7 Women Crushing the CA Craft Beer Scene

The CA Craft Brewers Association is putting on their annual Craft Beer Summit this weekend (September on Capitol Mall right here in Sacramento!  We are all pretty excited and wanted to catch up with seven of the most influential women in the CA Craft Beer scene.

TERESA PSUTY, Brewermaster, Crooked Lane Brewing Company

What do you love most about the beer industry?

I love being part of something that truly brings people together. It’s gratifying to connect with people over something so simple, yet rich in history and cultural significance. Good beer just makes people happy, and I’m delighted to play a part in the experience.

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

Where else could it be? Sacramento is the state capitol and has a phenomenal beer culture, to me it makes perfect sense it should be here. I have been the last two years and have really gotten a lot out of it, I think the CCBA has done a great job in pulling it off and it wouldn’t be so easy if it took place far away from Sac. But, I’ll be there every year no matter where it is.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand?

I’ve been drinking so much of our Veedels Brau Kolsch this summer, it’s just so refreshing. I was joking with my husband that we probably opened the brewery so that we could have this Kolsch whenever we want it.

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass.

Lindsey Nelson of Niche Communications is someone I’ve gotten to know through the Pink Boots Society, and she’s such a solid contributor. After we watched her totally rock organizing and promoting the launch of the benefit beer we did at Crooked Lane for PBS in the spring, we asked her to help us with some things at the brewery. I can say we have been dazzled by the results. Lindsey is so efficient and effective at what she does, I really love working with her!

 

LAURIE HOLTOG, Event & Marketing Manager, California Craft Brewers Association (AKA lady behind the California Craft Beer Summit)

What do you love most about the beer industry?

The people, the creativity, the passion, and that the industry is so community oriented!

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento? Especially since you are one of the people behind the whole event!

It’s very exciting and rewarding to work on a project that is here in Sacramento and to see the impact it has on the city and the local beer community. Sacramento provides the perfect backdrop to hold this statewide event! It’s also an opportunity for brewers from all over the state to engage beer fans here in Sacramento as tap takeovers happen around the Summit. It’s a great time to be a craft beer fan in Sacramento!

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand ? Either Bike Dog’s Mosaic or Track 7’s Hoppy Palm!

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass.

It’s hard to choose just one! There’s just so many women in this industry throughout the state that are leading their breweries and businesses. I really admire the regional guild leaders from across the state like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco who are representing their local brewers and organizing beer weeks and festivals year-round.

 

LAUREN ZEHNDER, General Manager, Mraz Brewing Company

What do you love most about the beer industry?

Definitely the people. The beer community is full of super friendly, laid back people that are passionate about their craft, but still manage to let loose and have fun.

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

We’re extremely lucky for the Summit to be in our hometown. Obviously, it’s convenient to not have to travel, but more importantly, I think it shows the rest of the state that our beer industry is putting out some pretty phenomenal beer. I’m not sure most of people from out of town would get to experience our beer without this event, especially small breweries like ours who only distribute in Northern California.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand ?

If I was choosing one of our beers, it would definitely be the Blueberry American Sour. It is tart, refreshing, and straight crushable. One of my favorites of our kettle sours.  If I was grabbing one from another Sacramento brewery, probably Curious Haze from Device or YOJO from Moonraker. The Northeast-style IPAs are super easy-drinking, especially on a hot day.

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass.

Alex Nowell, Brewmaster for Three Weavers. She is incredibly talented and well-respected throughout the industry. Her beer knowledge is extensive and she’s running a growing and successful brewery. Hopefully we’ll get to see more Three Weavers brews in Sacramento.

 

TIFFANY HABERMAN, Greater Sacramento Sales Representative,  Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

What do you love most about the beer industry?

I am mesmerized by the creativity of brewers, I look at a brewer the same as I do a Chef; they are artists.  The current craft beer scene is full of full bodied, flavorful beers.  I love to enjoy a beer with the brewer and discuss flavor profiles, food pairings and to see that twinkle of joy and pride in their eyes.

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

There isn’t another place I would rather see it.  Sacramento is a growing mecca for craft beer, filled with craft drinkers who are eager to try new styles, gather with friends and share their latest find. The summit is an opportunity for brewers and craft drinkers alike to experience Sacramento’s craft beer culture.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand ?

