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Innovating Minds: Fermentation Innovation Panel @ CSU
December 5, 2019 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Innovating Minds, by the Women In Science Network at CSU, has assembled a great panel of professionals throughout the local Northern Colorado fermentation industry to discuss their career paths, innovation in, and science of fermentation. Following the panel, we will move downstairs in the Lory Student Center to the RamSkellar Pub for socializing and networking over appetizers. Panel will be moderated by Innovating Minds Lecture Series board member and Pretty Brainy Founder & President, Heidi Olinger.
December 5, 2019
4:30 – 6 pm
Lory Student Center 382
Jeff began his brewing career in 1992 as a brewer’s apprentice at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston. In 1993, he became head brewer and production manager at the Tremont Brewery in Charlestown, MA. During that time, Tremont won four consecutive awards for Boston’s best beer and grew to a 10,000 bbl/year craft brewery that focused on traditional, open fermented English ales. Jeff has been an active member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas for 23 year. In the year 2000, Jeff and his wife migrated to Colorado, where he took a position as head brewer and production manager at Avery Brewing in Boulder. In 2001, Jeff was ecstatic when he was offered a brewing position at New Belgium Brewing company. Over the years, his work has focused on process improvement, R&D, day-to-day troubleshooting & problem solving, process modeling, and applying multivariate experimental design to improve and control complex processes. Jeff has been teaching brewing science as Adjunct Faculty at Colorado State University since 2012. In 2018, he transitioned to a full-time role at CSU where he teaches brewing classes and oversees the two on-campus breweries, his position is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company.
Katie graduated from Colorado State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Health. After graduation she interned in the cellar at Fort Collins Brewery before taking a position in the QA/QC lab at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, CO. From that initial part-time lab tech position, she worked up to full-time and then eventually moved into the role of lab manager. She was at Oskar Blues until 2016 when she then accepted a job back at her alma matter, Colorado State University, as the lab manager for the Fermentation Science and Technology program. She is still currently in that role helping build and grow the program to one of the best in the country. She creates and performs research opportunities, mentors the future brewers and fermenters of America, instructs lab courses, and runs a growing service lab for the fermentation industry. She loves learning about all aspects of fermentation and is an avid home fermenter herself. With a passion for learning, she was recently accepted into the Horticulture Master’s program and is concurrently working on her master’s degree, focusing on the progression of aging metabolites in beer.
Shawna Hays – Gilded Goat Brewing Company
Shawna began home brewing with her Dad about 6 years ago while finishing her BFA degree at UW-Milwaukee, which ignited her passion for brewing. She began her time in the industry at Sprecher Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2013 in the taproom, quickly moving in to the Quality Control laboratory. After 5 years helping Sprecher Brewing develop their quality control program, she decided to take her ventures to Colorado. Shawna started again in the taproom at Gilded Goat Brewing and did everything she could to soak up as much Colorado beer culture as possible, including joining the Pink Boots Society and advocating for women in the brewing industry. She was able to intern for the Boulder Beer Co. quality control lab, assisting in the brewing operation at a Feisty distillery, and brew at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company making beer on a very large scale. Shawna is now the assistant brewer at Gilded Goat Brewing Company and involved in all aspects of small brewery operations and production.
Brynn Keenan – Inland Island Yeast Laboratories
Brynn Keenan received a BS in Biochemistry before pursuing a career in the brewing industry. Her love of the craft guided her to Holy City Brewing where she worked in the cellar, getting hands on experience in production. After a move to Colorado she became a lab technician at Left Hand Brewing, and eventually the QA manager. While there she built micro, analytical, and sensory programs. After Left Hand she joined Inland Island Yeast Laboratories as the QA manager to amplify their internal QC program. Across the industry she noticed under-utilized production and process data, and created a software platform to automate brewing data analysis. She now works with the software full time, and is excited to see how visualization of data can give back to the brewing industry.
Loren Matthews – Elevation 5003 Distillery
It all started with a group of great friends sitting around a fire pit, enjoying some cocktails, and discussing life’s journey. The conversation focused on what we all wanted to be when we “grew up”. Here we were, a bunch of 30 year old professionals discussing how we envisioned what the rest of our careers would look like. I had been working in the brewing industry for 15 years. As a brewer, it’s a natural progression to dabble in distilling. So, a few years back I bought a still and started to home distill. I immediately fell in love with distilling! Growing up, my parents were always supportive and encouraged each of their children to follow careers that they enjoyed. They told each of us to do something that we were proud of and not look back on life and regret not taking chances. So, as I shared my passion of brewing and distilling with my friends, the “starting my own distillery” seed was planted. After a few years, I took the leap of faith and followed my passion for distilling. I don’t want to look back on life and regret not doing something I’m passionate about. I’m proud of the spirits that we’re producing as a grain to bottle distillery.
Lauren Sandell – Kathinka Labs
Lauren is a graduate of Colorado State University, and earned summa cum laude in a B.S. in Fermentation Science and Technology and a minor in Food Safety. During her time at CSU, she was involved as the President of the Food and Fermentation Science Club, served as a Teaching Assistant for a Brewing Processes course, acted as a tutor and mentor for international students, and interned with three different food/beverage companies. She is enthusiastic in fields relating to kombucha, beer and brewing, microbiology, winemaking, food science, and fermentation.
- TTB Certified Chemist
- Master Brewers Association of the Americas – Member
- Institute of Brewing & Distilling – Certificate in Brewing Science, Member
Marni Wahlquist – Odell Brewing Company
Marni Wahlquist is part of the R+D Team at Odell Brewing Company. When she’s not writing recipes and brainstorming, she is brewing on the Pilot System and blending barrels. She attended Colorado State University and graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology. Her love of fermentation began in 2002 when she made her first batch of sauerkraut. It was less than delicious, but it had still transformed enough to taste its potential. Through being a hobbyist fermenter and learning the science of fermentation in her kitchen, she launched a fermentation food business in 2011 which focused on traditionally fermented vegetables. As her company reached a new point of growth in 2014, she made the decision to shift her passion of fermentation to beer and accepted a packaging position at Odell Brewing Company. She began brewing in 2015 and has since brewed numerous styles of beer including kombucha beer, sahti, and gruit. She enjoys the challenges that fermentation presents and the myriad of possibilities of this deeply sensory, artful science.