Before Mickey Murphy joined our brewery team in 2021, she was the assistant brewer at Gneiss Brewing Company in Limerick. Now that she’s working on the “cold side” of things in our packaging department, she sees how a beer comes into being from start to finish.
Mickey is just one of the kick-ass women in the beer industry – and she’s part of the team behind this year’s Pink Boots Society brew.
The mission of the Pink Boots Society is “to assist, inspire, and encourage women and/or non-binary individuals in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education.”
Every year, PBS partners with Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) to make an exclusive Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day hops blend to help raise funds for Pink Boots scholarships and educational opportunities. More than 550 breweries around the world participated in this year’s collab!
Sebago’s 2022 entry is a Saison called Chienne Folle, pronounced “Shin Fool.” Mickey worked on the recipe with head brewer Rusty Packer and Rachael Ellis, also on the packaging crew. Mickey explains:
I have a passion for farmhouse beers and Belgian beers. I spent a lot of time reading and geeking about these style of beers, so any chance I get to brew a beer, that’s what I want to try.
Rachael and I really clicked on brewing a really great base beer. A lot of people who brew Pink Boots tend to include something pink in it, but for us, we asked why not just brew a really great beer and use the Pink Boots hop blend? We were aiming for something classic and simple that would let all the ingredients shine.
We wanted something with a lot of malt character – a great backbone for the beer – so we started with a little bit of Pale Malt and some Flaked Rice, which helps make the beer really dry because it’s highly fermentable. Then we added a healthy dose of spelt, which has strong notes of straw and hay, and even an almost strawberry essence. It’s really fun because it’s a very traditional style. Farmers used to brew with whatever that had, and often that meant spelt. That grain is really high in protein, and they’d make beer out of it!
The special Pink Boots hops blend this year consisted of 30% Idaho Gem, 20% HBC 630, 20% Talus, 20% Triumph and 10% Loral. What really hit me with this one is that there are some herbal notes and some bitterness, but what made me lean toward Belgian/French inspiration were the citrus and berry. Saison yeasts tend to be peppery, so the fruit flavors play really nicely with those yeast flavors, and it allowed us to carry more flavor throughout the beer.
Chienne Folle has a wonderful aroma with crisp, floral taste that’s perfect for spring patio vibes. And what about the name? One of Mickey’s favorite breweries is De Dolle Brouwers in Belgium. Their tripel is called Dulle Teve, or “Mad Bitch.” Chienne Folle means something along those lines…someone who follows their own path and doesn’t listen to the crowd.
We wanted something that implied how a lot of women in the brewing industry feel. It’s a male-dominated industry, so we feel like we’re following our own path, doing something that isn’t the norm. And since we’re suing a French Saison yeast, we thought, why not give it a French name?
Chienne Folle will be available at the Tasting Room in Gorham starting Friday, April 22nd. Everyone is welcome to join us from 4pm-6pm on April 22nd to raise a glass to our newest, innovative small batch – and to all the women and/or non-binary individuals that create the beers, own the companies, package the product, design the labels, serve the drinks, write about the industry, and everything in between!