic Brewing and the sizable barrel program that they have created., and the other group would travel with Taylor for a tour through the brewery and production facility.

I started out in the tap room with Ant, talking about the barrel program.  At the time of our tour during the summer, Epic had already reached 648 barrels (a mix of white & red wine as well as bourbon barrels) in their collection and they were on track to have around 1,000 in house before the end of the year. In addition to the wine and whiskey barrels, Epic also purchased three foudre barrels from New Belgium Brewing. As many breweries do, they also named their fourdres: Ellen, Molly & Stacey, respectively.

Sitting in the tap room you can see into the brew house area and brewery production space where the fermentors stand also. You can just barely see the walls of barrels behind that. We were adjacent to the railing separating the tap room and brewery space, right next to the three foudre barrels.

We organize our group into a large circle and were given two small tasters of a delicious Brainless Golden Ale to start.  (This was the first beer that I’ve ever had out of the Epic foudres. Super exciting!)

Taster Comparison #1: Brainless Golden Ale 

Our first sample was of the Brainless Golden Ale, finished with “lacto” (lactobacillus – a bacteria many  brewers use) which gave the beer quite a tart finish as it produces lactic acid during it’s lacto-fermentation process.

The other sample of Brainless Golden Ale we were given was finished with “brett” (Brettanomyces/a wild yeast), which is all the rage in sour beers these days. As it is a wild yeast and not a bacteria, Brett will finish beer different than lacto. Brett specific yeast enzymes are known for tearing through complex sugars that most other normal yeasts cannot, leaving us with a more dry and lower acid beer.  Eventually, Ant tells us, EPIC will be blending both of the beers with “pedio” (Pediococcus/bacteria) as well.  Many lambics across the world are made with pedio, and I’m curious to go back and try all the beers again in a few months. Unlike making beer with other yeast strains, sour beers can take 2-3 years to before they are finished.

Taster Comparison #2: Imperial Stout

Imperial Barrel Aged Stout. [young beer] EPIC BREWING – Denver, CO







The second round of tasters out of the foudres barrels was a 12% imperial stout comparison. EPIC makes a pretty amazing stout called “The Big Bad Baptist.” The beer we sampled started off as that recipe, but instead of being finished with coffee and cocoa to become Big Bad Baptist, this beer was put inside two different barrels, for a different beer ending! The beer on the left was put into a first use barrel, and the beer on the right into a 3rd use barrel; the latter will ultimately get mixed with fresher batches.  Again, this is un-finished beer, but you could definitely get strong bourbon and oaky notes from the barrels in this young, beer.

We got the chance to ask Ant some more questions about everything we had just learned and wrapped up our barrel session. Full of new knowledge and history of one of Denver’s newest breweries, it was time for our groups to switch and for my group to get the production side brewery tour.

Brewhouse tour w/ Taylor. EPIC BREWING – Denver, CO






Barrel Room tour w/ Taylor.








As a lady in the industry, I was definitely pleased to find out that we would be getting our official brewery tour by one of EPIC’s only back-of-house, or production side, female staff members, Taylor! Taylor is fantastic and is the first female that I know that started in production at EPIC. She now puts in time and works hours in the tap room, in the front of house, but she started by assisting with bottle production, and has quickly progressed to assisting with their expanding canning and kegging operations and anything else that’s needed.

Taylor tours us through the brew house section, fermenters and the large walls of barrel-aging beer!  The barrels are a mixture from multiple sources, but all clearly marked with a sign up above, which marks each beer style inside.

As we walk to the back part of the warehouse that is not open or visible to the tap room, we pass the grain storage and mill closet and enter an area which now hosts their full time kegging operations. For a few months, EPIC was utilizing Mobile Canning to bring their beer to the marketplace, but they have since purchased their own canning line as well as a palletizer from Ska Brewing to meet the demands of their customers and can more beer!

Here is Taylor showing us their 100,000 can of Escape IPA that they’ve already produced on their new canning line since May!

100,000th CAN!!!









We couldn’t of course continue our brewery tour without a beer. So Taylor was sure to give all of us a tasting of Escape IPA fresh from the finishing tank. Below is one of my favorite pics of the night…this is our group in action! Tasting beer as fresh as you possibly can, talking about it, sharing it and enjoying the moment.

Fresh Escape IPA! EPIC BREWING – Denver, CO







After our quick respite learning that EPIC can successfully can 7 bbls and hour and that their Escape is absolutely delicious straight from the fermenter, we completed the last part of the building tour with a quick session in the beer cooler. One of my favorite places. This is where we get to smell fresh hops and see the massive stacks of market-ready beer!









The final, and last part of this really fun event was with another beer tasting, and this time with a chocolate pairing!! YUM!

