“Let me start with this: I love craft beer and the craft beer industry. I honestly don’t think that I could ever work in a different environment again.
I have been working in this industry for 6 years now. Over that course of time, I have come to understand this business in many capacities through various opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to have been offered. I have managed retail beer departments and worked in brewery sales. I have helped brew local beers with local breweries, consulted for local bars and restaurants, and organized beer dinners and events. I have represented brewers at large beer festivals as well as coordinated my own smaller festivals.
To me, craft beer is more than an alcoholic beverage made by small, hardworking breweries. It is a life style and passion. My strong love for what I do helped me realized years ago that if you love something, you should strive to understand it better every day. I spent an entire year studying beer styles, beer regions, and the history of brewing. I have completed multiple online beer education courses, taken classes, been to seminars, and read books on the history of styles and brewing techniques. But, I couldn’t just stop there. I went to the Dispense Institute of Draft Technology to actually learn how beer travels from the keg to your glass. I joined the Master Brewers Association of America.
I have spent months learning the culinary side of brewing – beer and food pairings, cooking with beer, and understanding that beer and food pair magically together in an important symbiotic relationship. I am currently a beer and food pairing judge at The Great American Beer Festival. I have been invited to attend Brooklyn Beer School later this year. Throughout 2016, I will set up and will host multiple beer dinners with local business that will have different varying themes.
I recognize that one of the greatest things I can do for this community that has given so much to me is to give back to that very community. In that spirit, this May I am launching my own craft beer centric clothing company at the Maryland Craft Beer Festival. We will be donating $1 for each shirt to the Maryland Brewers Association. I also recently team up with The Pink Boots Society to help raise money for their mission of women empowering each other to further their knowledge and involvement in the craft beer industry through education.
After all of this, I asked myself ‘What else do I need from beer?’ – And it hit me. I not only need for myself to understand and appreciate this amazing liquid art form, I need share who I am with my community, family, and friends. Every time I visit a small brewery, drink an artisanal beer, or speak to a brewer, I still get a nostalgic feeling. It still gets me excited. It’s like experiencing the magic of Christmas morning over and over. I want to share that amazing feeling and experience – that’s the whole reason that I started Bel Air Beer Week. If I have learned anything in the past few years about craft beer, it’s that it’s all about community, culture, and appreciating the actual craft.
So, please join me this summer. Come out and celebrate craft beer and all its culture!”