DENALI BREWING CO.
SARAH PEREZ | BREWER & CHAPTER LEADER, PINK BOOTS SOCIETY ALASKA
13 years ago I started hanging out with a group of “beer nerds”. They showed me the ropes, and I just went crazy! I had to know everything about profiles, styles, Brewers, breweries and their specialty’s. Beer fest after beer fest, bi-weekly bottle shares! Then some of the like minded females noticed we definitely had more tastier palates than the guys, and we wanted our own ladies club! We found out about Barley’s Angels and started the Vegas chapter! We enlisted soo many like minded curious females that didn’t work in the industry but longed to understand the beer world! So I started teaching them, and education became my backbone.
Fast forward 7 years, and I’m on my way to Alaska, to find my new life. It was bitter for me I the beginning starting new and totally starting over. No one knew me, no one trusted me. So I just got to work, and make sure everyone knew me, wanted to talk to me and more importantly wanted to talk about craft beer! I got a job after year or so working at Anchorage Brewing Company, with Gabe Fletcher. I felt at that very moment I had arrived! It took another 2 years to understand it was just the beginning of my journey.
I stayed on with him 2 years, then found myself pivoting towards a small nano brewery out on a farm, with two wild boys that ran things. They knew me, they trusted me and they loved me! Soon they hired me to run the show, day to operations, getting things ready for a big time move, from a 1 BBl pilot system to a real brew house with staff and kitchen! Then things where really cooking, we closed for the move and construction and in walks Covid 2020!!!! It was a long year, a very long year! But during that time I hit the books, finished up my cicerone beer server, and set my sits on the cicerone level 2! I gave myself a shot in the dark and wrote an essay for a partial scholarship with Black Chick LLC, and won! I’m testing March 15, and really hope all goes well on the written exam.
Last year during the covid shutdown, I was able to get enough women signed up in AK for our very first Pink Boots chapter, which I had been working on for the past 6 years! Longing to hangout with other females and talk beer is something I live for! In my day to day life as taproom manager at Bleeding Heart Brewery, I do get to talk beer and educate others but really I want to star sensory classes and workshops geared toward female empowerment.
I’m an educator at heart, which is something I did for a long time, but craft beer education is in my blood. I eat, sleep, and dream about beer! It’s all I do! In
December we brewed my version of Weathered Souls- Black is Beautiful! I’m just overwhelmed with how beautiful this beer turned out. I’m obsessed with Marcus, started following him some time ago, and jumped on board to be apart of this fantastic journey. I’m obsessed with this industry, it’s all I can do to not cry most days because I just get so worked up over everything, soo involved and soo bent on making sure other love it as much as me! I would love to have my own place, I will be brewing so much more this year! We have 12 brew days planned all over Alaska, and so far I am able to be at all of them!
My greatest adventure is set ahead of me now, diversifying this community. Making this more of a whole, not just a hole. I want to walk beside like minded, humans that have a passion as strong as mine. It is crazy that I live in the largest state, but yet I’m the Only black female... black anyone who is a brewer, educator and craft beer advocate like me! I’m it....that is just crazy to me!
I am Sarah Perez, a black women hell bent on blending this wild last frontier with all walks of life to walk beside me in this craft beer quest, to build an industry up here that sets standards and isn’t afraid of anything.