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IWD Q+A: Get To Know The Women and Non-Binary Members of Track

This IWD, we wanted to highlight our wonderful women and non binary team members and shine a light on their talents. Read on to get to know these integral members of the team and find out what exactly it is they bring to Track Brewing Co...

What is your proudest achievement whilst working in beer?

Probably working on the IWD events, the past two years I've taken lead in terms of organising & hosting them. They're events that I feel really passionate about and think are really important to do, so I pour my heart & soul into them every year, which is quite a lot, but it's always so worth it to see everyone enjoying themselves. Each day you've essentially got 20 strangers that unite over a shared interest, and then to see those same 'strangers' begin creating art together, becoming friends, laughing together and enjoying a beer together at the end of it all... It's really quite a beautiful thing to see, and it's so inspiring to be a part of. So I feel proud that I'm a part of creating that.

What are you most excited about for the future of craft beer?

I'm excited to see the art side of things flourish even more, it feels like during the four years I've worked here I've been able to witness the creative side of beer really grow and get more and more important and it's really exciting to be a part of that process, it feels like an exciting unknown world that's unfolding itself more and more every day. As an artist, sometimes certain industries can be a little restrictive, but the beer industry feels the opposite. Experimenting and exploring new ways of creating art has always excited me and it seems that it's possible to continue to explore that in the beer world which is really cool.

What was the beer that changed the game for you and why?

Funnily enough, beer isn't actually my go to drink of choice! But when I tried Lipari for the first time I absolutely loved it and still do! It changed my perspective of what a beer can be and opened up the craft beer door for me when otherwise I probably wouldn't have tried any. Lipari & Language Barrier are probably still my favourite Track beers to date!

What was the beer that changed the game for you and why?

It would be cask beer in general for me. It wasn't something I grew up with, so cask was a bit of a weird concept when you only hear about it. Turns out it's great and I generally prefer cask over keg. I feel that less carbonation allows for more subtle taste to come through and makes it much more sessionable. I would have to be hard pressed to say which one of the cask beers I tried was the Eureka! moment for me, but I feel like the entire style was a game changer for me in general. And of course - team cask Sonoma! 

What is your proudest achievement whilst working in beer?

That is a tough one, as I feel like it's more of a journey for me. Many things along the line feel like big victories - truth be told, every beer that comes out of our tanks - from under my care - that tastes great is a sense of pride and joy. But if we have to choose one, I'd say it's probably the fact that with the help and guidance of my colleagues, I managed to progress to cellaring, when my journey started just from working behind the bar. And without any previous brewing experience at that! An adventure and a big learning curve, but the kind that brings a big sense of achievement too. I'm really proud that I've managed to grow and learn to get to this place by learning hands-on and in a way I truly feel that I am a part of Track's story, starting five years ago behind the bar and sharing the love for Sonoma by pouring it to customers, to actually making sure that batch of wort our brewers make becomes that delicious beverage we all enjoy so much through careful work of a cellar manager.

I feel like there is some real value in the fact that, although I am a foreign woman who had no brewing experience but a lot of motivation and curiosity, I managed to find myself in a place where my drive was nurtured by a supportive team that helped me tackle all the obstacles and help me figure out what I really want to do in the beer industry, and then give me the tools and opportunities to do it, while encouraging me on the way. It might sound a bit preachy, but if I could do it, so can other people who feel like they want to do that. Part of the pride in where I am today in Track comes from the knowledge that by doing what I do, I might also be an inspiration for all the people who feel like their background, gender or whatever else might get in the way of following their passion. Went a bit deep with that answer, but I have a background in Philosophy and Human Rights activism, so I guess it comes with the package, hehe.

What is a destination you would like to go to / have been to for the beer culture?

Czech Republic! I've been before and I hopefully will be back many times. Absolute must-go for anyone who likes a pint of lager, and I feel like this really doesn't need much in terms of convincing - Czech beers have always been up there in the world-class top along with German lagers. I personally prefer the smooth Moravian product (the secret is probably in the calcium-rich waters they naturally have that give you that creamy, soft mouthfeel). Nothing beats a pint or two of a gorgeous beer, especially from small, local breweries - Czech beer is so much more than Pilsner Urquell!). Different ways of pouring give you a new perspective on your lager-drinking experience - with every style of pour comes various carbonation levels of the same beer. And the snack/ food selection to go alongside your beverage is also worth a try when you're visiting a hospoda (pub). Those who prefer hoppy IPAs will also find something interesting for themselves, as the Czech craft beer scene is present, especially in bigger towns.

What was the beer that changed the game for you and why?

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild – an absolute stone cold classic. This is the OG hype beer on cask, doing small batch exclusive drops way before it was cool – back in the 1920's. Not only is it a cult classic British beer, the original recipe was developed by the legendary brewster Sarah Hughes – one of the strongest historical women in beer! 

A nice, cold pint of Steady Rolling or Lightbulb could easily be blamed for my journey to craft from cask, but there'll always be something beautiful about a nice pint of Bass (WITH the sparkler). 

What is your proudest achievement whilst working in beer?

I once scored full marks in a pub quiz about beer and alcohol, although I'm not sure whether that's something I'm really proud of...

When I first got to Manchester (after a spell of managing cask led pubs in Sheffield and near London) I started making new friends who were clued into the local craft beer scene and began to hear more and more about the wonders of 'Track Brewing Co' - I am so proud now, 2 years later, to be a part of this wonderful team. The lovely feedback and warm welcome that we receive at beer festivals, and from the wonderful local pubs and bars we're lucky enough to have and supply in Manchester, is always so heart-warming. Seeing the way our products can connect people with each other, and be the focus and catalyst of so much excitement is a really special thing to witness, and something I'm very proud of.

How important is community in the world of craft beer?

The community is everything in craft beer. From supporting local businesses; brewers, hop and malt suppliers etc, to connecting beer lovers with each other and providing a safe space for all, community is at the heart of craft beer. Now more than ever, craft beer is an industry full of likeminded folk who work hard to create an inclusive, fun and supportive environment, it’s a really special industry and one I’m so proud to work in.

Recently, we started a project called Fusion, where with the help of our incredible suppliers who kindly donated their malt, yeast and hops we were able to create a fantastic tasting IPA, which we were able to sell for an extremely low price to our friends in hospitality and retail. There's a very real sense of community in craft beer, everybody helps each other out and we're all in in together, whether that's a community based project such as Fusion, or the semi-constant stream of borrowing which happens in our little Beer-muda Triangle between us, Cloudwater and Sureshot. 

What is your proudest achievement whilst working in beer?

I’m pretty new here so I’d say getting a brewery job in the first place to be honest! I decided I wanted to work in the brewery after working in marketing, then over lockdown and the year after working in doggy day-care and dog training. So probably getting myself into the job that I really wanted, in a completely new industry where I knew no one would be my proudest moment so far. Check back next year for a more exciting achievement!

What was the beer that changed the game for you and why?

I guess I can’t really name that one beer that did it for me in the first place, sorry if that’s a cop out. A few times I’ve had a rubbish pint and thought something along the lines of “making good beer can’t be that hard”. I have since discovered it’s harder than I once thought..

What has been your favourite moment of working at Track so far?

Proudest moment would definitely be pouring beers at Mash and seeing all the European Track fans out in the wild, in another country. It seemed mental to me that we all go to work on a little industrial estate in the rainiest place on Earth and I was standing in sunny Barcelona chatting to people from France, Spain, Switzerland etc who all love the beers we make and package every day.


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