Tapping at a half dozen Tacoma breweries and taprooms is an unusual beer that’s perfect for a spring brewery visit.
“It almost tastes like a saison. It’s a little on the drier side. It does have faint herbal notes. It’s a really nice, warm spring beer,” explained Lana Adzhigirey, who led a gaggle of brewing professionals in creating the Shield Maiden Nordic Fraoch.
Her particular fraoch is an ancient style of beer made with Scottish malt, heather tips, pomegranate honey and bittered with sweet gale.
Adzhigirey and a group of female brewers gathered at Dystopian State Brewing Co. March 8 as part of Big Boots Brew 2017, an homage to International Women’s Day. The event was the idea of Pink Boots Society, which encouraged female brewers all over the country (and world) to brew an ancient ale as part of the event. Those beers soon will be debuting at taprooms near and far.
In the Tacoma area, six taprooms and restaurants are tapping the Shield Maiden Fraoch, and it should be available for the next few weeks (see list).
A portion of the beer’s proceeds go to programs and educational seminars hosted by the society, which educates and promotes female brewers.
Every year, the theme of the beer changes. This year’s suggestion was an ancient or historical ale. Adzhigirey said the group initially thought about brewing a braggot, a mead-beer hybrid beverage that uses botanicals or herbs for flavoring, but ultimately they settled on the ancient Scottish ale.
There is no South Sound chapter of the Pink Boots Society yet, but Adzhigirey, a co-owner and founder of Dystopian State Brewing Co., is a member of the Seattle chapter. She recruited South Sound female brewers and beer industry workers to create the beer.
“I wanted to have our own for the South Sound because we have so many awesome women in breweries here, but we don’t have the infrastructure just yet (for a chapter),” said Adzhigirey.
The 11 female brewers and beer professionals represented Odd Otter, Pacific Brewing and Malting, Fish Brewing, Peaks and Pints, Dystopian State, Pour Betty’s Brewing and NW Peaks Brewing (that last one is in Seattle).
“It took us an entire day,” said Adzhigirey. “It took us a good nine to 10 hours to complete it. Every single woman participated. They either measured, added ingredients, cleaned the equipment. We’ve all done something in the process.”
She hopes to repeat the brew day next year.
Shield Maiden Nordic Fraoch
On tap in Tacoma: Dystopian State Brewing Co., North End Social Club, Odd Otter Brewing, Pacific Brewing and Malting, Peaks and Pints, The Art House Cafe.
Fraoch brewers: Carolyn Merling, Odd Otter Brewing; Bethany Carlsen, Pacific Brewing and Malting; Ariel Klein, NW Peaks Brewing; Stacey O’Connor and Jada Peterz, Fish Brewing Co.; Kristen Marlo, Peaks and Pints; Cathy Cox-Shaffer, Pour Betty’s Brewing; Laura Redding, Amber Lacheney, Margaret Jones-Pryor and Lana Adzhigirey, Dystopian State Brewing Co.