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Natalie Baldwin Oral History Interview, June 17, 2016

Oregon State University
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00:00:00 - Interview Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Okay, your name.

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin introduces herself, her birth date and place, the current date and the location of the interview.

Keywords: Burnside Brewing; Childhood in Colorado

Subjects: Beer and Brewing; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; McMenamins Pubs & Breweries; Portland (Or.); Vail (Colo.)

00:00:22 - Childhood Activities in Vail, Colorado

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Partial Transcript: So you were born in Vail. What was it like to grow up in a ski town?

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin describes how unique her childhood experiences were growing up in the ski town of Vail, Colorado, especially in terms of outdoor activities. She recalls her participation in skiing starting as a baby with her parents. Baldwin details moving back and forth between Vail and Breckenridge, and also the various outdoor sports she was involved with growing up. She states her appreciation for having such experiences as a child.

Keywords: Childhood in Colorado; Children and nature; Outdoor activities; Recreational equipment stores

Subjects: Breckenridge (Colo.); Mountain biking; Outdoor adventure; Recreational facilities; Skiing; Small businesses; Vail (Colo.)

00:02:01 - Perceptions of Vail as a Tourist Destination

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Partial Transcript: So was- when you were growing up, I'm assuming Vail

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin notes how living in a tourist destination provided an opportunity to meet visitors and seasonal workers from all over the world, and she briefly describes the movement of seasonal staff during the year. She details the different jobs her parents had in Vail, and how activity in the town would fluctuate depending on the season. Baldwin admits that she didn’t recognize Vail as a tourist destination until moving to Denver, Colorado. She describes the common activities taken up by permanent residents in Vail, and how those also changed seasonally.

Keywords: Diversity in tourism; Jobs in tourism; Seasonal work; Tourism--Economy; Tourism--diversity

Subjects: Diversity; Outdoor Adventure; Seasonal labor; Skiing; Tourism; Vacation homes

00:04:23 - Development of Academic Interests / High School Athletics

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Partial Transcript: What were you interested in school wise?

Segment Synopsis:
Baldwin describes her early interest in art and photography in school, and how that shifted more into the sciences as she got to college. She notes her involvement in a fast track college program for high school students in Colorado. Baldwin also discusses her experiences as a high school athlete in multiple sports, and her self-definition as a skier at that time. She recalls her parents’ activity as bike racers, the role that athletic competition has played in her life, and how that changed after injuring her hips in a ski accident.

Keywords: Fast track college programs; Professional photography; Science and creativity

Subjects: Art and science; Biochemistry; High school athletes; Mountain biking; PHOTOGRAPHY / Business Aspects; Photography & the creative process; Sports injuries

00:08:20 - Vacation Culture of Vail, Colorado

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Partial Transcript: What was Denver like

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin discusses the effort her parents made to provide positive experiences and opportunities for her growing up despite financial difficulties, and how that influences her own work ethic and independence. She describes her shock at seeing more diversity in socioeconomic status when moving to Denver for college. Baldwin describes her observations of the restaurant industry in Vail, and how it’s grown over time. She states that restaurants were less about local cuisine and more about tourist attraction.

Keywords: Artisanal food; Jobs in tourism; State pride; Wealth and tourism; Wealth inequality

Subjects: Ski resorts; Ski resorts--Colorado--Vail--History; Socioeconomic status; Tourism; Vacation homes; Wealth; Work ethic

00:14:01 - Experiences of Living in Denver

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Partial Transcript: So, you move down to Denver. There are different economic classes

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin describes the various benefits of moving to Denver for college, namely in the social opportunities she had. She recalls going to a brewery regularly to listen to scientific lectures while drinking beer. She discusses the differences between Vail, Denver and Portland in terms of activity, and how being busy is a positive part of her life. Baldwin gives an anecdote about going to warehouse parties while in college, and how it relates to her mix of social activity and introversion.

Keywords: Diversity of activities; Introverts and social interaction; Life in cities; Warehouse parties

Subjects: Beer; Cultural diversity; Denver (Colo.); Introversion; Lectures; Raves (Parties); Work ethic

00:20:54 - Transition between Denver and Portland / Transition into Brewing

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Partial Transcript: What, um- so, for the sake of me actually date stamping

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin chronicles her journey between Vail, Denver, Florida and Portland, describing her disdain for the climate and culture in Florida. She discusses how her interest in cosmetology brought her to Portland, and her experiences with working in the hospitality industry before transitioning into working for Pints as a bartender. Baldwin details her interest in brewing while bartending for Pints, which introduced her to home brewing and brewing competitions. She describes her interest in the creativity of brewing, and how that translates into her larger interest in food.

Keywords: Florida culture; Hair styling; Home brewing; Home brewing competitions; Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Cosmetology; Florida--Climate; Hospitality industry; Portland (Or.); Tropical climate

00:28:28 - Personal Creativity in Brewing

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Partial Transcript: Well that's what I was gonna ask you. How do you come up with ideas?

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin describes the various flavors and qualities she prefers in beer, and how that influences her creative choices as a brewer. She notes her particular interest in using vanilla flavors in her recipes. Baldwin also discusses her relationship with different brewing styles, and how she tries to put her own take on those styles into what she produces.

