Steve Jobs once said in his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward”. I was reminded of this quote during a recent visit with Danielle Redman, Head Brewer, while learning of her career journey during our brew day at Reuben’s Brews.
Early in the morning I hopped off the first flight from Sacramento to Seattle and hurried to the Ballard taproom to begin milling Briess Malts for a new recipe Danielle created, especially for the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). It was a sunny, chilly morning in Seattle, where only months before, we had begun discussions to brew a classic, refreshing French Saison to serve at the 2023 CBC and for some lucky, local patrons at the Ballard District taproom. Since a key characteristic of Saison is “refreshing,” Danielle and I discussed what this meant to early brewers and what it means to current craft beer consumers. We knew this Saison needed a unique character and that’s where the use of a small inclusion of Briess Caramel Rye Malt came into play. This added a touch of sweet bread and refreshing spice, just the right amount of character, along with a sprinkling of Oat Flakes and Rye Flakes to round out the body.
Danielle’s interest in brewing started at Oregon State University where she studied Food Science and got hooked on the process of fermentation. She began to enjoy the inner workings of a brewery’s operations and landed a great internship at Bridgeport Brewing. After finishing her studies, she moved to the Portland area, brewed at Widmer Brewing, as well as several years at Hopworks, honing her craft and getting to know the ins and outs of problem-solving in the brew house. Reflecting on her early years in the Portland craft brewing community, she became inspired by trailblazers, such as Lisa Allen of Heater Allen and Natalie Baldwin of Breakside Brewery. Danielle stated, “I see Lisa and Natalie as examples of craft brewers who have stayed close to their passion, mentoring others, and I hope to mentor other women navigating their career as well.”
Pour yourself into your passion and enjoy the dots of life as you journey forward. We’ll see you at the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference and be sure to not miss Reuben’s Brews Farmhouse Dreamin’ on-tap for a limited time in Briess’ booth #1125.