This article is one of our first Next Wave awards. For the full list of 2021 winners, check out the entire series here.
Breeze Galindo stepped down as Assistant Brewer at Indie Brewing Co. in Los Angeles on July 27, 2019 and began training at Other Half Brewing on July 29. âI’m not wasting time,â Galindo says of the 48 hour life change. A few months later, the pandemic hit New York hard, leaving it with no roommates, no friends, no family, “and a majority of co-workers married or living with their girlfriends,” she said. âLoneliness was a very important thing. It was a very scary time. “
The daily routine of 10 hour shifts and “going to work and coming home and literally nothing else” continued and occupied her, but at the end of summer and on arrival. from a long Covid winter, Galindo knew she had to do something. She had a hunch: âIt’s so clichÃ© to say you’re not alone, but I know there are women who can relate to each other,â she said. She found herself asking, “How many other female brewers, cellar women or bartenders are going through this right now? “
Don’t miss a publication date!
Get the latest in beer, wine and cocktail culture straight to your inbox.
In September 2020, Galindo began formulating plans for an event âwhere women can come together and talk openly and confidentlyâ about their experiences as brewers or other members of the beer industry. Her experiences at Indie Brewing Company and the Los Angeles chapter of the Pink Boots Society, along with the support of Other Half COO and co-owner Andrew Berman, helped her prepare for the months to come. Once everything from the name of the event to its goals and graphic designer was decided, Galindo launched the Women of the Other Half Forum in May 2021.
Not exactly expected from the infamous IPA brewery. âOther Half has a very guy vibe,â admits Galindo. âThe women’s forum is like a bat signal. It catches your eye.
The OHWF hosted monthly events at Other Half Domino Park on the Williamsburg waterfront, with speakers from the Three Weavers of LA; KCBC and Grimm of New York; and Burial Beer Co. of North Carolina. Discussions led by Galindo focused on sexism and racism in the workplace, the challenges of the front-of-house during the pandemic and the upcoming session on the Brave Noise collaboration. (The next OHWF Event will feature Leah Riegel, HR director of Other Half, and Katie McNeal, brewer of Other Half Finger Lakes.)
During the day, Galindo still works 10 hour shifts and spends the majority of her time “being very dedicated to my skills, to my career, which is building up,” she says. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Michael James Jackson Foundation and is working on a mentorship project there. But she takes her role as creator of the Other Half Women’s Forum just as seriously.
âIt’s a big responsibility on my part,â says Galindo, and she meets potential speakers âtwo, three or even four timesâ before each event, telling personal stories they might be willing to share in a safe space. . Once the theme is defined, she tells the speakers, âit’s up to you what you’re comfortable talking about,â she says. âThere is a microphone in your hand. What message would you like to share? “