The list doesn’t end with just ten, people. There’s many more ladies (even beyond this list, I just don’t know you all yet), and many more I want to celebrate. Also, if any of the ladies on this list or the first one want to add a picture of any information about what they do, feel free to me email me email@example.com
1. Melissa Shary, Monk’s Pub
Before I even worked in the industry, I vaguely knew this lady, and for good reason. Monk’s Pub is where any self-respecting, beer loving 9-5er, 8-6er, whatever in the Loop-er goes for good beer, to meet the makers, the reps, and so on. That beer list is Melissa’s, and it is often glorious. Name a brewery coming to town for some promos and tap takeovers, and chances are there’s also one at Monk’s. I like to have my downtown meetings here.
2. Lauren Noce, Jennifer Eppich, Lakeshore Beverage
I believe I know both this ladies from before they were with Lakeshore. And I have no idea what they do exactly for Lakeshore anymore, because when I see them, we just talk about beer, and not in the work way, in the, holy shit this is delicious way. Many high fives.
3. Kylie and Shannan Bunting, Solstice Communications
Don’t tell the spirits PR people, but these are my favorite PR/communications/marketing/whatever people. They love their restaurants and brands, they love beer and the camaraderie around it, and they’ve got a real passion for what they do, and for wanting their people to succeed.
4. Carly and Audrey Katz, Bottles & Cans
I always talk to Carly (and Joe and Audrey) for way longer than intended, be it at Bottles & Cans, or at a beer fest. The store is my go-to for beer for the blog, for at home, for taking to friends, etc. I’m fortunate enough to get to work there as a taster on a regular basis too, so Carly also gives me a lot of advice. On top of her being a beer bad ass, she’s also great with wine, and will be a big part of learning more about wine this year, and writing about it.
5. Emilie Sharbonneau, Jake Melnick’s
Emilie and I met via work during Cider Summit last year, as she hosted some cider events, which overlapped with the brands I work with, which also I realized, overlapped with the beers I work with, and so on. Then a month later we judged HQ Beercade’s What the Firkin Fest and had a long chat next to a cask of beer (the best way to chat with anyone). We have destroyed many an evening since. On the sad list of people I don’t really see enough, actually.
6. Virginia Thomas and JP (Jenny Pfafflin), Cicerone Program
Duh. These ladies are in the business of keeping our tastebuds and tasting powers in top-notch order, and they’ll keep you on your toes. JP is responsible for a still popular post about Kvass on the old boozy beggar, and we’ll have to revisit that here soon. Virginia and I once talked about cocktails in the middle of a beer fest, which means we’re either multifaceted or sometimes have funny priorities.
7. Keli Platek, Half Acre
The world is a tiny place, because I think Keli and I first met at Piece or at a beer fest with Jess Straka (see other list) and then again when she visited a co-worker of mine at Bar Deville. Then all of a sudden, she was with Half Acre, and I feel like we’re always doing this say hello in the middle of something thing, the head nod of “I know you, your cool, enjoy your night.”
8. Kate Brankin, Pipeworks
Funny timing with Kate. I already planned to put her on this list, because she makes good beer with Pipeworks and I have heard so many fun stories. Then I get the chance after the first list comes out, to meet her in person (and we talked mostly about amaros and cocktails and the weird inspirations behind a lot of the cool projects coming up at Pipeworks). Unbelievable creative energy. Nothing isn’t worth trying once to this lady. She’s very passionate about all things flavor-crazy and gave myself and Mhairi Voelsgen of BroVo Spirits an amazing tour of the Pipeworks facility (creepy beer basement included).
9. Erin Lowder, Solemn Oath
She met her bosses at Bar Deville, and now is like actually running Solemn Oath (don’t let those Barley brothers fool you). She seems to be a million places at once. She’s a co-founder of the new night market, Sauced (what a name, right?).
10. Jill Joyce, Stone Brewing
I know I’ve met Jill quite a few times, especially at Fountainhead, but I can’t figure out how it all came together. Is she a northsider too? Do I just accidentally find myself drawn to Stone Brewing events without realizing it? Those brain cells and memories can’t be replaced, so it’ll have to remain a mystery. Here’s to future Stone events and fuzzy memories from Fountainhead.
11. Kate Gallagher, NorthDown Cafe & Taproom
Total bias here. Kate awesomely let my pal Tedward Bouillon and I do one of our Scotch Egg Face Offs pitting Northdown against the now-closed Pecking Order. The battle started at Pecking Order, then moved over to Northdown. Kate not only had multiple beer pairings planned,they all ruled. We practically fought over the pairing glasses until she put down three (Ms. Beggar joined us) bottles of hot sauce made with Mikkeller Black Hole. We just oooed and awed and poured it over everything. I don’t really read the Northdown list anymore, I just walk in and talk to Kate and somewhere along the way, I end up with the right beer in my hand.
R.I.P. (she’s not dead, she just moved)
Kate Bernot – you left us, but your spirit is still a part of this.