Goodfire brewer Courtney Kaslow is a member of the Pink Boots Society’s Maine chapter. Photo by Lea Romanowsky

When brewer Courtney Kaslow moved to Maine from Dover, New Hampshire, about five years ago, she joined the newly formed local chapter of the Pink Boots Society, an international organization that supports women and nonbinary people in the brewing industry.

It was “a really nice way to meet people in the industry and make connections,” said Kaslow, who works at Goodfire Brewing Co., which has locations in Portland and Freeport.

Kaslow has since gotten Goodfire involved with the society through Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, making a beer from which a portion of sales is donated to the organization.

Goodfire is among more than a dozen Maine breweries that have signed up to participate in Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day this year and is releasing its beer, Looky Here, on Friday at a party co-hosted with If/When/How, a legal organization that supports reproductive justice, to benefit the Pink Boots Society and SAFE Maine, which helps fund abortions for Mainers.

The Pink Boots Society was started in 2007 and serves to “assist, inspire & encourage women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry through education,” according to its website. With 62 members, Maine’s chapter is among 87 in the U.S. and eight other countries.

Mitch Waterman, general manager of Goodfire’s Portland location, said partnering with Pink Boots and the other organizations involved in the release party is part of the brewery’s efforts to provide more than safe spaces for women and the LGBTQ community by also “creating opportunities for them to thrive in a historically male-dominated industry.”


Kaslow started working as a server at Moat Mountain Brewing Co. in New Hampshire when she was 19 and has been in the industry ever since – as a bartender, on the packaging line and as an assistant brewer before coming to Goodfire. Brewing is a perfect fit for Kaslow, she said, because she is interested in the science of brewing and enjoys the creativity that goes into making beer.

In coming up with the recipe for Looky Here, Kaslow started with this year’s Pink Boots hop blend. Every year, she said, chapters hold a “sensory session,” where members get together and evaluate different variations of hop blends, then vote for their favorite. That blend is created in partnership with Washington-based Yakima Chief Hops, which donates $3 per pound of the sales of the blend to the Pink Boots organization.

Kaslow felt this year’s blend lent itself best to an IPA and decided to use it to make Goodfire’s first West Coast IPA. The Pink Boots hop blend was added, along with Cascade hops, during the first dry hop. Lighter grains were used to keep the focus on the hops. Kaslow described Looky Here as piney and dank with light citrus notes.

Sales of Looky Here and Maine’s other Collaboration Day Brews will help support the many programs and educational opportunities that Leah Jones, Pink Boots Maine chapter leader and a beer-to-market specialist at Allagash Brewing Co., has been working with Kaslow and other local Pink Boots members and volunteers to create. They include developing networking and educational programs, defining and filling roles within the chapter, and creating visibility into how the organization can help breweries and act as a resource for supporting women and nonbinary employees.

Jones pointed out that the society is no longer just for breweries but open to the entire fermented beverages industry. Members who pay an annual fee can use society resources, join a member job board, advertise jobs, attend events at local breweries and other chapters, and are eligible for scholarship opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, Jones said, “members are supported and empowered while working in a male-dominated industry.”

This community, along with the educational opportunities, are what Kaslow appreciates the most about the Pink Boots Society.


Join Kaslow and Goodfire for the Looky Here release party from 4-8 p.m. Friday at its Portland tasting room at 219 Anderson St. There will be live music by Nikola and food from On a Roll. A raffle as well as a portion of draft proceeds will benefit SAFE Maine and the Pink Boots Society.

Can’t make the release party? You can also support Pink Boots by buying a pint during the Pink Boots Tap Takeovers happening in Portland this month, when multiple Pink Boots Collaboration Beers will be on draft at The Great Lost Bear from 4-10 p.m. April 20 and at the Thirsty Pig from 4-10 p.m. April 28.

Or stop by local breweries that have already released their Collaboration Brew Day beer. Follow Pink Boots Maine on Instagram (@pinkbootsME) and Facebook (@pinkbootsmaine) to see when and where collaboration beers are being released, become a member or find out other ways you or your organization can support the Maine chapter.

Caitlin Enz is a Certified Cicerone® who lives in Portland. Follow her on Instagram at @hops_and_brains.

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