Melody Daversa

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

I am the Marketing Events & PR manager. I was lucky enough to get hired at Karl Strauss as their Brewery Ambassador right out of college and work my way into my current position. Since starting at Karl Strauss four years ago, beer has become my passion—I love to talk beer, drink beer, and even brew beer at home! I love this industry and the great people in it.

What’s new at Karl Strauss?

We are currently celebrating our 20th anniversary and we’ve got a lot of new projects in the works. We wrapped up a big brewery expansion and new bottling line earlier this year, as well as launched completely redesigned packaging and our new Tower 10 IPA.

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

The people. Everyone in this industry is so passionate about their craft, and it shows in everything they do—from brewing great beers to being extremely involved in their local communities. I love going to events like the Craft Brewers Conference and seeing the genuine camaraderie. No one is out to get anyone else—we’re all in it together.

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

San Diego has such a thriving beer and food scene, and I spend a lot of my free time trying new beers and restaurants. I also enjoy baking, bread making, and of course, homebrewing. When I have money, traveling to new places tops the list.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

So many choices!  I have to say that I really love pairing beer and cheese. One of my favorite pairings is Red Dragon cheese with our Tower 10 IPA. The cheese has whole mustard seeds in it so it’s very assertive and slightly spicy. The citrusy and piney flavors of the IPA cut the spiciness without overwhelming the cheese. To top it off, the lively carbonation scrubs your palate, leaving you ready for the next bite. Now I am hungry…

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

I’ve been a homebrewer since I started at Karl Strauss, and this year I decided to take a 12-week Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) class to become an official homebrew judge. Not only did I enjoy drinking my way through every beer style, I am proud to say that I passed the three-hour grueling exam.

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

It’s a tie between Russian River’s Pliny the Elderand Alesmith’s Barrel Aged Speedway Stout. Both are outstanding beers.

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

Two years ago I visited Iceland with my boyfriend. Since both of us are in the brewing industry we made it a priority to seek out local beers. After many bus transfers and what felt like miles of walking, we wound up at the Egill Skallagrímsson Brewery outside of Reykjavik. They produce Iceland’s most popular lager and it was fun to have their brewers ask us questions about the San Diego craft beer scene. I also tried some amazing Baltic Porters while I was in Estonia last year. I think traveling is a great way to experience new beers and I’ve learned that wherever you go, people love to talk about beer and are always willing to go the extra mile for a fellow beer lover.

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