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PHOTOS: Women unite at Cannery Brewing for fundraising beer

They celebrated International Women's Day Friday at Penticton's Cannery Brewing by kicking off the brewing process on a beer that will, in part, benefit an organization called the Pink Boots Society that assists women beer professionals through education.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

The feel-good event involved not only the the women of Cannery Brewing and the Cannery brewing team, but a couple of invited guests too -- Giant's Head Brewing's Brittany Montgomery, the only current female brewer in the southern Okanagan, and Lundy Dale, co-founder of the Canadian chapter of Pink Boots and a familiar face at Pink Boots affairs.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

Cannery Brewing co-owner and co-founder Pat Dyck was on hand to lend us this simple explanation.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"Every year," she said, "the Pink Boots Society gets together with hop growers to produce a blend of hops they call Pink Boots. And that blend is then available for breweries to buy to brew a beer.

"So we’re brewing that beer today, and part of the proceeds of its sale will go back into Pink Boots to fund mostly scholarships for women getting into the brewing industry."

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

The beer, in case you're wondering, is called "Pink Boots West Coast Pilsner." It'll debut April 12th at the Fest of Ale and at the Cannery, where it'll be available on tap and in cans.

We asked Dyck if she'd experienced any wrongful barriers or discriminatory issues on the climb to her current position.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"I haven’t found it problematic," she said. "It’s a different pathway, that's for sure, but this is such a collaborative industry, and we work really hard at getting along together and all being in the same river paddling up what we feel is the same stream.

"I've always felt the more people there are making good beer, the better it is for the industry. Brewing is all about relationships."

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

Montgomery, who began with Giant's Head in October, had a similar upbeat story but perhaps a rockier start.

"I've been doing this for a little while," she said. "I'm coming up on my ninth year (much of it in Ontario), and I'd say at the beginning it was a little more difficult.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"When I tried to get my first job, it was difficult for me, despite having a wealth of education. It wasn't until I applied at a female-owned kombucha brewery, in Toronto, that I got my first real shot at it."

Her experience since then, she emphasized, has been positive.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"I have nothing but good things to say about every single man I've worked with," she said. "I came in with a different skill set than I think a lot of men do. The mechanical aspects of some things I wasn't as up on, but I’m highly educated."

Like Dyck, Montgomery turned to that word "collaboration."

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"Giant's Head has been an amazing collaboration," she said. "It's been wonderful all the way through. My boss trusts me, we collaborate, we have complementary skills, and he trusts me with my judgment and my calls."

For more info on Pink Boots Society Canada, head to its website here. To check out the latest at Cannery Brewing, head here.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>



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