From 8 a.m. until the afternoon of March 8, women gathered at Bold Republic Brewery to make a special craft beer.
“It’s pretty awesome that we get to make the Pink Boots Society® brew on International Women’s Day,” said Bold Republic Brewery owner Adriane Hodges.
Adriane is one of the few women brewers in the industry. She opened Bold Republic Brewery with her husband, Patrick Hodges, in 2018. Since then, they’ve relocated a small brewery from Belton to the blossoming west side of Temple, where they continue to expand.
“We’re putting in a cool storage, which will really help us increase production,” Adriane said.
Adriane is a self-described beer nerd. She can speak endlessly about everything beer, from brewing it to its history. She is passionate about being a woman in the industry and is building a network of women brewers in the area.
The Pink Boots Society® brewing event is evidence of that. The educational event was attended by women from breweries throughout the area, including Nolan Creek Brewery (Belton), Phantom Warrior Brewing Co. (Killeen), and Barrow Brewing Company (Salado) – all there to make their contribution to the 2023 brew aptly named “Women’s Work.”
Adriane explains, “The beer brewing industry was completely dominated by women until the 1500s.”
And she is correct. A Smithsonian Magazine article from 2021, “Why Did Women Stop Dominating the Beer Industry?,” asserts that strict gender norms brought about by the start of the Reformation and greed pushed women out of the industry.
Ale, and later, beer, was a mainstay in European homes as a source of nutrients from as early as the Stone Age. As such, brewing beer was as regular a household task for women as rearing children. Seeing an opportunity to earn an income, widows and unmarried women began selling the beverage, becoming alewives and the originators of the brewing industry.
“That’s kind of where the origin of witches with pointy hats and brooms came from,” she continued. “Men saw how lucrative the business was and began pushing the women out by accusing them of witchcraft —which was dangerous for women at the time.”
Now the industry is experiencing a resurgence of women. Although the movement is slow. Few, if any, major beer companies have a female brewmaster. And beer is often branded as a drink for men.
In fact, a research study by Stanford University found that of 1,993 breweries they could find information about, only 40 were exclusively founded by women. And of 1,717 breweries they researched, only 76 (four percent) had a female brewmaster or headbrewer.
Despite the statistics, women like Adriane continue to serve as passionate advocates for beer and beer brewing. According to Craft Beer & Brewing, women bring unique skills to brewing beer, such as having superior senses of taste and smell along with a stronger ability to remember and recount sensory experiences.
It is with these skills that this group of women created the Women’s Work brew —from hops to keg.
“We made an India Pale Lager or IPL,” Adriane said as she described the beer.
“India Pale Lager is a type of beer fermented with lager yeast instead of ale yeast. This crisp classic style serves as a showcase for the hops, with the malt letting them shine,” She explained. “We used the 6th annual Pink Boots Society® Hop Blend from Yakima Chief Hops. It was a blend of Loral, Ekuanot, and HBC 586 experimental hops.”
The Pink Boots Society® is a group of women and non-binary individuals in the craft drink industry. They advocate camaraderie amongst one another and share knowledge through their own seminar programs. The group is committed to helping one another advance in the industry and does so by raising money for educational scholarships.
Adriane is an ideal ambassador for the organization. She openly shared details of her operation and future plans for the business with the women who gathered for the event. She encouraged everyone to participate in the brewing process and, during downtimes (beer making requires patience and waiting), they swapped stories about their first craft beer experience, entertained themselves with axe throwing (courtesy of Black Axe Co), and of course, enjoyed what Bold Republic has on tap and in the kitchen.
Starting March 31, guests can enjoy a free sample flight of beers from the brewery by purchasing a ticket for the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail. Bold Republic Brewery is one of 15 venues featured on the self-guided tour of the growing Central Texas craft beverage industry, where ticketholders can enjoy exclusive offers from the participating locations through April 9.
Visit templechamber.com/spiritofsantafe for details and to purchase tickets.
Claire Hartman, Brigette Allen, David Wolff, and Will Lowery purchased First Community Title in April 2017. And since then, they have provided top-notch real estate settlement and title insurance services for companies, individuals, and government entities in Temple and throughout Bell County.
Hartman has been in the industry for 37 years and still operates with the notion that every transaction can be closed –it’s just a matter of time.
“FCT shines in our knowledge and ability to get things done,” Hartman said. “With eight underwriters, we can be creative in our approach to solutions where other title companies may turn away a client.”
Since taking over the business, the FCT team has closed on various property types, from condos to airports to the I-35 Right of Way Project.
“Title insurance is a unique product as it provides coverage for ‘back in time’ whereas all other insurances protect you for future events,” said Allen.
One of the main functions of title insurance is to verify that soon-to-be purchased property is clear of liens and all other owners. The title company is a neutral party in the actual real estate transactions as it operates within the contract of the real estate rather than in the interest of the buyer, seller, or lender.
