What’s your current position at Stone Brewing Co., and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I'm the Media Department Assistant—in plain English that means I do a lot of the write-ups you see on our Web site and social media, and I give tours sometimes, too. Basically it's my job to know everything about our beer and how we make it. This all started when I brewed my first batch of beer with a boyfriend 16 years ago (yes, I'm that old). I was completely enamored of the entire process, not to mention the end result! A few years after that, my brother Ken (who also works at Stone) introduced me to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Until then, I had thought the only way to get decent-tasting beer was to make it yourself. Ken continued to be my beer mentor for years, exposing me to the incredible range of brews available in the craft brewing industry. Then he got a job at Stone, and he started pestering me to apply even though I had another job. Well, the lure was too strong and I started working here one day a week...and look where I am now!
What’s new at Stone?
Oh, jeez, EVERYTHING! We’re increasing the number and size of beer-related events at our Bistro and plotting some new festivals for next year...but my favorite new thing happening here is the beer. We just never stop creating new and completely unorthodox recipes. I adore the new '09 Epic, and I love that we brew so many beers that completely defy style parameters.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
What you just said—it's a community. I love being involved with a group of people who are so passionate about what they do, but even more importantly, who are passionate about the industry in general. There's a real spirit of camaraderie and sharing that I haven't found elsewhere.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Read the dictionary and play with my cat. Seriously, I love to travel and play outside any way I can.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
My idea of pure heaven is our Bitter Oatmeal Chocolate Stout with a big scoop of dark chocolate ice cream (chocolate is food!).OMG, folks, OMG.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I once climbed a sheer 2,000-foot rock face. Pretty big accomplishment for an acrophobe!
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I think Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea is one of the finest dark brews on the planet.
What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Iceland, but the beer there is absolutely god-awful. You would think that having an eight-month-long winter would encourage them to brew some more substantial and flavorful beers, but alas, they remain mired in the realm of thin, tasteless, underwhelming lagers. I was perplexed, and very sad that I hadn't had the room in my luggage to bring some Stone brews to share with them.