Dorchester Brewing

women in beer

By in Meet Our Team 0

Meet Our Team: Colleen Rankin, Brewer

With International Women’s Day on the horizon, we are working to celebrate all women in the beer industry and females worldwide. Read more about our special collaboration beer release with proceeds supporting several institutions to empower women everywhere. With that in mind, we’d love to introduce you to an awesome member of our brewing staff, who works to bring you fresh, tasty beer weekly in the DBco Tap Room and beyond. Meet Colleen Rankin.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I grew up in Akron, Ohio, where I lived through college. Since then, I have had stints living in Russia, Columbus, Baltimore, Washington state, Oregon, and Cleveland. I moved to Boston in July to work for Dorchester Brewing. When I’m not brewing, you can usually find me doing something outsideĀ  — biking, climbing, skiing, hiking, etc. — or reading a book, listening to music, or wandering around town looking for good cocktails, coffee, or beer.

How did you get into craft beer and become a brewer?

My fascination with craft beer began in my early 20s, when I had become bored of drinking Rolling Rock and Newcastle Brown Ale. Not too long after discovering craft beer, I started dabbling in home brewing. Looking for a more fulfilling career choice and dissatisfied with working for the man, I woke up one day and decided to become a production brewer. I was lucky enough to find a terrific brewer in Eugene, Oregon that felt that I had the stuff necessary to succeed in brewing, so he gave me an Assistant Brewer position with no production experience, which is quite a lucky thing in this industry. After working at Sam Bond’s Brewing in Eugene, I put in a good stint as an R&D brewer at Platform Beer Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, and now I’m here brewing up fantastic brews at DBco. Working hard to gain knowledge and experience, I hope to eventually open my own brewery.

What’s so special about the brewing industry?

I like brewing because it is both hands on and intellectually driven. An average day’s work allows me to work hard doing manual labor, which is really satisfying, and use my brain in the course of operating mechanical systems, trouble-shooting problems, or writing recipes. I have had successful jobs behind a desk and other, equally great jobs, working outdoors and in customer service; I find that brewing really feeds all facets of me as a human. It brings me good balance that keeps me feeling good about going to work every day.

What’s the favorite part of your job?

Since I started brewing, my favorite thing to do is to hose out the whirlpool vessel. It is so satisfying to me to start with a massive mess of a hop pile and end with a shiny and clean tank. The process of transformation from mess to cleanliness is a really satisfying thing. It is so laughable, I know, but it is the little things in life. On a broader level, I love the process of creating a beer from start to finish — beginning with an idea, writing a recipe, brewing it, caring for it during the fermentation process, then pouring it into a glass that the masses (and I) get to enjoy. I think that is a really rad thing.

Favorite beers?

My favorite beer style generally changes with the seasons, but I love them all. Dark, light, Belgian, American, sour, IPA, or cask, I try not to get stuck in the rut of drinking one style more than the rest. Every style of beer has the prefect time and place for appreciation and enjoyment. To date, my favorite DBco. beer (that I wasn’t the mastermind behind) is Born to be Mild, an English Mild Ale that we released a batch of a while back. My favorite partner beer is probably Stupid Head by Stillwater Artisanal, a delicious double-dry hopped Hefeweizen style ale.