A journey into brewing

In celebration of International Women's Day 2022 we sat down with one of our Brewers, Caitlin Ellis to find out more about her journey into the brewing world, what keeps her coming back for more + what she does for fun. #iwd #breakthebias

Tell us a bit about your journey into the Brewing world?

I started off my fermentation journey studying Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis in California. My focus was in food science, which included a year of brewing theory and practical brewing in our university pilot brewery. We got to come up with our own recipes and brew every week which culminated in a competition where my team won with our Underdog IPA. My brewing courses stood out as some of my most fun and interesting classes of my higher education. While studying full time I could never afford wine so I became an expert in drinking a lot of craft beer! Most of my summers consisted of whitewater rafting with my dad and an esky chock full of ice-cold cans of Sierra Nevada Torpedo and visiting Russian River Brewing to fill my growler up with the legendary Pliny the Elder!

After doing wine vintages in California, New Zealand and Austria I ended up in Margaret River where I did 3 vintages before being called to “the darkside” of brewing. I’m always eager to expand my skills and learn new things (and drink more beers) so I was very drawn to digging deeper into brewing after working in wine for so long.

What do you love most about being a brewer?

Brewing is fast paced and there is always something going on! I really like the blend of creativity and accuracy. You get to flex your creative brain coming up with new brew ideas and recipes, thinking up ways to solve problems and ways to constantly improve your production. Coming from a science heavy background I appreciate the amount of precision and cleanliness that is also key to making great beers.

What brings you joy outside of work?

Outside of work I love spending time with my partner and our dog Henry, baking treats (for both humans and doggies!), going to the beach and doing pilates!

With the theme for #IWD for 2022 being #breakthebias, what are your thoughts on how this applies to the brewing industry?

It's a tough one, the Brewing industry is definitely male dominated and because of this I've certainly faced my share of challenges along my journey. But I like to look at the positives, which is the change we have seen over recent years, with a number of awesome women in the industry driving the change that we need to see. I really look forward to the chance to connect and collaborate with more talented women brewers in the near future.