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Profiles: Women In Beer

Profiles: Women in Beer


Two Ladies of Faculty Brewing

Despite the fact that Faculty Brewing is only 2.5 blocks from where I work, I really only got to truly connect with some of the ladies over a weekend during BC Craft Beer Month in October! I actually wanted to start working on this interview last fall when the whole team including the brewer at the time, Inge, created a cask for one of my Women and Beer events. I loved the energy between them all and the variety of roles they all fill in the brewery. Inge left about 3 months ago to get back into travelling which opened up an opportunity for one of the few recent female KPU Brewing graduates.

BREWER: JACQUIE LOEHNDORF

How long have you been in the position?

JL: Two months

Did you always want to be in this position? Or, was it an opportunity to work your way up?

JL: This is the position I wanted to be in, it is what I applied for!

What brought you into the industry? Did you choose? or did the job?

JL: My love of beer and science is what drew me to the industry. I enrolled in the Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewing program. I knew I wanted to be a brewer, but started packaging at Parallel 49. I applied for the brewing position at Faculty and love it.

What were you doing before?

JL: Before starting in the brewing industry, I worked in the service industry.

It seems that people that get into the microbrewery buIsness have passion-How did you discover your passion for beer?

JL: My passion for beer has grown through my time spent serving it in bars and restaurants. Trying new styles and flavours made my love for it grow. Learning all about it at Kwantlen has really made me passionate about the process and results of brewing.

How important is schooling? How were you trained?

JL: For me schooling was the right choice, as I did not have a background with beer other than serving it. I believe that school is awesome but practical experience is equally valuable. I was trained at KPU and continue to learn and grow at Faculty.

Are there advantages OF being a woman in the industry?

JL: There is an amazing amount of support for women in the industry and not just from the other amazing women that are in it. I have received a lot of great help and excitement from others on my way to becoming a brewer.

Are there disavantages OF being a woman in the industry?

JL: So far, I have not experienced any disadvantages, but for other females I know in the industry they have had some difficulties moving up to brewing positions at their workplaces, and have had their hard work taken for granted.

What do you love about your job and the industry?

JL: The industry is very supportive of each other, it is amazing and not something you see in any other industry. I love being a part of an awesome team and making products from start to finish that people enjoy.

How has the industry changed since you came on board?

JL: There haven’t really been any big changes since I started.

What is your favourite beer of the brewery and why?

JL: I love the IPA at Faculty; it is flavorful and well balanced with our ESB coming in at a close second.

What is your favourite beer outside of your brewery AND WHY?

JL: I always have a hard time choosing a favourite! There are so many delicious beers being made. I am really loving the current trend of juicy/hazy IPA’s that is happening with everyone exploring all of the beautiful flavours that hops can impart.

Favourite female in the industry? Any advice for fellow women in the industry or wanting to get into the industry?

JL: I am very lucky to be learning from Nancy More at Kwantlen, she has an amazing wealth of knowledge! My advice is to not be afraid of hard work and starting from the bottom and working your way up. I also believe it is very helpful to make as many connections as you can with people who work in the industry; I have found a lot of support and met so many wonderful people.

Biggest acheivement to date?

JL: For me at the beginning stages of my career in this industry I would have to say being hired as a brewer has been an awesome achievement for me.


SALES/SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER: KELLI STURKENBOOM

How long have you been in the position?

KS: I’ve been working with Faculty since December 2015. I started out working with Alicia and Mauricio as the Marketing Developer (their first employee–wahoo!), became Tasting Room Manager when we opened, and in the last few months transitioned to this new role as our company grew and we started selling packaged product outside the tasting room.

Did you always want to be in this position? Or, was it an opportunity to work your way up?

KS: When I started with Faculty, all I knew was I wanted to help manage and grow this new business? I have sort of organically found new aspects of the business I enjoy. Mauricio has given me the freedom to explore what I’m good at and create my own role, which has been an amazing opportunity for me.

What brought you into the industry? What brought you to this specific choice? Did you choose? Or did the job?

