The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2015

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Page 69 of 120

january/february 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  67 "Back in the day, beer was much more of a production job. Craft beer is more creative now, and Deschutes allows for a lot of creative freedom. There are times, although admittedly rare, when I am sprinkling in an ingredient to a beer recipe on the fly—it is just so much fun when it works out," laughs Veronica Vega, Assistant Brewmaster at Deschutes Brewery Bend Public House. Vega's biology degree didn't always help her develop the recipes for the pub; she started out working for the U.S. National Park Service but, after years of a very nomadic lifestyle, decided that she wanted to settle down in Bend, OR. There, she became a tour guide for the brewery, moved over to a cellar position and worked her way up, all while going back to school to get a brewing diploma from University of California, Davis. Once she perfects one of her recipes, it has the potential to be scaled up and produced by the main brewery, located across the Deschutes River. "Creating new recipes can actually be kind of a mundane process that takes weeks and weeks, but inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, and there is a lot of fulfillment in seeing a beer you made go from ten barrels to 100," explains Vega. With every intention of becoming a chef, Kim Lutz stud- ied food science and viticulture during college. Instead of heading to the kitchen, she found herself working at J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines on California's Central Coast. Perhaps seeking to satisfy her urge to cook, Lutz began to homebrew on the side. "It felt much more about the brewer's touch than just terroir," she notes. And after an impromptu move to Maui, she had the opportunity to test her brewing skills, landing a job at Maui Brewing Co. She eventually became the Head Brewer of the pub, where she could play around with recipes on its seven- barrel system. One of them—her La Perouse White, a Belgian-style witbier which used local tangerines—won a Silver at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). After years enjoying the Hawaiian sun, the mainland beckoned her back, so she joined the Saint Archer Brewing Co. in San Diego as their Head Brewer. Started by a group of pro surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders and artists, the brewery's culture encompasses all things active. As a brewer, Lutz focuses on making beers for this lifestyle, meaning lower alcohol and more season- able—a beer you can have after rock climbing or hiking. Changing up her recipe from Hawaii, her White Ale took home a Gold at GAFB. As a brewer always looking to challenge herself and tackle her next goal, we suggest you keep a look out for Saint Archer's new releases. KIM LUTZ, HEAD BREWER, SAINT ARCHER BREWING CO. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAINT ARCHER BREWING CO. PHOTO COURTESY OF DESCHUTES BREWERY VERONICA VEGA, ASSISTANT BREWMASTER, DESCHUTES BREWERY BEND PUBLIC HOUSE

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