Ellen Lehman

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I’m the quality lab manager at MadTree Brewing Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up with a homebrewing father, I’ve always had a love for craft beer. My husband, who was a MadTree volunteer and later the contract engineer, introduced me to the guys at MadTree. My biology background and desire to make quality beer helped me land this dream job.

What’s new at MadTree?

We are undergoing an $18 million expansion. With that expansion comes a much larger lab with room for new toys including a future GC-MS and “clean room” for in-house yeast propagation. The ability to maintain master strains will greatly increase the quality and consistency of our beer…and that’s exciting.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

The best part is definitely the community itself. Networking with other breweries, local and national, is very humbling. Everyone is always super nice and helpful, and it is easy to see that we are all in this together to support each other and help build a strong craft brewing community that provides the public with quality beer.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

I’m a huge fan of charcuterie, and find that a farmhouse ale pairs really well with it. The slight funkiness of the cheeses and meats complements the ale really well.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Snagging my husband. I definitely married up.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

My go-to beer outside of ours is Bell’s Two Hearted. It’s a very smooth, drinkable IPA and remarkably consistent. I love a beer that I can trust, and knowing that I’m getting the same beer every time I order it.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

Hawaii. We were able to check out a lot of small, local breweries on Kauai and Maui. It was interesting to see how they were able to obtain ingredients and equipment while being so far from the mainland. I’m also a bit jealous of their weather and scenery.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

To be honest, there isn’t too much time away from the brewery. Many weeknights and some weekends are spent hanging out at the brewery or with coworkers. We refer to each other as our MadTree family. When you love your job and the people you work with, it is easy to let home and work life meld together.

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