Two different beers each with their own unique and custom chocolate pairing. First off was a special Imperial Black Saison, which was a collaboration beer with New Belgium titled”Eternal Consequences.” That beer was brewed with black peppercorns, ginger and juniper berries. Effectively so, it was paired with a delicious ginger chocolate. So good, it went by so fast! I didn’t even get a picture! haha

Here’s a photo of our last pairing which was of the Brainless IPA with a citrus and pink pepper chocolate pairing. Definitely a good match!

Brainless IPA w/ Citrus + Pink Pepper Chocolate! EPIC BREWING – Denver, CO








So, as you can see, the Crafty Ladies sure do get some special treatment. If you’re a lady living anywhere in the Denver metro area who enjoys learning about beer, I certainly suggest you try out any of their events.

This was certainly one of the most insightful and entertaining tours I have been on and am very thankful for EPIC Brewing and all of their efforts hosting our group of ladies. What a fantastic experience!

I’ll be sure to post updates on any barrel beers that I get to try again.

Until next time,







































fate_stickerFewer things make me happier than enjoying a good brew with good people.  That’s what craft beer is all about.

In late July, the Crafty Ladies got together for a wonderful night  at the usual meeting spot (Highland Tap & Burger) and hosted one of my favorites, out of Boulder – FATE BREWING COMPANY!

The Crafty Ladies sure get some special treatment from breweries every month.  Breweries tend to bring out the latest, freshest beer available, or rare hard-to find bottles out of a cellar, or as it happened with Fate’s presentation: BOTH! Mike, Jeff and Hannah all  did a fantastic job educating us about their beers and bringing us a round of very special brews to try.


We started off our event with one of my Fate favorites, the Watermelon Kolsch!


This was the first beer I ever had from Fate’s lineup (now almost 2 years ago) and it is still one of my favorite brews they make!  It was great to see so many of our ladies enjoying this brew as many of them had never had it. (What? I know. They were missing out!) This beer is only available April through August, for now.  If you want to try this beer, and if you do find their 4-packs on the shelves – I’d snag it before it’s gone for the season!


Next up was a brew that I know Jeff is really proud of, and he should be, as it’s a Tequila Barrel Aged Gose. A beer brewed using a triple decoction process,. But, what’s a Gose beer you say?! Don’t worry, I’ll explain.


More and more breweries have been picking up on barrel aging and making a lot more sour beers. There is a big movement towards sours in the market place, but most breweries are producing these beers using a popular, Brettanomyces yeast. However, Jeff’s Gose beer offers a completely different strategy for brewing something sour, with a regular ale yeast. The “Goze” beer style can be dated all the way back to the 16th century originating out of Goslar, Germany. Gose, so respectfully named, is a top-fermented beer that uses at least 50% malted wheat in it’s grain bill.  It spontaneously fermented without the addition of yeast, and boom! a new style was born.  The end product includes notes of lemon tartness, herbal characteristics and a hint of saltiness.


Jeff (head brewer) and Mike (owner) spent considerable amount of time in Germany before they opened FATE exploring German beer styles together. I think this beer showcases a bit of their adventure and I like that!  It think it it’s a prime example of Jeff’s ability as a brewer to take an old, original style, and bring it into modern day light, with the complexity  and originality that only Tequila barrel aging could offer. In this case, virgin ARTA Tequila barrels. (Heck yea!) I’ve had the chance to try this beer at different stages throughout the year, and this last time I tried it with the Crafty Ladies, I really felt like the beer was finished!  Beautiful flavors of vanilla, sweet agave and woody oak balanced with a simple, tart wheat mouthfeel.


The third beer we got to try was equally complex and includes ingredients form around the world – Bourbon Barrel Aged Veroandi – Anniversary Ale.


This beer is also a very old brewing style brought to new light. The Veroandi, a New World Burton Anniversary Ale,  combines New Zealand and Australian hops and two different barrel fermenting programs that are blended back into the beer you’ll taste in the bottle!

This beer was brewed with half Australian and half New Zealand hops. Some of the beer ferments in fresh oak barrels, some in tequila barrels and it gets carefully blended by the brewer to finish in stainless steel.  The downeast hops bring wonderful tropical fruit flavor and aroma to this beer. And among about a handful of others, uses Nelson Sauvin in it’s hop lineup. (Yum!)


Showing off more barrel fermented brews, our next beer was their Bourbon Barrel Aged Atropos.  A sweet and caramely, Imperial IPA, Atropos is the first, ever, bourbon b20140729_194501arrel beer Fate came up with!

Somehow, in the midst of this 90 to 100  IBU brew, I was still able to pick up on hints of coconut, pineapple and sweet caramel flavors. This special beer spends its fermentation time in Breckenridge Bourbon Barrels for about 4-5 months. Not a brew for the shy of heart, but the Crafty Ladies were digging it!


As only Mike could put it, this last beer brings us our final tasting of this “journey of wood” with FATE – Bourbon Barrel Aged Clotho.  (Yes, at this point, the entire room started giggling! ..but we digress!)

