Glen Hay Falconer Foundation Scholarship Recipients Named!

By John Hannafan
June 08, 2021

From an outstanding group of talented applicants, Sarah Perez of Bleeding Heart Brewery (Palmer, AK) and Gracie Nelson of Migration Brewing Company (Portland, OR) have been named recipients of the 2021 Glen Hay Falconer Foundation Siebel Brewing Scholarships.  Our scholarship program encompasses over half of the United States geography, and the scholarships drew candidates from throughout that region.  Both scholarships are for the WBA Concise Course in Brewing Technology that takes place this November in Chicago.  The WBA Concise Course in Brewing Technology is a two-week intensive program that covers every topic critical to successful brewery operations.

Sarah Perez developed her passion for craft brewing over a decade as a home brewer before joining the professional brewing ranks four years ago.  Finding both opportunity and challenge in Alaska, Sarah joined Anchorage Brewing Company and is currently Associate Brewer & Taproom Manager at Bleeding Heart Brewery.  “Sarah has remarkable achievements including being the first black female professional brewer in Alaska and has taken that leadership to create the first Pink Boots Society chapter in Alaska” cited a Selection Committee member. “Simply put, leadership, perseverance, and community are words that epitomize Sarah” added another.  Sarah is recognized not only for her creativity and thirst for knowledge in the brewhouse but also for her steadfast dedication to the broader community from teaching sensory beer tasting to moderating panels that support greater diversity in the industry.  Well put by another Selection Committee member: “Brewing great beers in something that is not easy but even harder is inspiriting others and infusing them with your passion and dedication.  Keep up the great work, Sarah!”

Gracie Nelson joined Migration Brewing two years ago, starting literally as a delivery driver but working up to a senior brewing role through her insatiable learning abilities and unbounded enthusiasm.  In the words of a Selection Committee member: “Gracie’s story is of a person consumed by brewing beer and the desire to understand the ‘why’ of the brewing process.”  “Her application reminds us that the passion created by finding brewing can bring together seemingly unrelated talents into unforeseen dreams.  Siebel will bolster those talents and take Gracie to the next level of her career.”  Notes another, “Gracie clearly sets a high standard for herself, demonstrated through a tireless work ethic, enormous integrity, and sunny disposition”.  Gracie leads by example and through her community involvement, such as with SheBrew, to promote greater inclusion and equality in the craft brewing industry.  Summarized by a Selection Committee member: “Gracie is perfectly positioned for the Concise Course with enough brewing experience that the coursework will provide the necessary educational foundation to accelerate her career.  And with her positivity, joy of life, and community-orientation, Gracie will undoubtedly be a great teacher and promoter of craft brewing opportunities.”

The Foundation thanks the incredible Selection Committee for its dedication and energy.  The 2021 Selection Committee consisted of Jamie Floyd (Ninkasi Brewing), John Hannafan (Siebel Institute), John Maier (Rogue Ales), Lisa Morrison (Belmont Station Bottle Shop & Biercafé), and Chris Studach (Cascade Brewers Society).  Wrote a Selection Committee member and representing them all: “Sarah and Gracie both exemplify the determination it takes to rise up to the challenges the course brings and to apply that knowledge and share it with others. They are committed to brewing and to their communities.  It is important to point out that two women won the scholarships this time around, but that isn't unusual for the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation”.

To date, the Foundation has granted a total of 49 brewing education scholarships and currently offers three scholarships annually.

For more information on the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, our brewing scholarship program, and related activities, visit and follow us on Facebook.

Glen Hay Falconer Foundation