Much of First Community Title’s success comes from its strong ties to the community and its history in Bell County. Its core team has more than 350 years of combined experience that spans the field of title transactions.
First Community Title first opened in the 1880s and changed ownership and hands several times since. However, it grew noticeably after Hartman was placed at its helm as president in 2002. Soon the company expanded beyond Exchange Place in Temple to Killeen with a small office and a research facility on the town square in Belton.
In 2004 FCT moved its Temple office to its current location at 4613 South 31st Street. Shortly after that came offices in Salado, Harker Heights, and Gatesville —and more than 30 employees.
“When we say real people, real service, we mean it,” Wolff explained. “We value our employees, our clients, and this community.”
Lowery added, “We pour into our team, and, in turn, they pour into our clients.”
The company demonstrates a solid belief in development with its internal training program that pays special attention to growing leaders. Allen wore several hats, including bookkeeper, escrow assistant, and operations/training manager, before becoming one of the company’s owners.
“Terri Holwerda, Cindy Sladecek, and I have been around since we were the Old Republic Title of Bell County (1989),” she said.
Take one glance at First Community’s Facebook page, and the impact of their long relationships becomes evident. The company culture resembles one of a start-up tech company rather than a title company. Birthday announcements tagged #fctfamily, TikTok dances, and invitations to their monthly First Friday meetings flood its profile.
“We can say that the success of our company is built on teamwork, communication, mutual respect between our employees, real estate agents, and lenders,” Hartman said. “It takes a team, and that takes agreement, alignment, accountability, and adjustment. Thru that, you build trust amongst all parties in the transaction.”
The Temple Chamber of Commerce thanks First Community Title for its contributions to the business community and its membership with the Chamber.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce has extended its annual self-guided tour of Temple and surrounding wineries and breweries from one weekend to nine days. The 2023 Spirit of Santa Fe Trail runs from Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 9 this year and will feature 13 participating locations.
“One weekend proved too short for guests to truly experience how much the Central Texas craft beverage industry has grown,” said the Temple Chamber of Commerce President Rod Henry. “Plus, this year features more venues to visit, including a new distillery in Little-River Academy, and we want guests to have a chance to see them all.”
The event showcases Central Texas's mark in the adult beverage space and introduces the community to new businesses and new products from old favorites.
For example, Walker Honey Farm, known since 1930 for producing various honey products, began delivering a bee-to-bottle experience in 2011 by introducing honey wine and mead made in-house at Dancing Bee Winery.
“It is our desire that Walker Honey Farm preserve and grow its presence as a valued member of the farm community responding to the evolving needs of the communities in which we live and work,” the Walker family explains on their website. “Honey Wine is a logical and intuitive expansion of our offerings from the hive.”
A newcomer to the trail this year, Wilson Valley Mercantile is the only seed, grain, field, and farm-to-glass distillery in Texas –one of few in the United States.
“It’s about more than showing people there’s more to do in Temple,” said Bobbie Jo Young, Director of Membership Development for the Chamber. “It’s about living up to our mission to preserve, protect, and promote business in this city. The tour is one of the many ways we serve our members.” The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is one of seven signature initiatives the Temple Chamber of Commerce presents annually. Members can leverage each initiative as a partnership and marketing opportunity to engage and develop lasting relationships with the community.
“The Business Link Lunch and Business After Hours are great for meeting other business owners and people you can do business with,” said Katrina Owens, the Chamber’s Director of Signature Initiatives. “Those happen every month during the work week and tend to be shorter opportunities to interact.” She continued, “The annual events allow more time to interact more festively. People love doing business with those they enjoy, and the signature events set the tone for enjoyment.”
One benefit of a week-long event is guests don’t have to pack multiple locations into one weekend. Participating venues for the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail will operate during their regular business hours, which means guests can visit any place during featured events such as trivia night and musical BINGO. Nearly every spot on the list has something to keep guests entertained. Another benefit of a week-long tour: Safety.
With good planning, guests will have plenty of time to visit each venue rather than try to fit them all into one booze-filled weekend. Organizers of the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail ask that guests drink responsibly, avoid drinking and driving, and have a designated driver.
Trail tickets are $25 and are valid for one exclusive offer at each participating location over the Trail dates. Guests can purchase tickets online at centraltexastickets.com or pick up a punch card from participating wineries, breweries, distilleries, or the Chamber with proof of ticket purchase.
Visit the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail event page, templechamber.com/spiritofsantafe, for a complete list of participating venues and their hours of operation.
The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is made possible by generous sponsors: City of Temple, Emerson Construction, Polar Texas Bottling, Ludwick Montgomery & Stapp, McLane Company, Perry Office Products, and First United Bank & Trust.