This is a Cascadian Dark Ale with hints of coffee, sour cherry’s but is rounded out with a delicate, creamy tartness. This brew went so fast, I couldn’t even get a picture of it!  But, of course I can’t leave you all hangin’ – so I snapped a selfie with the FATE bunch! Ha!


Well, this wraps up my last event with the Crafty Ladies and the amazing crew that is behind Fate. I hope you give their beers a try when you see them and if you can, go try the amazing food they have their brewpub, too!  You can check out more info about them, the brews, food and more on their website, HERE! Or visit them at:


1600 38th St, Boulder, CO 80301

That’s it for now. Oh, and don’t forget….DRINK YOUR FATE!



TONIGHT! Listen Live on 850KOA 7-8pm (MST)

Hey Everyone,

I am super excited to be joining Andy Lindahl to talk about craft beer for a bit on 850KOA as he covers all things Broncos Training Camp!

I’ll help him cover some of the latest news in the craft beer industry while we talk about seasonal brews.  Th

We are full fledged into the summer season so here are just a few summer beers we’ll be talking about:

Apricot-Blonde-Can1.)  Dry Dock Brewing – Apricot Blonde 

5.1% ABV – seasonal brew

Fermented with shiploads of hops!







2.) Odell Brewing – St. Lupulin APA

6.5% ABV – seasonal brew

“Dry-hopped” & delicious!

Available May through September.





hop syndrome lager_cans3.) Epic Brewing – Hop Syndrome Lager

5% ABV – seasonal brew

2012 and 2013 Silver Medal Session Beer winner at the LA International Beer Competition


Andy also wanted me to cover what seasonal beers we might expect for the fall season.  While many fall seasonals have not hit the shelves yet, it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about those darker ambers that we all enjoy as the weather gets colder!  Here are 2 go-to cooler season brews I like to recommend, and enjoy:

sweetgrass_apa1.) Grand Teton Brewing- Sweetgrass APA 

6.% ABV

2009 Gold Medal Winner at GABF

Hopped & dry-hopped with Amarillo & Cascade hops.



Alaskan-Amber-btl2.) Alaskan Brewing – Amber 

5.3% ABV / Year-round

Rich & malty.





———- IN THE NEWS ———- 

stone logoStone Brewing Company announces Production Brewery & Destination Restaurant for Germany -in Berlin!





drizlyWant beer delivered right to your door?There’s an APP for that now!

A new Beer Delivery APP!  >> DRIZLY << for iPhone & Android





worldly_scholarPink Boots Society has “Worldly Scholar” release with Latitude 33!

A beer dedicated to raising scholarship funds for PBS!!

Hope you all tune in and listen to a fun show!

LINK: 850KOA  7:00-8:00pm MST




850KOA with Andy Lindahl

I recently got the chance to hang out with  Andy Lindahl who invited me on to his Prime Time Sports show on 850KOA to do a special segment covering all things Colorado craft beer!  We had a blast entertaining sports fans and answering craft questions from callers.

I was sure to bring 2 staples of Colorado craft beer to talk about. Avery Joe’s Pils, and Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale!


Follow Andy on Twitter: @andy850KOA 
Can’t wait for the next show!


It is with great pleasure that I announce to you my new role with the Pink Boots Society as their INTERNATIONAL & National Chapter Liason!




Pink Boots Society is an international nonprofit and USA tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. We inspire, encourage and empower women beer professionals to advance their careers through education. Our 1,000+ members are the beer industry leaders of tomorrow, and they inspire women consumers to choose beer as their adult beverage of choice.




I recently got the chance to meet and spend some time with PBS founder, Teri Fahrendorf, (who was the recipient of the Brewer’s Association Recognition Award this year) along with  …


Emily Engdahl (PBS Exec. Director/Dir. of Development) and Denise Ratfield (Stone Brewing / PBS Social Media Committee Chair) at the national meeting during CBC week here in Denver.  I can’t say enough good things about these ladies.  (Big thank you to Emily Engdahl, as without her, you wouldn’t be reading this post!)

There were over 170 female industry members in attendance from all over the nation, and all over the world.  Everyone got some press time, everyone. It enabled the entire room to really feel connected and unite as a tight nit group of ladies that support each other from all ends of the globe.  The short time that we had together in the same room were spent covering annual financials as well as the latest recipients of the PBS Scholarship program.  It was inspiring to see it in action!

I was elated to meet Brewer Jayne from Two Birds Brewing (and also director / head chica of PBS Australia)!  She was in town judging for World Beer Cup and as a PBS member and supporter was volunteering to help out.  (Can’t wait to see you again Jayne – what a blast! )

Here is a photo of all of the lady members who were able to make it to the annual meeting this year!



Stay tuned as I get into the grove of this fantastic group of ladies and their mission to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the industry through education.

Cheers to that!