The world around us has changed quite a bit since early March 2020.
During our pre-quarantine days, and particularly on Sunday, March 8 (to mark International Women’s Day), the Very Local team was graciously invited to join the Pittsburgh chapter of Pink Boots Society – a nationwide nonprofit that elevates the roles of women beer professionals – during their 2020 Collaboration Brew Day.
Women from all facets of Pittsburgh’s beer industry – who work for all different breweries and beer-focused companies – came together to collectively brew a beer.
Fast forward to May 2020 – we’re all at home, but the finished product is now ready. Read on to learn about Virago’s Fury, a collaborative India Pale Lager that is now available for takeout.
What is Pink Boots Society?
Pink Boots Society is an organization that assists, inspires and encourages women beer professionals to advance their careers through education, providing scholarships for continuing education and professional development opportunities.
Although the beer industry tends to skew in a mostly white and male direction, organizations such as Pink Boots Society and Fresh Fest seek to inject diverse voices and new faces into the craft beer conversation.
Check out our video from the 2019 Pink Boots Brew Day:
Why Brew a Collaboration Beer?
The women who comprise Pink Boots here in Pittsburgh all hold varying professional roles at a number of breweries, taprooms, bars and beer-relevant entities. They are not all brewers and the ones employed at local breweries have different home bases.
The collaboration brew day takes a women-led beer recipe and brings it to life at a predetermined, Pink Boots-aligned brewery in the area. The 2019 Pink Boots collaboration brew day was hosted by Hop Farm in Lawrenceville. Proceeds from the sales of their collaboration beer will benefit the mission of Pink Boots Society.
Get to Know Virago’s Fury – a collaborative IPL (India Pale Lager)
For 2020, Pink Boots members gathered at the historic Penn Brewery in the Northside.
Led by assistant head brewer Lauren Hughes, the women set aside their brewery allegiances and came together to brew Virago’s Fury – an IPL (India Pale Lager).
For folks who maybe haven’t tried an IPL – expect to taste the hoppy, bitter notes from an IPA but with a bready, malt backbone of a conventional lager.
This particular IPL contains notes of tropical citrus, stonefruit and pine. The recipe is special because the hop blend – used to add flavor and aroma to this beer – is selected exclusively by Pink Boots Society.
Where to buy the Pink Boots Collab Beer?
Due to the closures and service changes brought about from COVID-19, the collaboration beer will initially debut at two confirmed locations here in Pittsburgh.
Penn Brewery // Northside 800 Vinial St. Pittsburgh 15212
Roundabout Brewery // Lawrenceville: 4901 Butler St. Pittsburgh 15201
Per Lauren Hughes – and depending on when bars are able to safely reopen – Virago’s Fury may also make its way to a handful of bars around town. Piper’s Pub (Southside), The Independent (Squirrel Hill), Smallman Galley (Strip District) and Federal Galley (Northside) are all candidates to receive an allotment of the collaboration beer for guests to try.
About the name: What does Virago’s Fury Refer to?
The name Virago’s Fury stems from the Latin word, Virago – a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities. A virago can also refer to a female warrior, as depicted in this artwork (below) which was inspired by the direction for this year’s collaboration beer.
Interested in learning more about women in the brewing industry?
Check out these interviews:
- Interview with Lauren Hughes, assistant head brewer at Penn Brewery
- Interview with Melissa Larrick, taproom manager at Hitchhiker Brewing
- Q&A with Brandalynn Armstrong, Professor of Brewing Sciences & Co-owner of Zeroday Brewing
📸All Photos by Nicole Adams. Follow Nicole on Instagram.