Dick’s Brewing Owner Julie Pendleton Brews a Batch with Women Across the Globe

Article Courtesy of www.ThurstonTalk.com Published March 24th, 2015

For years, the brewing industry has been pretty much a “boys club.” However the historically male dominated field has seen an increase in women among their ranks in recent years. As the popularity of quality, craft beer increases so does the following among both genders. Men and women are enjoying drinking quality beer as well as establishing a profession around brewing, serving and sharing beer.

Reflecting this shift is the founding of the Pink Boots Society whose mission is “to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education.” Members of the organization span the country and include Centralia’s Dick’s Brewing Company. Owner Julie Pendleton took over the brewery from her father and founder, Dick Young, in 2009 and finds value in supporting the non-profit group who provide scholarships for brewing education to women.

Despite growing up with a brewer for a father, and being married to Dick’s head brewer Dave Pendleton, Julie had never actually brewed a batch of beer herself. Pendleton learned of the annual International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day when a regional coordinator for Pink Boots visited Dick’s tasting room. “Her excitement for the day was contagious and I decided we should go for it and participate this year,” shares Pendleton.

What is the Women’s Collaboration Brew Day? “Women all over the world, who are involved in the brewing industry, agree to brew the same beer on the same day,” Pendleton says. Not only are these women brewery owners like herself, but they are also brewers, servers, marketers, writers, designers, and packagers of beer. “Basically anyone involved in the creation and delivery of beer to people who enjoy drinking it can participate,” she explains.

A peek at the IWCBD Facebook page shows the reach of the event. Photos came in from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK as well as throughout the United States. “It was fun to see the women in places like Australia already brewing before our day had even started,” shares Pendleton.

The women of Dick’s Brewing include Dick’s mom, June Young, Dave’s mom, Alice Pendleton, and Julie’s mom, Marilyn Gallagher for the event. The spouses and girlfriends of the brewery guys and women from the tap room and deli rounded out the brewing team. The group gathered on March 8 to try their hand at crafting a brew that was all their own. “After spending the day brewing,” shares Pendleton, “I really had a better appreciation for what Dave and our brewers do each day. I enjoyed learning the process in a more hands-on way – a way that I will really remember. I know I’ll be able to explain our brewing process better to customers and other employees now.”
All participants brewed the same recipe. This year it was called Unite Red Ale. Despite the common recipe, each brewery’s result will be decidedly different. “The beers will all vary due to location, the hops and malts you use, and the ingredients on hand,” explains Pendleton. The Dick’s Brewing crew has named their version “The Better Half Unite Red Ale,” cleverly named by Dave Pendleton’s mom who also participated.

Ultimately, while Pendleton enjoyed the experience, she’ll opt to remain on the office side of the business for now. “It was really fun to do once and to experience the other side of our business. I think it really will unite workers from all parts of the beer industry by sharing this common experience,” she says.
What was most surprising to the women on March 8? “The cleaning – there is so much cleaning and scrubbing,” laughs Pendleton. To ensure consistency and purity, all brewing equipment must be kept meticulously clean throughout the process. Even Pendleton’s daughter got in on the fun, shoveling out the mash tank for the group.

Interested in trying the Better Half Unite Red Ale and sampling the women’s handiwork? Stop by the tasting room on Galvin Road in Centralia or Northwest Sausage and Deli on Friday, March 27 for a special release party of the one-of-a-kind brew. The Better Half Unite Red Ale will be on tap and available to take home in growlers for only a shThe tasting room opens each Friday and Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and stays open until 7:30 p.m. Tours of the brewery are given at 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. during tasting room hours.

In addition to the Better Half Unite Red Ale, Dick’s sports 12 beers on tap along with bottles showcasing over 20 varieties and kegs to go direct from the tasting room.

Swing by the deli or the brewery on March 27 because when Pendleton’s first batch of beer is gone, it’s gone. Will she do it again? “Yeah, I’m pretty sure we’ll do it again,” Pendleton smiles. “But just once a year!”

Dick’s Brewing Company

3516 Galvin Road

Centralia, WA 98531