What's your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am founder and special events coordinator [of Lavery Brewing Co. in Erie, Pa.] I have been drinking craft beer since before my brewer husband. One of my first transcending moments was drinking Chimay at Burp Castle in NYC at age 21 in 2001. At that same time in NYC, I also tried a local brewpub’s pumpkin ale, which I fell in love with.
What's new at Lavery Brewing Co.?
We are transitioning out of our alternating proprietorship arrangement and into our own 5,000 square foot production facility. We have a 10hL Meura brewhouse that’s installed as well as 10 bbl pub fermenters. We are using a small six-head gravity filler to bottle. We've been bottling by hand for the past year and a new, albeit small, filler will make our days much easier. We are getting more and more into wild beers. Our first foray was our spring seasonal, Liopard oir, or “gold leopard,” a farmhouse ale bottled with Brett C. We are now doing test batches for a Berliner weiss summer beer and a biere de garde.
What's the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The growing trend that the 94 percent of mega-brewery drinkers are slowly becoming more willing to try a locally made beer. Being part of the local food movement is incredibly rewarding as well. And of course, brewing and drinking amazing ales. Also being a woman in a historically male-dominated profession. I find amusement in the wide-eyed looks I get when I order a Belgian or a stout, not to mention the surprised looks I get when people, both men and women, find out I co-own a brewery. I am encouraged and excited that more and more women are expanding into the beer world and I look forward to educating and enticing more women to try great beers
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I have three amazing and very busy kids that I try to keep up with. I enjoy reading and I play on a local adult soccer league. And of course relaxing with my brewer husband and friends while enjoying the wonderful beers of the craft world.
What's your favorite food and beer pairing?
I love seafood, and saison makes a great pairing with its fruity esters. I also love to cook with beer and I have a recipe for chili on our website that is made with our pumpkin ale.
What's your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Getting my masters degree while working full-time and raising children.
What's your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
What's the most memorable travel destination at which you've had a chance to sample the local beer?
San Francisco was amazing during the CBC this past March—so many great breweries and beers! We also visited Brewery Ommegang in November 2009 for three days and had an amazing time at their Bed & Brew Weekend.