Rachael Engel has had a profound and well-respected career in brewing since 1999 and is currently head brewer at Bosk Brew Works. Moving up and down the coast, she has brewed at several breweries, a favorite being Hoppy Brewing in Sacramento, which still brings back one of her recipes every now and then.
According to Rachael though, anything longer than five years ago feels like it happened to someone else. She began her transition in 2017 while also helping a new brewery get started. She started hormone replacement therapy and was losing muscle mass while putting up drywall. Brewing is a physically straining job where Rachael has had the opportunity to experience both sides of it and see the changes in how she was treated and what was expected.
However, her creativity has flourished since coming out and transitioning. Perhaps the nomadic nature came from the stifling effects of living a life that didn’t feel like hers. She loves classics, especially a well-done West Coast IPA, but she enjoys brewing a wide range of beers and seeing what customers enjoy. Of course, there is always space on the tap list to explore with an experimental hop that, say, makes an IPA taste like an orange cream soda.
Beyond just brewing, she has become a social activist and is on the Brewer’s Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Rachael has hosted multiple International Women’s Day brews and has gradually become the face for transitioning brewers. Brewster, inspirer, advocate, and so much more, but at the end of it all, she is working to become utterly true to herself, and we just happen to be blessed to enjoy her journey by the pint.