It is been a pleasure getting to know Jessica. The first time I met Jessica was during a soft opening of Lost Way Brewery last fall. Her enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming opening was more than just a little contagious!
Jessica is very busy with all things marketing and events at the brewery. Add to that, getting to brew also and I think she has found a great career! Jessica told me about how she has brewed a couple of batches of beer. I remember seeing Jessica in her pink boots on social media while she was brewing. The beer - "It's Not Ale About You" was done in taking part with raising money for the Pink Boots Society. Lost Way Brewery contributed $1 for each pint of the beer sold and was able to donate $370 for the cause which is huge for small brewery to be able to do!
I was so happy when Jessica agreed to answer a few questions and here is what she had to say.
When did you first know you wanted to be in the role you're in today?
I knew I wanted to manage a taproom the second my husband joked with the idea of opening a brewery. I've always enjoyed working with people, especially in the service industry, and I enjoy good beer!
What has it meant to you to be a part of the Nebraska Craft Beer Community?
Nebraska itself has been a great community to be a part of. The Craft Beer Community, has been even greater. When we first opened, a lot of our customers considered other breweries to be competitors and we make it a point to let them know that is not the case. The brotherhood that is the Nebraska Craft Beer Community is a beautiful thing. The way that everyone is more than willing to help out whenever possible and when we can all work together to fight for a common goal is really a wonderful thing to be apart of.
What excites you most about the future of craft beer?
Oh gosh, All of it! Not a lot has changed from the days of prohibition for a lot of the country, I think more people are becoming aware of that especially here in rural Nebraska. I think we're going to be seeing a lot (or at least I hope) of changes for the state.
What is it like being a woman in the craft beer industry?
One word ... unexpected. Most people expect to see a woman doing the day to day things like working the taproom, social media, even the books. Not because its a woman's job, there are plenty of men out there that are killin' it, but because the brewing industry has always been a male dominated industry. Us ladies are becoming more and more prevalent in the brewing industry, as owners, managers, CFOs and even brewers!
Why is it important to see greater representation of women in the brewing industry?
Well Its empowering for one! There's a ton of women out there doing great things in the brewing industry and I hope it inspires more women to go after it! It excites me knowing that my daughters and my nieces are growing up seeing their moms working in the industry. To me, it gives them an opportunity to consider a future in an industry they may not have thought of, or maybe even push them to consider another traditionally male dominated field with a bigger focus on STEM.
Thanks Jessica for all you do for the Craft Beer industry in Nebraska!