Meet our new Brew Crew Bullpen members

Posted: June 30, 2015 by cjax33 in Beer Bios

If you were reading our site during ABQ Beer Week you probably saw some new names pop up amongst the usual suspects. These correspondents have all agreed to accept an invitation to join our Brew Crew Bullpen. As we stated when we created the Bullpen last year, they are designed to provide relief to the original Crew members, since we all have jobs and other things (even a baby) that tend to consume our free time.

Please join me in welcoming them on board. Here are their quick bios to let you know just how much they love beer, and maybe how crazy they are to join this motley bunch. We might have two more additions whose bios will be posted at a later date and time. As in when they send them to me.

Our second Santa Fe-based writer!

Our second Santa Fe-based writer!

Julie: My love affair with craft beer was born with 10 years in northern Vermont, where much of the local economy was boosted by a tidal wave of new craft breweries opening. A native of Ohio (my first taste of alcohol was Amish homebrew; and before you ask, no, I am not Amish and no, it wasn’t particularly great), I ran away to an artist colony in Vermont and discovered craft beer, my husband, and the joys of nabbing beer accessible only by braving miles of muddy, rutted-out dirt roads. When The Alchemist opened in 2003, I had the good fortune to be one of their original employees, hand-painting the sign and murals along with slinging the first Heady Toppers across the bar — all while getting a thorough education on hops with late-night kitchen tastings. In between numerous trips to beer festivals across the country and seeking out craft brews in a slew of other countries, after building and selling a graphics and marketing business, we moved towards the sun and settled in Santa Fe in early 2012. We still travel widely for great beer, and find excuses to pair the favorite things — craft beer, traveling, mountain biking, and dogs — but are also excited about the craft beer scene in New Mexico that we get to come home to. The day job is another communications business, and I work hard to keep it flexible to support as many beer-centric trips and community events, like the Outside Bike & Brew Festival, as possible. Follow the brews on the Instagram account @craftwhores.

We asked Laura to steal one of those barrels, but she politely declined.

We asked Laura to steal one of those barrels, but she politely declined.

Laura: Hello, everyone, my name is Laura Spies and I am very excited to be invited to join the Bullpen. I recently moved here from the small town of Cape Girardeau, MO, where an evening similar to one in the ABQ beer scene usually took a day or weekend long road trip. I am a married mom to three grown kids who pretty much think I have lost my mind, and two beautiful granddaughters, who think I am perfect. When my daughter moved to New Mexico to start a new life for her family we followed along to help. I have only been a craft beer enthusiast for about six years now. A co-worker introduced me to a flavorful alternative to the sorry Bud Light I was swilling at the time (thank you, Bryan) and it was all uphill from there. I started a page on Facebook to meet other craft beer enthusiasts in Missouri and now I have one going here in New Mexico, called simply New Mexico Craft Beer Enthusiasts. The hubby and I love trying new breweries together and he is pretty excited about my choice of hobbies. I love home brewing as well and have brewed about six batches of beer, from a session IPA to an amazing black rye IPA with many more brews planned in the future. I am big dork and do not claim to know more about craft beer than others, but I am very passionate about this hobby and am excited to add my ramblings to this amazing blog. I must add that I am studying to be a Cicerone if anyone is interested in joining a study group in the near future.

Beer is no joke.

Beer is no joke.

Vicki (Bharley Quinn): From the sweetness of my first stolen sip in my aunt’s log cabin on a dare from my older cousins, to a $12 bottle of brew literally served to me on a silver platter in the Piazza de San Marco in Venice, Italy, beer has always been much more than just a beverage to me. It can be an impetus, an adventure, a calling, a quest, and a confidant. It can even be a writing buddy (cheering you now as I write this), but never, ever an excuse, I have way to much respect for it! Honing my tolerance, but not necessarily my taste buds, while earning my BA in English at Cal Poly Pomona, it wasn’t until after graduation that I discovered beer that you couldn’t purchase at the gas station for the same amount of money you got for recycling the 12-pack you and your roommate just pounded. While I have come a long way from the times when my favorite beer was “cold,” second in importance only to “free,” I am in no way an aficionado or an expert, just a true brew lover with a desire to drink more and learn everything I can about the art of craft brew. After all, when has learning ever been this fun or tasty?! I have yet to try my hand at home brewing, but I am always down for a taste test if you are, too! As a non-profit professional by day, I respect the way the ABQ brewers give back to our community, and as an artist/cos-player taking the art of not being too serious seriously (like all the time), I love the art and joy and fun of it all! I am honored at the chance to write for the NM Dark Side Brew Crew, and to try to represent what happens when novice meets passion. I really adore the sipping, the scene, and all that has to do with craft brew — and I puddin’ promise to do my best to bring the whole heck of the experience to you!

* * * * *

As a side note, I (Stoutmeister) am back from my New England excursion, so look for some fresh content as this week rolls on. We will have a full list of what is going on with the breweries for July 4, plus a preview of Bosque’s super-duper special event this Thursday, a preview of Drafts and Drives (a charity golf plus local craft beer event), and whatever other news is around that we need to catch up with this week. Oh, and of course we will have more on that whole VIPA Challenge this weekend. For those of you who are going, a good chunk of the Crew will see you there.


— Stoutmeister

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