Katie brings a chill and down to earth vibe to the Hop & Barrel team. Her unique dose of curiosity is refreshing. Although Katie is now a mad scientist, she originally had aspirations to be a veterinarian. With an insatiable appetite for learning, she is also self-learning guitar and Spanish, she’s already conquered how to change a spark plug and now leaves that to the professionals.
What is your official title here at Hop & Barrel?
That would be Lab Manager / Assistant Brewer.
How did you learn about Hop & Barrel?
I started shortly after they opened. I am the head brewer at Bobtown Brewhouse & Grill in Roberts, WI, and we were working on a collab together for their opening. I mentioned to the guys how I would like to help out because their brewing system is a lot more complex. They really did everything they could to put as much into Hop & Barrel as possible – and it’s awesome! It’s been a good learning experience that started one day a week helping out and turned into me taking over the lab. They just let me roll with it.
So you work in a lab, that’s pretty cool. How did you get started in that?
I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, so I took a lot of science and math classes which was a good base for my now lab position here. Veering from that I have a degree in psychology from UW La Crosse and previously worked in mental health.
Why craft beer and brewing?
Originally it was the flavor and complexity. But then when I started brewing it was the process – brewing made it worth it. The process and nuances that go into making it look or taste different, the science behind it, is now my why.
What is your favorite Hop & Barrel beer?
Without a question – Chad’s Pale Ale!
What is something people may not know about you?
I am the type of person who has to do things myself. I make my own deodorant, lip balm, and hair products, so naturally making my own beer followed suit. I like to figure out how to do something just to know how. You can do anything you want if you set your mind to it.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am trying to learn or teach myself things that I’ve always wanted to do, or else I keep busy socializing with friends.
Do you have any pets?
I have a 13 year old yellow lab named Lucy, and a cat named Stanley. I thought originally I would call him Stan, but that didn’t stick. Sometimes I call him ‘The Kitten’ even though he is 10 years old.
3 fun facts about Katie – go!
One year aspirations? To move back to St Paul or MSP area.
Favorite food? Italian food, especially pasta.
Sweet or salty? Salty.