Women continue to conquer the craft brewing industry at an accelerated pace. Let’s just quickly go over some highlights from the last few weeks:
- Kim Jones is named CEO of SweetWater Brewing Co.
- The wholesaler association names Michelle Graef as a craft beer champion
- Fermenta conceives 26 collab projects for Michigan Brewers Guild festival
- Sylvia Kopp tapped as American craft beer ambassador to Europe
- Pink Boots fall beer highlights undiscovered women in German brewing
Let’s add one more to that list, and perhaps the most impressive: Deschutes Brewery has promoted Veronica Vega to brewmaster, and no shit, she started off working for Deschutes as a tour guide. Vega will work as the brewery’s research and development lead, alongside brewmaster Brian Faivre who heads the technical brewing side. Vega started out at Deschutes as a tour guide in 2006, moving into the cellar before transitioning into a production brewer role. She’s been the lead brewer at the brewery’s original pub location in downtown Bend, Ore., pub for the last three and a half years.
“Veronica has done a fantastic job heading up our Bend pub for the past few years, she is creative, enthusiastic and passionate about her job,” said Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes Brewery. “Her experience with Deschutes at every level gives her a unique insight in her new role. We are very lucky to have many qualified brewers on our team, so this was a tough decision, but we’re confident it was the right one.”
Vega, who received her degree in biology from Humboldt State University, first worked as a biology field technician for the National Park Service. Even though she loved her job, she loved Bend more and decided that was where she’d like to settle. When she got the call from Deschutes Brewery, she was happy to start out in the tour department and then eventually move into a brewing role.
“We have an extremely talented brewing department, and I look forward to working collaboratively with both our R&D and production teams to innovate on the process and experimental aspects of our brewing efforts,” said Vega said.