Keywords: Beer styles; Brewing experimentation; Brewing style standards; Style and creativity; Unique style

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Beer--Flavor and odor; Creativity; EXPERIMENTATION

00:30:47 - Initial Work Experiences for Breweries

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Partial Transcript: So what- when did you start working at Pints?

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin illustrates how she got hired at Pints, and how her initial experiences with the brewery were influenced by perceptions of her gender. She specifically notes the difficulty in being hired there because of an inappropriate experience she had with the owner of the brewery. Baldwin transitions into discussing her early experiences at Burnside Brewing as a cellar worker, and the welcoming environment of the brewery. She describes how she ended up being the brewer for Burnside at the recommendation of her brewing mentor, and her appreciation for the opportunity.

Keywords: Gender and industry; Mentors in brewing; Sexism in the workplace; Training in brewing; Women in brewing

Subjects: Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Gender in law, culture, and society; Gender in modern culture; Mentorship

00:36:06 - Gender in the Brewing Industry

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Partial Transcript: So from the larger brewing community perspective,

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin discusses her frustrations at being judged as a woman brewer, detailing how brewers from other cities often mistake her for a salesperson or flirt with her. She explains her initial perceptions of the Pink Boots Society, and how she’s come to recognize and appreciate the important work they do to gain respect and support for women brewers. Baldwin describes the public response to her being a brewer, and the pride she holds for being a role model. She states that her position as a woman brewer gives her a platform to gain opportunities and reach out to others, and that she ultimately wants to be known for her work.

Keywords: Gender and industry; Pink Boots Society; Support networks; Women in brewing; Women in industry

Subjects: Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Professionalism; Support groups; Work ethic; gender equality

00:48:12 - Acting as a Role Model for Young Women

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Partial Transcript: Well, and I wonder though about the visibility of that difference

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin gives an anecdote about meeting a young girl who wants to be a brewer in the future, and discusses the importance of visibility to empower young women interested in brewing. She states that brewing is less about alcohol and more about the craftsmanship. Baldwin also describes how she helped her dad at his construction sites growing up, and so she was unaccustomed to feeling limited professionally based on her gender.

Keywords: Brewing and education; Brewing--education; Children and gender roles; Female role models; Gender and industry; Gender roles

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Gender and culture; Gender and education; Role models

00:51:08 - Role as a Brewer in an Active Industry

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Partial Transcript: So speaking of Portland as a bubble, not the craft beer bubble

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin states her feelings about working as a brewer in such a saturated community like Portland, and the pride of being a contemporary to many of the original brewers in the overall industry. She describes the attention given to Portland brewers in planning collaborations around the country. Baldwin then discusses the challenge of producing unique beer in such a saturated craft market, along with balancing creativity and consistently good work. She details the sources she has for feedback on her beer, and the importance of properly advertising her creative products to the public.

Keywords: Brewing reputation; Creativity in brewing; Experimentation in brewing; Performance review; Quality control of beer

Subjects: Breweries; Brewing industry; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Brewing--History; Quality assurance; Quality control

01:00:16 - Perspectives on Brewing in Oregon

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Partial Transcript: What about being in Oregon?

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin discusses a recent collaboration with brewers in Alaska, and how difficult it can be to get brewing ingredients in different parts of the country. She states her appreciation for working in an area where it’s easy and convenient to quickly get supplies for new beers. Baldwin examines how Oregon is a good place to make beer because all the ingredients are produced in state.

Keywords: Beer ingredients; Brewing experimentation; Brewing ingredients; Brewing supplies; Supply accessibility

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Breweries--Alaska; Business communication; Collaboration; Creativity; Hops

01:02:42 - Future Progression of the Brewing Industry

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Partial Transcript: So what do you- what are the directions that you

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin discusses how fortunate she is to work in Portland with such a large peer group that’s devoted to improving beer quality. She also notes that the brewing industry feels saturated at this point, but she acknowledges the benefit of getting to meet so many new brewers and try their beer. She hopes that people continue to improve beer quality and learn more about the craft going into the future. Baldwin also discusses her future plans as a brewer, and how the profession isn’t sustainable due to the long-term physical strain. She states that she has yet to decide on her next steps as a brewer, and that she is currently comfortable in her niche.

Keywords: Business ownership; Industry development; Long-term goals; Progress in brewing; Self-directed learning

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Business management; Goal setting; Progress

01:05:29 - Conclusions on Participating in the Brewing Community

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Partial Transcript: What is it that- what do you love and celebrate and enjoy

Segment Synopsis: Baldwin explains that she enjoys craftsmanship and creativity, and so she really enjoys being involved in the brewing community. She describes the various details of Burnside’s Project Ale events, which fundraise for local nonprofits. She discusses the creative freedom she gets as a brewer, the connection with the community, and how that culminates in a positive experience overall.

Keywords: Brewing culture; Community events; Creative opportunities; Creativity in brewing; Social atmosphere

Subjects: Altruism; Collaboration; Community involvement; Creativity; Nonprofit organizations; Social Behavior