When her husband Ed purchased a restaurant and pub in Adamstown, Pa., Carol Stoudt was a huge support, and as the company grew into a brewery as well, she became a talented brewmaster who looked at the brewing process as a cooking experience. Overtime, the brewery's beers, especially the Stoudt's Pils, became synonymous with high quality. The German-style pilsener is a refreshing brew with a bit of a bready quality and a slight hop bitterness.
Beer to Try: Stoudt's Pils
While the brewery was inspired by a trip to Belgium by brewmaster Jeff Lebesch, Kim Jordan became one of its first employees. She rose through the ranks to become CEO, overseeing the creation of amazing beers in the LEEDS-certified facility located in Fort Collins, Colo. And their first big success was Fat Tire, an amber ale made with three types of hops and featuring light, biscuity flavors combined with a bit of sweet caramel.
Beer to Try: Fat Tire Amber Ale
When Abby Titcomb joined the father-and-sons team at Three Floyds, she was putting together boxes. But she steadily proved her worth as a talented brewer as demand for the brewery's beers — and the brewery itself — grew. Titcomb stepped up and even earned the chance to work on some of the more prestigious beers brewed at the Munster, Ill., facility, like the Dark Lord, a beer released one day per year in April. It's sometimes hard to find, but the Russian-style imperial stout brewed with coffee and vanilla is worth the wait.
Beer to Try: Dark Lord
Dubbed the "Godmother of San Diego's craft beer scene" — which is quite a nickname — Gina Marsaglia is one of the founding members of the Pizza Port brew pubs which later spawned Port Brewing Co. and The Lost Abbey. She's particularly a fan of sour beers, like the Cuvee de Tomme by Lost Abbey. A beer made with sour cherries, the tart flavor is prominent but well balanced with a bit of vanilla and a hint of oakiness.
Beer to Try: Cuvee de Tomme
Considered one of the most creative brewers in the world right now, Hildegard Van Ostaden started De Leyerth Brouwerijen in 2000 with her husband Bas, a writer and fellow brewer. Since Bas was writing a fairytale when the couple began brewing, it seemed natural to take his supernatural characters — like the now recognizable gnome — and put them on the labels. Along the way, Hildegard created the Saisonniére, which in 2010 earned hers a World Beer Award. The beer, an unfiltered saison, has a grassy but tart flavor and pours with a fluffy white head.
Beer to Try: Urthel Saisonniére
After joining the team just a little more than a year ago, Tonya Cornett was brewing on the Oregon brewery's 10-barrel system as well as leading R&D brewing (that's research and development). A veteran brewer, Cornett came from nearby Bend Brewing Co. She's a force in the production of the brewery's many beers, including the delicious ISA, described as an Indian Session Ale — a unique, citrusy brew.
Beer to Try: ISA
In 2010, Joleen Senter Durham and her husband partnered up to create Piney River Brewing Co. with the intention of producing beers inspired by life in the Ozarks. Originally the pair brewed at home but their passion became a full-fledged nano brewery located in a 70-year-old barn. Their handcrafted amber ale, McKinney Eddy, is a example of their inspired beers, featuring a piney but toasty flavor.
Beer to Try: McKinney Eddy Amber Ale
After joining LaCumbre in late 2011, Kaylynn McKnight jumped right in and took on brewing around two thirds of the beer produced by the Albuquerque brewery. She's been an integral part of the brewing team ever since, even assisting in the production of the Great American Beer Festival medal-winning Elevated IPA, the brewery's flagship. This beer brewed with a British malt base and hop bitterness is not overwhelming in any way.
Beer to Try: Elevated IPA
Having been with the Boston brewery since 2001, Jennifer Glanville moved from the tech industry directly into her role at Boston Beer Co. Glanville oversees the Boston facility, where the small-batch brews and barrel-aged selections are produced. But Glanville had a hand in making the brewery's Belgian-style brews, like the Grumpy Monk, a Belgian-style IPA at 6.5 percent that's only available on draft.
Beer to try: Grumpy Monk
The assistant brewer at the Thomas, W.V.-based brewery, Kate Lane knew she'd found her perfect job in 2009 when she attended the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston. Lane also handles the events for the brewery which are geared toward introducing the local area to high-quality craft beer. Miner's Daughter, a dark but light-bodied oatmeal stout, is among those great craft beers produced at the brewery.
Beer to Try:Miner's Daughter Oatmeal Stout