Talk about coincidences. Thursday morning I read Al at Hop Talk’s post on Teri Fahrendorf, former Steelhead Head Brewer, now on a 10,000-plus mile journey across the U.S. as the Pink Booted Road Brewer.
Friday afternoon Molly and I wandered into Port Brewing to do our usual Friday night shift behind the bar in the tasting room. Vince Marsaglia is over at the bottle filler around the corner, so I stepped over to say hello and see what’s up. Next to Vince is a woman I’d never seen before running the bottle capper. I look down and — boom — Pink Boots!
So I said something obvious like “hey you’re Pink Boots, the Road Brewer!” (Mostly because I couldn’t remember her name — I’m bad at names, just ask my kids “Hey You”, “You” and “Not You, The Other One”.) Then we chatted for a moment, I went over to the bar and her and Vince finish bottling in peace. Once they were finished Vince took off for the day and we convinced Teri to hang out for a little while rather than go back over to her trailer which was parked over in Stone Brewing lot.
Good night to hang out in the tasting room too, as the place was jumping. Hop 15 was released in bottles that day so people were showing up to buy cases of the stuff. All the regulars were there for their weekend growler fills and it’s the beginning of vacation season, so a lot of folks from out of town (many of whom we see now and then) were dropping by to see what was new. Even Tim (aka “The Beer Hunter”) was in the house, fresh from a foraging mission in the upper Midwest/Great Lakes region.
Alas, head brewer, Tomme Arthur, was out of town to attend the American Beer Festival, but assistant brewer Bo Winegarner was kind enough to stay. Beyond being a fun brewery to visit for tours and tastings, Port is also an informal gathering place for homebrewers from all over. So with a brewing celebrity like Teri in the room, she was continuously peppered with questions (my favorite: where’d you get the pink boots?”), asked to tell stories, and so on. She has a wonderful personality, very down-to-earth, and likes people in general, so she ended up staying with us through closing.
After we closed up the tasting room, we took her over to Churchill’s Pub, one of our favorite haunts because of it’s amazing beer selection, and engaged in our traditional pub entertainment — playing Operation. (Yes, the game with the tweezers that zap you when you’re trying to connect the ankle bone to the kneebone.) Teri did pretty well, sampling a Kolch from Lightning Brewery (another San Diego local), and getting zapped as much as any of the rest of us.
Sidenote: It’s nice to know that some brewers are mere mortals when it comes to playing Operation. Tomme can pull a 12 hour brewing day, have a couple of double IPAs and still have hands so steady that even the Charlie Horse is no problem. (He’s not allowed to play anymore unless he takes his glasses off.)
At the end of the evening we all said our goodbyes and Teri was off to her trailer to rest up for a day brewing with the Stone folks. After Stone she’s off to Tempe, AZ and then a long haul up to Colorado.
You can see Teri’s full itinerary and a description of her experiences on her website at Roadbrewer.com. If you happen to see her (and her signature Pink Boots) at your local brewery, make sure to tell her that the Port Brewing gang says “Hi”. Then buy her a beer and make her play Operation with you.
Update: Hey, Teri wrote about her visit to Port Brewing. You can read it right here!