Unable to attend the launch of a special beer brewed for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day due to a trip to India (D) and a trip to a hop farm (Pip), ICIP knew it couldn’t let this event go by undocumented. So we asked roving reporter Sharona for the lowdown on what we missed…
When ICIP asked if I could write about the launch of Unite Pale Ale at Wild Card Brewery on April 26th, I was reluctant. I mean, I’m not a beer writer. I’m not ANY kind of writer. My tasting notes at the end of any drink-fuelled day tend to be beer names hastily and illegibly scrawled, supplemented with smiley faces and A++++’s in direct proportion to my intake. And these ICIP girls, WELL. They know their stuff. They’re actual JOURNALISTS. They can QUOTE people. ACCURATELY*.
But if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good party. And that Saturday afternoon, Wild Card’s event did not disappoint. Full of wine, women, and song (read: beer, women, and BBQ), there was nothing not to love.
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCB) came about as the brain child of Sophie De Ronde of Brentwood Brewing Company, who I think we can all agree is one of the most crush-worthy** women in the beer industry. Brewed on International Women’s Day (March 8th), Unite Pale Ale is the collective work of brewsters from all over the world, including Britain, the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. Project Venus and the Pink Boots Society were an essential part of the effort.
The beer had some parameters (4% ABV pale ale made with Cascade hops), but the rest was left to the brewsters’ creativity. “We went mad with ours,” says Britain’s Beer Sommelier of the Year, Jane Peyton, who was brewing with Brentwood. “There wasn’t a thing left but the kitchen sink by the time we were done. In fact, that may have gone in, too.”*
The three Unite Pale Ales being poured at the April 26th launch party were Brentwood’s Unite Pale Ale, brewed with Sara Carter (Triple FFF), Jaega Wise (Wildcard), Susanna Forbes (Drink Britain), Jane Peyton (School of Booze), Cassandra Orford (Fuller’s), Helen Wardle (Ales by Mail), and friends Victoria Leyshon and Samantha Warner. Gadds’ Unite Pale Ale was brewed by Sue Fisher with Allegra Copps (SEB), Angela Malloy, Rebecca Lee, and Helen Watkins. Brewsters‘ special blend was made by owner, brewer, and girl-about-town Sara Barton and Kathy Brittan of Oldershaw. To cap the day, a USA Unite Pale Ale was sent by Kristi Griner of Capitol City, “brewed by a dozen area beer goddesses, homebrewers, and professionals.”***
It just couldn’t get better. And as the sun began to set on that special day, golden light filtering through the trees of the park as we all talked and laughed in the good humour that can only come about as the result of like-minded camaraderie and lots of alcohol, Sophie swirled the liquid amber in her pint glass and said aloud what we had all been thinking: “This – this right here – is a job well done.”*
*Any quotes in this particular article are entirely made up.
**Because she’s brilliant and I have a crush on her.
***An accurate quote! An accurate quote!