That is not a fair question. 🙂 I will always order something new that I haven’t tried and I love to pair a beer with my meal or sometimes even my mood.

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass.

Julia Herz!  If you don’t know her name it is time you do!  Her level of knowledge and desire to continually learn is impressive, her contribution and voice with the Brewers Association is one to be reckoned. Being a foodie she won me over heart and soul as coauthor of Beer Pairing.  I am always looking forward to listening to her speak with her passion and knowledge, she is an inspiration for anyone in any industry.

 

KATE WHELAN, Director of Sacramento Beer Week

What do you love most about the beer industry?

We are so tight knit and close in this industry; it’s really like a family and I love how supportive our local industry can be in creating a sustainable culture that benefits brewers, retailers and consumers who are passionate about craft beer.

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

I think it’s amazing! To be the hub of such an important Summit that brings all of California beer together is really rad. We are quickly becoming one of the topmost craft beer destinations in the entire state, so it makes sense that our statewide Summit gathers here.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand?

I love a good saison or gose in this heat! New Glory’s Farmhouse French Saison is a classic and if you can snag one of their limited run Curiosite Series, the Ginger Peach Saison and Key Lime Gose were some favs.

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass.

Teresa Psuty from Crooked Lane Brewing Company is putting out some amazing brews lately; they’re not only delicious, but they took home some awards from the California State Fair as well!

 

KYLIE COUTTS, co-founder of HopBroads

What do you love most about the beer industry?

What I love most about the craft beer industry is both the people and the beer involved. Weekly there are new and interesting beer releases to try…essentially there is not a dull moment in beer! As for the people, the beer community is very tight knit here. I love that you can essentially go to any local brewery on any day of the week and you can all but guarantee you will run into a friend.

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

Sacramento is still in its infancy as far as craft beer when you compare us to cities like San Diego and Portland, etc. We’re taken a lot more seriously as a beer city than we were even just a couple years ago, but still have a lot to show. Having the Summit held here is not only an honor in and of itself, but it also gives an opportunity for all of these heavy hitting breweries from well established beer drinking cities to see just how much we have to offer. There’s no denying that there is a saturation issue in Sacramento beer, but the quality/quantity ratio has steadily shifted back into our favor and having the summit held here every year is the best way to show that.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand ?

It’s hot and I’m drinking a cold beer? Most likely would be an Ubahdank IPA! New Glory is hands down one of my favorite local breweries and consistently produces top notch beers.

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass

One woman in the beer industry among all the great ones I have met through HopBroads’ events, both local and kicking ass, is owner of Final Gravity, Amy Ruthnick. She is very knowledgable and passionate about her beer and has shown that through the success and nonstop good times at her and her husband, Kyle’s business. A place with great vibes, and an always changing, always amazing tap list.

 

MARIA HILL, Digital Marketing Manager (AHA lady behind the social media updates for the Summit #CABeerSummit)

What do you love most about the beer industry?

First of all it is such a welcoming community that is usually so excited to talk about flavors, styles, and help you find something you will love to drink (and it will probably be brewed locally). Second, there is always something new to taste! From the popular sour and hazy beers to barrel-aged it is a really exciting time to see so much variety in flavors and styles. If you live in California chances are you live near a local brewery so I encourage you to take the opportunity to taste outside of your I comfort zone, especially if you are someone who is “not a beer person,” because you never know what might be your new favorite style.

 

What are your thoughts on the California Craft Beer Summit being here in Sacramento?

I love having the Summit in Sacramento! I think as a region Sacramento can be pretty underrated by the rest of California and it is fun to be able to share the passion we have for all things local whether it be beer, food, or hospitality. Also you can’t beat the gorgeous backdrop of the Capitol Building for the festival on Saturday.

It’s a hot day on a patio, what Sacramento beer is in your hand ?

With the amount of breweries we have in the region this is truly an unfair question ha ha! Likely I would have a Bike Dog Mosaic Pale Ale

Name one women in the beer industry overall that you think is kicking ass

Kayla Brogna, Brewer at Sierra Nevada. She helped establish the Pink Boots Sacramento chapter and is passionate about elevating opportunities for women in the craft beer industry

 

If you attend the CCBA Summit this weekend chances are you will run into at least one of these awesome ladies of the industry. If you are interested in getting more info. it can be found HERE

 

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