KS: I kind of fell into the beer industry. I was a fan of craft beer before, but my schooling was actually in Art History and Management. I met Mauricio and Alicia a bit randomly and ended up having a meeting with them, and we got along super well. As I mentioned, my role in the company has evolved with the brewery itself, so I think moving into sales was a result of us deciding to package our product, and me deciding I wanted to be responsible for all the sales and logistics related to doing so.

What were you doing before?

KS: I had just graduated from McGill in May 2015 and moved back to BC after four years away, and was serving at a restaurant in South Surrey.

It seems that people that get into the microbrewery business have passion – how did you discover your passion for beer?

KS: I think it all started with the discovery of Dieu du Ceil while I was living in Montreal. I was still a broke student, so didn’t go there much, but I remember being fascinated by all the different styles and their beautiful tasting room. When I came back to BC, going to tasting rooms in Vancouver became a thing I would do with my mom and a couple of my friends. It was like a whole new, exciting world for me that I realized I wanted to learn much more about, which I’ve luckily had the chance to do while working for an awesome, new craft brewery.

How important is schooling? How were you trained?

KS: I think my schooling, although not directly related, prepared me to deal with deadlines and organization. With a new business, everyone is learning–even the owners. I’ve had most of my “training” from trying to solve problems or complete new tasks that neither Mauricio nor myself had to tackle before, for example, dealing with the LDB or figuring out what licenses we needed. It’s been a very fun challenge and I have learned an incredible amount along the way. It doesn’t hurt that all the breweries in our neighbourhood were always more than willing to lend advice or a helping hand.

Are there advantages of being a woman in the industry?

KS: Yes! There are so many awesome women in this industry that I get to learn from, look up to, and be friends with. I feel like the ladies in the beer industry are all so supportive and wonderful. It’s such a great community to be a part of.

Are there disadvantages of being a woman in the industry?

KS: There are definitely some disadvantages. Being a 23-year-old woman in the beer industry, there are a lot of people that are very condescending. People seem to assume I have no idea what I’m talking about, especially in sales meetings. Also – creepy dudes! Dudes, why are some of you so creepy?

What do you love about your job and the industry?

KS: As I said, it’s such a tight-knit and fun industry to be a part of. When my job gets stressful, (which is often), I always remember that I’m lucky to always be surrounded by good beer and great people. I could be selling printers. Or used cars. We have it pretty darn good in this industry.

How has the industry changed since you came on board?

KS: With all the new breweries popping up, many brewers is experimenting and pushing boundaries with their beer. It’s so cool watching BC beer evolve. People in our industry are so creative, and I love it.

What is your favourite beer of the brewery and why?

KS: Our 778 IPA. IPAs were how I got into loving craft beer, and I think ours is one of the best out there. It’s extremely aromatic, but well balanced and drinkable. Dry-hopped with Citra…ohhhhh baby. Our seasonals are awesome, too, but this one’s a classic and I will love it forever.

What is your favourite beer outside of your brewery and why?

KS: THIS IS SO TOUGH! I always buy different things at the liquor store. I love trying new beers, always. If I have to answer, one that comes to mind right away is Sierra Nevada Otra Vez – their cactus and grapefruit Gose. I tried this at the Drake in Victoria for the first time and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So light and refreshing, but has such an interesting and unique flavour. It’s the bomb.

Favourite female in the industry? Any advice for fellow women in the industry or wanting to get into the industry?

KS: So many wonderful ladies, but my coworker, Rachel Warner, definitely takes that title. She’s been with Faculty since we opened and is insanely passionate about beer. She was working in the tasting room while still in school but is now working alongside me as our marketing coordinator. She is an awesome teammate and has taught me a lot about beer. Her love for beer and brewing has inspired me to continue learning and take the cicerone exam next year.

My advice would be to get out there and start applying! Reach out to your favourite brewery (or any new breweries opening) and show them your enthusiasm.

Biggest achievement to date?

KS: I can finally double stack 50L kegs and load them into vehicles. I have not been that proud of myself in a long time.

  Issue:

Lundy Dale

Lundy Dale writes for TAPS Magazine, What's Brewing and other publications. Among other contributions to the BC beer scene, Lundy is a founder of CAMRA BC's Vancouver chapter, Barley's Angels' Pink Pints Chapter and BC Craft Beer Month, and Past President of CAMRA BC.


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