Erica DeAnda

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

I am the new head brewer at Minocqua Brewing Company (MBC) in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I’ve been in the brewing industry a little over four years now, starting as a server at a small brewpub in Oakland, Calif. and eventually becoming an assistant brewer at Freewheel Brewing under Alisha Blue, who took me under her wing. I applied at MBC thinking nothing would really come of it because I didn’t have head brewer experience, but the owner took a chance and hired me.

What’s new at Minocqua Brewing?

New brewer means new beer! Minocqua Brewing Company is a 20-year-old brewery rich with history. I am updating the equipment and have changed some of the recipes to reflect current styles. Our new beer, Largemouth Blonde, using locally sourced Tahoma hops, has become a local favorite. We are working with a new yeast company and now have a house yeast strain. I’m also working with a local distiller for some barrel-aged stouts.

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

The people. I have met so many wonderful brewers, packagers, distributors, consumers, and bartenders who I am now lucky enough to call my friends. People in the beer industry have a drive and passion that is almost untouchable. They understand the level of commitment and love that goes into making that wonderful pint you are about to enjoy.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Not a food, but I love a clean, crisp, Kölsch paired with a really nice bourbon. I think a true sign of an excellent brewer is if they have mastered making a Kölsch. I also am a firm believer that we need to bring back Boilermakers!

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Moving to Wisconsin! I was born and raised in the Bay Area of California, and moving across the country was a huge deal for me. I got rid of pretty much all I had and packed up our Honda Civic with two cats and a lot of California beer and headed to the Midwest.

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

21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon. You can bring this beer to any function and everyone will enjoy it.

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

Listen to and collect records with my boyfriend, and hang out at the house with my kitties, Morrison Day and Milk Stout. I also spend a lot of time researching different beer styles and recipes.

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

I am in the process of saving my pennies for a trip to the UK, as my love of beer is mainly cask ales. I would love to get a fresh pint hand-pulled from some bitter bartender in a dark pub somewhere. It’s the ultimate goal for me.

 


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