Leah Cheston

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the owner of Right Proper Brewing Co. in Washington, D.C. I made it to the craft brewing industry first through the wine and hospitality industry. I worked as a sommelier at beer focused restaurants, and thus learned a lot about beer, and really enjoyed it. When my husband and I were ready to start our own business, we felt that D.C. could use more neighborhood brewpubs where neighbors could come in for a beer and a meal that was fresh, delicious and didn’t break the bank.

What’s new at Right Proper?
We just brewed a half cider, half beer collab, called “Wolf Bite.” We also partnered with Heurich House Museum and Oregon State to recreate a corn lager recipe last brewed in 1956 at the Christian Heurich Brewing Co. of Washington, D.C. Senate Beer has instantly become a new fan favorite.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Definitely the people. I know everyone says that, but it’s true. There is a genuine passion to do what is right and help each other, which doesn’t exist in a lot of industries. The laid-back, casual environment of a brewpub is also more conducive to building a staff culture that is whimsical and positive, while still focusing on quality and hospitality.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Porter and vanilla ice cream!

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Wow, thinking of an answer for this one makes me question my work-life balance. I had a solo art show in college but that’s been a while. As cheesy as it may sound, I’m proud to be happy and healthy with a loving and supportive family that makes me laugh.

What’s your favorite beer from another brewery?
Orval. A classic that never gets old.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Mostly chase around my three-year-old daughter. I try to paint when I can.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Everywhere in Belgium, but particularly Brussels and Ghent. Talk about a culture that takes their beer seriously! My husband was inducted into the Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mash Staff and they put on a wonderful ceremony, procession, and beer festival in the Grand-Place every year. We also had the opportunity to visit Cantillon one day and De Proef the next. The contrast was amazing. Cantillon keeps the spider webs on the wall to add to the flavor profile of the beer. De Proef was the cleanest brewery I’ve ever been in, and the best pilsner I’ve ever had was from a pilot sixtel in their break room.

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