Cafe Society

Reader: About time the Wynkoop hired a female brewer -- but Shikes deserves a quick kick from a pink boot

The Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988, just three years after Bess Dougherty was born. And this week, Dougherty became the brewpub's first female brewer. "It's intimidating for a lady to try to go into this because it's a boys' club, a super boys' club," says Dougherty. "It's a very physical job, and that keeps a lot of women away, too. It's scary and it's hard and you really have to want it." But she does -- and she promises to wear "hot pink" brewer's boots.

That fashion note, as well as the Wynkoop's food, came in for numerous comments yesterday, several from chef Chris Cina, who's now at the Wynkoop full-time.

Says eyeroll:

I'm glad to see this, but wish the brewing industry was such that this wasn't particularly newsworthy. And while Bess is absolutely entitled to wear whatever color boots she wants, the writer's emphasis on those pink boots made me cringe. Maybe next time he could try not to infantilize his female subjects quite so much.

By the way, the association that pushes for more females in the brewing business is named the Pink Boots Society -- and it sells books in all shades of pink.

Is the Wynkoop's kitchen also in the pink? Here's one of Cina's comments:

When was the last time you were in? I've been here 3 weeks as the chef, I've instituted several menu changes and can promise the food has gotten better. Please come in and give it a try if you haven't been in recently.

When were you last in the Wynkoop? What do you think of the food? And how about a woman finally breaking through that beer-glass ceiling?

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun