Mashing Interns

Let’s start with the news that came out earlier this month….

(my addendum is in bold after the slightly abridged press release)

“The Oregon Brewers Guild announces the launch of their new Mashing Barriers Internship Program. The Guild’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee set the work in motion in early 2021, focusing on creating employment access into the Oregon brewing industry for underserved individuals. 

“The brewing industry has been historically dominated by white cis men”, said Christina LaRue, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “Our goal with this program is to partner with our member breweries and help open the door for those that have come up against barriers – women, people of color, LGTBQ+…really anyone who has struggled to gain access. It has been a labor of love over the last year and we are very excited to see it finally come to fruition.”

The program will partner one intern per quarter with a Guild member brewery, and kick off this April with Von Ebert Brewing in Portland, Oregon. The paid internship will run for twelve weeks and will follow a thorough program syllabus, created to offer the intern training and education across multiple facets within the brewery. 

“The program was created as a next step for the Guild’s DEI work”, shared Sonia Marie Leikam, owner of Leikam Brewing in Portland and DEI Committee Chair. “We see this as an opportunity to provide education and mentorship to individuals who historically have not been a part of the industry and who have  experienced challenges in accessing employment due to lack of hands-on experience.  It is our hope that this program will grow and we can strengthen the industry from the inside.”

“We worked very hard this past year to create a paid internship that will help people who don’t necessarily see themselves reflected in the craft beer community. From grain to glass, this program delves into every aspect of the brewing process and beyond, which makes it a phenomenal opportunity for someone looking to get involved”, shared Madeleine McCarthy, Brewer for Von Ebert Brewing and DEI Committee member. “This is just the first step in making the craft beer scene more accessible to all who are intrigued; I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Mashing Barriers Internship program.”

As this is a paid internship, the Oregon Brewers Guild will be assisting with the program costs. The Guild launched their first Pint Day event in December 2021 as a fundraiser for the program and will also be running a fundraising campaign over the next two months.”

This is important. It is not enough anymore to say that you hire blindly and without prejudice. You also have to support programs that fill in gaps that prevent people from being able tp get the job. It is also in a brewery’s self-interest because you get to train a person in your way of brewing and create a real bond that could lead to adding a new full-timer to your team and if you scroll through Facebook for more than two minutes, you will see finding workers ain’t easy out there.

Native Land

Don’t know how I missed it but in addition to the Black is Beautiful and Brave Noise beers, there is also the Native Land project .  It too is a national collaboration.  The beers done for this project aims to acknowledge the contributions and history of Native American People in the United States. It is the brainchild of New Mexico brewery, Bow & Arrow who announced the project on Indigenous Peoples Day back in October.  “Each brewery who chooses to participate is asked to acknowledge whose ancestral land they are located on and recognize the tribe on the label, while committing to donate proceeds from the beer sales to Native organizations whose work focuses on ecological stewardship and strengthening Native communities.”

Bow and Arrow founders Shyla Sheppard who is part of the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation, and her wife Missy Begay of the Navajo (Diné) Nation started the project and I hope like the others, the beers get people talking.

Below is the Ruse Brewing version…


From the folks that brought us the Strata hop comes the newly named Lórien.

Indie Hops describes this Tolkien sounding hop as follows “aromas and flavors of citrus zest, fresh melon, sweet hay and wildflowers, all capped by a cinnamon spice.”  In the Saaz and Sterling realm.  Clean with “a complimentary finish of fruity/floral hop flavors.”

Sounds like it would fit into the IPL or Session IPA styles.

A Non Starter

I am empathetic to but wary of groups who have anti-alcohol agendas. In this recent, NPR piece they discussed various options for curbing drunk driving with automotive technology.

I have spoken about this in the past but considering the refusal by large chunks of the country to wear a simple mask, the chances that drivers will blow into a tube or take an onscreen direction from a car is probably not going to happen.

It is also bad enough that my Prius is probably sending information to Toyota but what if it sends info about where I am and realizes I am near a brewery?

Now, I would not mind if the tech had an opt-in. I would like to know if I am over a limit and need to wait thirty minutes to an hour before driving. Especially if that meant an insurance discount.

This may need to have a stick AND carrot approach.

A Bell Ringing in Belgium

I haven’t had to weigh in with comment on the business side of brewing for quite a bit but yesterday breaking news arrived that Bell’s Beer was joining New Belgium which itself is part of Lion (aka Kirin).

I know that is a bit of a complicated flow chart but it boils down to the two iconic breweries becoming siblings of a sort.

And it doesn’t strike me as a bad thing. Then again, I am non-plussed when it comes to good breweries banding together. Sometimes it won’t work but it can produce a bigger company that can then do more.

My usual advice stands. Monitor both breweries beers and if the nothing changes, don’t worry, be happy.


DuClaw Brewing is using their latest hazy IPA, Hopportunity Awaits, to shine a light on ten craft beer industry professionals to show that it takes all kinds of people to get beer into your glass. Along with Craft X Edu, cans of the IPA will feature these eclectic folks…

Kenny Gould, founder of Hop Culture Magazine

Barb Baker, Siren of Stout 

Leanne O’Neill, Sip & Saunter beer blogger 

Hannah Ferguson, professional brewer and owner of DOPE Cider House and Winery.

Aadam Soorma, award-winning beer writer

Em Sauter, cartoonist and founder of Pints and Panels

Stephanie Grant, savvy storyteller focusing on diversity and inclusion.

Ryan Cervantes, a packaging manager

Emily Wang, founder of Fermly craft beer lab in Denver, CO.

Rachel Breite, professional brewer

Giga WTF

A) It is Elon Musk, not the Rolling Three Stones, who are these people in the crowd?

There is no B.

Well apparently Musk and Tesla sold-out of a $250 Tesla Tequila. 

Now Tesla has moved onto “Giga Beer”. The beer bottle’s design will be drafted off of their not quite ubiquitous Cybertruck.

Initial press releases mention nothing about the beer at all. It will probably be better to not drink and save it in hopes of flipping it

More Silos

You know you have reached Paso Robles when you see the massive silver fermentation tanks outside the ever growing Firestone Walker brewery complex.

Well, it just got bigger. Head HERE to watch a video about the six new tanks that will be put to good use.

I have been seeing quite a few social media posts of L.A. breweries welcoming in new equipment. Perhaps this is an early economic indicator.

Speaking of the Central Coast, I will be making a beer trip! (first since February 2020) and I will have some posts and photos in November.

Pink in 2022

Hop supplier Yakima Chief Hops , have the details on their custom 5th annual Pink Boots Blend of hops. The blend changes each year, and sales help to fund the Pink Boots Society whose mission is to assist, inspire, and encourage women in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry. International Women’s Day will be on March 8th, 2022. Expect some great beers later that month.

Here is the mix…