Zadkiela Rios: First South American Recipient of Petainer Sponsored Pink Boots Cicerone Scholarship

Zadkiela Rios Pink Boots

Zadkiela Rios is the first South American Pink Boots Society recipient of a Level 1 scholarship sponsored by Petainer. Zadkiela is currently a Brand Ambassador at Club de Cacao Magno, the first Cacao Subscription in Chile. She also works as a Brewery Design Equipment Consultant for BusaInox, a company that develops and builds brewery equipment in Chile.

What motivated you to work in the beer industry?

Everything started when I was in college, I studied Chemistry Process Engineering in Venezuela and during the last year I enrolled in a course about fermentation. My mind went crazy when I started to understand how little microorganisms can do so many things, and it was more impressive to know that we can control them directly or indirectly through external parameters like pH, temperature, and nutrients. That led me to start a thesis about creating a Cacao fermented beverage, this mixed my two passions (chocolate & fermentations). After I finished my thesis, I decided to work in fermentation, specifically for the beer industry and move to Chile to continue with my dream.

How was moving to Chile and starting to work in the beer industry?

In the beginning, it was a little hard because it was a new place. But after a while, I noticed that I had to improve my knowledge and skills to enter the beer industry. That is when I decided to pursue a Diploma in Microbrewery at PUCV University. During that Diploma, I met a lot of people from the beer industry and acquired good friendships like Marcela, from Hathor Brewery. This allowed me to learn about the @ComunidadMujeresCervecerascl, an association like the Pink Boots Society, but in Chile. By that time, I started working in brewery equipment design in BUSAINOX. This opened a door for me to the Chilean Craft brewery movement.

What did you do next?

I continued working in brewery equipment design and I met more brewers and breweries, but then the COVID 19 outbreak made me rethink what I wanted to do next! I decided to learn about beer sensorial analysis, food pairing, tasting, beer styles, and chocolate. I participated more actively in the Comunidad de Mujeres Cerveceras. Currently, I am enrolled in the BJCP course, a Diploma in Chocolate Technology, and studying for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server, thanks to the Petainer scholarship.

What made you decide to apply for the Level 1 scholarship?

Improve my beer knowledge in beer service, style, and flavors. the Cicerone program and the Level 1 is the best option to continue learning and this was the best decision because the course is very practical, easy to understand, very visual and it allowed me to comprehend the beer in a more professional way. I am excited to do the Level 1 test in May. I really appreciate that companies like Petainer offer this kind of help to the women who work in this industry and collaborate with groups like Pink Boots Society.

How did you find out about the Pink Boots Society?

I heard about the Pink Boots Society for the very first time in the Comunidad de Mujeres Cerveceras de Chile, because they offer a lot of courses, seminaries and information that Pink Boots share with the South American women within the beer communities. I have friends in Mexico in the Tribu Cervecera Community that told me a lot about the Pinks Boots Society. This, in turn, led me to discover the scholarship between them and Petainer.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to beer?

I love to drink it. I enjoy beer tastings as this helps me understand what is in the glass, perceive the aromas, find descriptors, and the mouthfeel. Making and creating beer pairings is the best. I have specialized in beer pairings with cacao and cigars, and every time I tried new things it was a great experience. For example, when you taste cigars you have three experiences in one because you have soft flavors in the first 1/3 part, then it becomes more intense in the 2/3 part, and ends with the strongest flavors. Imagine that mix with beer, it is simply amazing to me.

What´s your favorite Beer?

For imported beer, my favorites are Anchor Steam Beer, Cuvee de Troll and all the Chimay beers “ I love the Belgium beers. For national beers, my favorites are Vericcio Oatmeal Stout, Gracias por los Lapulos (This means thanks for the hops), IPA, and Horus IPA that surprised me a lot.

What beer is in your fridge ready to surprise us?

I have to say that there is more beer than food in my fridge, LOL. I usually have special beers for special moments, beer that friends send me, and some experimental beer that brewers give me. For example, now I have an experimental beer with fruit additions like Murta and Huesillo, a typical Chilean ingredients and one Gracias por los Lapulos IPA that are waiting to be drank!

I love seeing my fridge full of beer because I equate drinking beer as my time to unwind and relax.

Best of luck to Zadkiela! We will keep you updated on her progress.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Pink Boots Society, visit their website at