The Business of Beer with Director of Brewery Production & Quality Assurance at Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, Gwen Conley

The Business of Beer, Episode 43: Gwen Conley  – Director of Brewery Production & Quality Assurance at Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey

gwen conley
In this episode of the Business of Beer with Andy “The Beerman” Coppock, we are joined by Gwen Conley, the Director of Brewery Production and Quality Assurance for both Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. Gwen joins us to talk aobut how she got started in the business, what she looks for when judging beer, beer pairings, and her book “Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros”. Listen to find out about technology’s influence on the Craft Beer Movement, and how Gwen became a certified Beer Judge. You don’t want to miss this!

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Show Notes

– That is a heck of a resume’ and that’s not even all of it! How did you get started in the business?
– What’s was your background before that?
– How did you wind up at Port Brewing/Lost Abbey?
– Directory of Brewery Production…that definitely sounds like more than Quality Assurance and Sensory stuff…what kind of role is that?
– So everything from the quality of the ingredients all the way to packaging?
– When doing bottle conditioned beers, what challenges are there?
– Lost Abbey affords you the opportunity to work with various barrels; rum, tequila, whiskey, wine? Are there difficulties that come with that?
– Do you have a favorite barrel type?
– You’re also a Certified Beer Judge…how did that come about?
– What do you look for when judging beer?
– I mean, these are professional brewers, there shouldn’t be any issues, right?
– You and one of my favorite guests have a book out. Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros. How did You and Julia Herz come up with the idea for the book?
– What are the key elements to beer pairing? What are the main attributes to identify when pairing?
– We all have a framework of classic pairing; BBQ and Brown Ale, Burgers and Pales/Ambers, Farmhouse ales and goat cheese…are there any hard and fast rules?
– What about ‘Odd” pairings? Desserts, cookies, etc?
– Are there any “classic” pairings that just don’t resonate with you?
– Stephen Beaumont was on recently and mentioned that there are a bunch of French cheeses that don’t pair well with beer. Is there anything you haven’t been able to pair?
– Can you train your palate like you would train your muscles?
– How do you begin?
– Considering the male dominated beer industry, is it tougher to get respect?
– Do you mentor other women in the industry?
– What’s your ‘go to’ beer or beer style?
– Do you have a guilty pleasure beer?
– How do you see technology and social media’s influence on the Craft Beer Movement?
– Speaking of social media, where can people find you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram?

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