What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
My current position is brewery liaison [at Church Street Brewing Co. in Itasca, Ill.]. I originally started as a server at The Lucky Monk, a restaurant/brewery in Barrington, Ill. I fell in love with craft beer due to Lucky Monk brewmaster Anthony Carollo. I now work at my hometown brewery and have known the owners since I was a little kid.
What’s new at Church Street?
We just installed four new 30 bbl fermenters, bringing the total to 10. We will eventually be installing four more 30 bbl fermenters to increase our production of delicious beer. We also updated our tap handles, brought in new swag for our fans, and are now open on Sundays!
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I love going to beer festivals and seeing how much our fans really appreciate our beer. The questions they ask really bring out my passion for craft beer and for being a part of Church Street Brewing. It is also great to see the same faces in the craft beer community. I have almost all the brewers’ names down now!
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
As a beer nerd I enjoy visiting other local breweries and craft beer bars. I also enjoy being outdoors all year long. There’s nothing like a fantastic doppelbock to warm your blood after spending time outside during Chicago’s winter! But an ice-cold Belgian wheat beer on the patio is so very wonderful on a hot Chicago day as well.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I love steak accompanied by an amber ale or a red ale. Church Street’s Crimson Clover Red Irish Ale is quite tasty with a medium-rare filet topped with caramelized onions, bacon, and bleu cheese. I hope I’ve made you hungry!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Graduating college was a huge accomplishment for me! I have a business degree from Elmhurst College with a minor in communications. This has allowed me to obtain a couple of different jobs and really hone my social and business skills.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. I love the hop character and wheat body. Very tasty!
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Going to the guild meeting at Lagunitas Brewing in Chicago. Holy amazing! This was the most inspiring beer adventure I have ever gone on. I was in pure amazement over the size of the brewery as well as the highly developed machinery they use for production. I will be visiting again!