It’s no secret that we here at ACB love the ladies! (Especially considering that more than half of our correspondents happen to hail from the fairer sex.) What’s up sistas! So when we had the opportunity to start a project with Megan Cheek, Operations Manager at Orlando Brewing, I busted out the pink brew boots to make some Orlando brewing history…and some beer.
Orlando Brewing has been a staple in the Orlando business community since the turn of the century. It was rescued from the brink of extinction by Central Florida Homebrewers Club founder John Cheek in 2004, and it’s one of the original in the growing trend of Certified Organic breweries.
The Babes’ Brew is Orlando Brewing’s newest series spearheaded by Megan, who has worked in the backend of the brewery for almost eight years. She’s also a member of the Pink Boots Society, an international nonprofit created to empower female beer professionals to advance their careers within the industry (a passion I also share).
“When I met Jeanna at an Orlando City Soccer event, I was excited to meet a fellow female brewer. We hit it off and decided to work together to craft an all-female brewed beer,” said Megan. “This project is highly important to me because at Orlando Brewing, we are all one big hoppy family. And what better way to get family time in than to brew a beer with all your O.B. sisters. I also felt it was important to get all the ladies more involved in the brewing process, because beer…. It’s not just a “man’s” drink anymore, and I have loved to watch the huge movement of women getting more involved in educating themselves about craft beer.”
So Megan gathered the babes of the brewery and they sat down with a beer or two and went over some ground rules:
1) It must be a beer that we will all drink.
2) We must be involved every step of the way and do all the work.
3) It must be all organic (Orlando Brewing is proud to be a USDA organic microbrewery).
All kinds of ideas were thrown around, but when it boiled down to it, we decided to craft the beer after something we all loved: Thin Mints – and the Girl Stout was born.
“It was a collaborative effort between Crystal, Cat, Cindy, Mary, Mariah, Madeline, and myself,” said Megan. “From determining the name, logo design, and recipe, to getting everything approved, to brewing a test batch and then to brewing the beer itself, to kegging it off, and the best part: to tapping it!”
Girl Stout will make its debut at the release party at Orlando Brewing on December 14th and will be available on tap and in bottles. Babes’ Brew will be an ongoing series, with all the “Babes” of Orlando Brewing to craft a different beer every quarter. And since the majority of us are hopheads, we’re sure there will be a few Pale Ales and IPAs in the series’ future. We’ve even already started throwing out ideas for our next beer. Maybe a Wit brewed with rose hips, maybe a Pale Ale with seasonal fruit from Uncle Matt’s Organic Produce, who knows? Only time and a test batch will tell.