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Women In Beer | Profiles

A Family Tradition, Part I: Kala Hadfield

Ifyou know about beer in BC, you’ve heard about Spinnakers, the 35-year-old brewpub in Victoria. Maybe you’ve been there on more than one occasion. The hard work of owner/publican Paul Hadfield created the first brewpub in Canada, and it has thrived throughout the exponential growth of the BC microbrewery industry.
Paul is not the only member of the family who is a part of the beer world. His two daughters, Kala and Carly Hadfield, have followed the family tradition, with Kala working at Spinnakers and Carly owning a pub in Castlegar. Let’s get a word from both of them, starting with Kala.


  1. How long have you been in the position? Have you worked your way up or did you jump right in?
    I started in the brewery on the packaging line and doing deliveries in 2010, and have worked my way up over the years, through cellaring and brewing to a management position.
  2. Did you choose the job or did the job choose you? Or maybe a push of support from your Dad?
    Working front of house was never my passion and it was at the suggestion of my Dad that I transitioned into the brewery when a position became available.
  3. What were you doing before?
    Before starting in the brewery, I was spending my summers bartending at Spinnakers, and my winters teaching scuba diving.
  4. Did you take any specific training for your role now?
    I took courses through Siebel and through OSU, but for the most part learned hands-on.
  5. How did you discover your passion for beer?
    Beer was always around growing up, including setting out IPA with the cookies for Santa, but it was spending a bunch of time in Portland in 2010 and getting a taste for big west coast IPAs that ignited my passion and drove my desire to move to the brewing side of the operations and be able to have influence on the beers we were producing.
  6. Are there advantages or disadvantages to being a woman in the industry?
    As long as you are physically capable to do the job and passionate about the industry, I believe that advantages/disadvantages are more individual than gender-specific.
  7. Do you have any suggestions for women wanting to get into the industry?
    Just do it.  Be prepared to start at the bottom, work hard, and get dirty.
  8. How do you feel about women-only beer groups like “Pink Boots”?
    Organizations like the Pink Boots are great for networking and are really welcoming to women regardless of your skill and knowledge level. I joined in 2010 and have attended Pink Boots meetings at the Craft Brewers Conference over the years and it has been really cool to watch the growth in attendees.
  9. What is your favourite beer of the brewery and why?
    My favorite beer changes with the time of day or the weather. Right now, my favorite is our Oyster Stout because I love the rich brininess. It is so seasonal, with only one batch brewed per year.
  10. What is your favourite beer outside of your brewery and why?
    Any ice-cold beer on a sunny tropical beach, because what beats that?
  11. Favourite female in the industry?
    My favorite female in the industry would probably be Teri Fahrendorf. Her passion for the advancement of the careers of women beer professionals is very inspiring and the knowledge base she shares on her website is something I have turned to on more than one occasion.
  12. It has been 3-4 years since you last took part in a Pink Boots brew. What made you decide to lead one this year?
    The number of female brewers in Victoria has more than doubled since the last time we participated, and it seemed like a great opportunity to get everyone together.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s release spotlighting Kala’s sister Carly Hadfield!


Lundy Dale

Lundy Dale writes for What's Brewing BC and Beer Me BC, and was a regular contributor to the now-defunct Taps magazine. She is founder of BC Craft Beer Month, and co-founder of the Canadian chapter of the Pink Boots Society, an international organization that supports women in the Beer Industry.

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