What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the marketing coordinator at Kannah Creek Brewing Co. in Grand Junction, Colo. I started in the craft brewing industry as a server at Kannah Creek’s original brewpub back in 2007. I moved up to bartender and eventually manager at the brewpub as I finished up my degree in Mass Communications at Mesa University (back then it was still Mesa State).
What’s new at Kannah Creek?
Just over a year and a half ago, the owners of Kannah Creek built a brand new restaurant and production facility in Grand Junction. We now bottle and distribute throughout Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, and most recently New Mexico. We’ve also started a new limited release series in bomber bottles featuring Baltallica Baltic Porter and The Demise of Ivan Russian Imperial Stout.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
When I first started as a server at the brewpub seven years ago, I had just turned 21 and had only ever tried domestic beer. Kannah Creek opened my eyes to all of the flavors and nuances of craft beer. I love that even though all of the breweries are competing in the same business market, there really is a sense of camaraderie. I’ve experienced it personally by working numerous beer festivals this past year. Everyone just has this passion and enthusiasm for everything craft beer, and they love sharing that with others in the industry. When I talk to some of my friends I’ve learned very quickly this is not the norm in business.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Go out for drinks or dinner with my husband and good friends. I also enjoy taking my dog, Moose, a 120-pound bloodhound/coonhound mix, for runs and hikes. In the winter time, I try to make it up to Powderhorn for a little snowboarding. In the summertime my husband and I are almost never at home on the weekends. We can be found in the mountain towns or on the Front Range visiting family and friends.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
We offer a food and beer pairing event at the brewpub once a month. These events have really started to open my eyes to the world of pairings. My absolute favorite pairing so far has been Kannah Creek’s Highside Hefeweizen and Cypress Grove’s Purple Haze [cheese]. I have never been a huge fan of hefeweizen or wheat beers in general, but when our hefeweizen was paired with this lavender and wild fennel pollen chevre, it made me love the beer! It brought out notes and flavors I had never tasted before. I have now started to appreciate hefeweizen beers and am trying them more on their own. All because of that pairing!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
One of my biggest accomplishments is earning a 4.0 GPA every year of college and graduating Magna Cum Laude.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
IPAs are my favorite style of beer, so I can give you my top three outside of Kannah Creek: Odell IPA, Dad & Dude’s Dank, and Ska Modus Hoperandi.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I live in Grand Junction on the Western Slope of Colorado, but I travel to the Front Range all the time and there are so many amazing breweries. Denver itself has some great breweries but I also have really enjoyed trying some of the newer breweries between Denver and Fort Collins. Colorado is one pretty amazing state of craft beer!