4 Fierce Ladies in the Twin Cities Brewing Scene
Deb Loch is head brewer and co-founder of Minnesota's first entirely female-owned and -brewed microbrewery, Urban Growler® Brewing Co., located in St. Paul.
Photo Courtesy of Jill Pavlak
A few weeks ago, The Herkimer Pub & Brewery welcomed a packed house and a panel of women who have made major footprints in the Minneapolis-St. Paul craft beer scene. Aptly named Women in Beer, the evening was a kickoff celebration for the Pink Boots Society’s newest chapter—the Twin Cities. The metro continues to open stellar breweries with both men and women at the helm—and rightfully so, since quality beer doesn’t give a you-know-what about gender roles.
Meet four of the many incredible women in our booming beverage community.*
Jacquie Berglund, Founder & CEO of FINNEGANS Inc.
Accolades continue piling up for this business pioneer. In the late ‘90s, Jacquie Berglund became the first Marketing Director of The Local, now a staple bar and restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. In that role she and The Local owner Kieran Folliard created FINNEGANS Irish Amber, which marked the beginning of a groundbreaking social enterprise that stemmed from Berglund’s desire to help eliminate homelessness in the Twin Cities. For years, the Minnesota native grew the nonprofit brewing company on her own. With the help of countless volunteers, FINNEGANS expanded throughout the state and then into Wisconsin and the Dakotas. These days, the three brews—original Irish Amber, Blonde Ale and Dead Irish Poet—are sold in more than 2,000 bars and restaurants with 100 percent of profits going to charity. Among Berglund’s many distinctions, she has been named the Established Business Woman of the Year from the National Association of Business Owners, Social Entrepreneur of the Year from Minnesota Business Magazine, a Top Ten Young Outstanding Minnesotan and was once featured on CNN’s “Leaders with Heart.”
Rachel Anderson, Co-Founder & Director of Marketing at Indeed Brewing Co.
So what if Rachel Anderson is the only female co-founder of Indeed Brewing Co.? And who cares if she was five months pregnant when they opened? As she said at the Women in Beer Panel last month, there’s always a need for people to do a good job. Period. And a good job she has done. As Indeed’s co-founder and director of marketing, she has helped propel the Northeast Minneapolis brewery into local beer fame. Over the course of three and a half years, Indeed continues brewing and pouring one-of-a-kind beers to an oft-packed taproom. Anderson has played a huge role in growing and engaging the brewery’s fan base—which has just expanded into North Dakota. We can’t wait to see what she and the rest of the team do next.
Deb Loch, Co-Founder & Head Brewer at Urban Growler® Brewing Co.
Corporate America has its perks, but the beer industry has more—at least for Deb Loch. After years of planning and fine-tuning her skills, the owner and head brewer at Urban Growler® Brewing Co. quit her engineering job and got not just one, but both feet in the beer scene. She attended the Master Brewers Program at University of California, Davis and worked at area companies like Summit Brewing Co. as apprentice brewer and at Northern Brewer as new product development manager, all while experimenting with her seriously award-winning homebrews. In 2013, the hard work culminated: She and partner Jill Pavlak opened the doors of Minnesota’s first female-owned and –brewed microbrewery, an engaging St. Paul space complete with a taproom and an event space—not to mention a full beer and food menu.
Kelsi Moffitt, Director of Operations at Better Beer Society & Co-Chapter Organizer of Barley’s Angels
Kelsi Moffitt wears a lot of hats. And for someone who never identified as a diehard beer drinker, she sure wears a lot of hats in the Twin Cities beer industry. A few years ago, Moffitt showed up to a Barley’s Angels meeting, where local women get together monthly and share in their enthusiasm for all things craft beer and beyond. Soon enough, she became more and more involved, helped structure the organization, built it up to over 200 members, and now serves as co-chapter organizer—and this is all after working hours. Once a volunteer for Better Beer Society University, a semester-long course of higher beer education, she now works as the director of operations at the Better Beer Society. BBS is a rapidly growing Twin Cities company that’s on a mission to elevate the standards of beer across the board through programs like BBSU, retailer and brewer certifications, and brand advocacy. Clearly, they have a lot going on—and they don’t plan on stopping. Moffitt has comfortably settled into the local beer scene and is proof that not all industry jobs lie in brewing.
Cheers to the movers and shakers, women and men, who are making Minnesota one of the most craft beer-obsessed states in the country.
*This mini-list is by no means a representation of the full scope of women in the Twin Cities beer scene. If you’d like to read about more awesome women behind the brews or want to see full-fledged profiles, contact Lisa Marchand at firstname.lastname@example.org.