I first met Katie last summer and I was blown away by her passion and enthusiasm for developing Hops in Nebraska as a viable product for the state's brewers. You will not find a more knowledgeable person when it comes to everything you need to consider when starting or maintaining a hop farm.
Katie is active with the Hop Growers across the state and Nebraska Craft Beer community. This past January, she coordinated the Nebraska Growers and Brewers Conference. It was an excellent conference! I enjoy every chance I get to see Katie present about Hops. I get extremely energized from conversations with Katie about the great community of growers and brewers in Nebraska.
I had the chance to ask Katie a few questions about what it was like to be part of the craft beer industry. Here are the answers Katie had for me.
When did you first know you wanted to be in the role that you are in today?
In college, I studied biology, focusing on my passion of plant life. It was an internship after college at a botanical gardens that made the connection of plants and people. I continued that pursuit in graduate school, knowing that I wanted to share knowledge about plants and build relationships with people in the process. After moving from the northeastern U.S. to Nebraska, I began working in research that included hops, but knew extension was where I wanted to be. When the Hop Program Coordinator position opened at UNL, I knew it was a natural fit, with my background and work with hops in the couple years prior. While I knew there was competition for the position, I also pursued it with passion and the connections I had built in the industry.
What has it meant to you to be a part of the Nebraska Craft Beer Community?
Being a part of the Nebraska Craft Beer Community has been so exciting. It makes me proud to live in a place that works together and creates great beer. Breweries have encouraged me to explore the small, unique towns across the state so that I can better get to know Nebraska.
What excites you most about the future of craft beer?
The excitement continues with the growth and increasing interest in using local hops. I love watching the industry come together to collaborate and work to be better together.
What is it like being a woman in the Nebraska Craft Beer Community?
While agriculture and brewing may have typically been male dominated industries, the community has embraced the amazing women that are making contributions to the Nebraska Craft Beer industry, and they’re proud to share it with other states. I feel welcomed and empowered by the community, which is a great feeling. It’s is motivating to continue to make contributions to improve the community and industry.
Why do think it is important to see greater representation of women in the brewing industry?
It’s important for women to have representation in this industry for collaboration and growth. We all have unique strengths, talents, and dynamics to bring to the table, and together we can continue to make this community and industry stronger and better.
Thanks Katie for all you do for the Craft Beer industry in Nebraska!