Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Teri Fahrendorf Oral History Interview, April 19, 2014

Oregon State University

Transcript Index
Search This Index
Go X

5:37 - Childhood and experiences with homebrewing and yeast

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So talk about your first beer experience as you were growing up.

Segment Synopsis: Teri discusses her early interest in baking, especially with yeast, as well as her home life and her homebrewing.

Keywords: baking; beer; beer culture; homebrewing; midwestern beer culture; Wisconsin; yeast

Subjects: baking beer beer culture homebrewing midwestern beer culture Wisconsin yeast

10:52 - Moving to California, meeting people in brewing, and first jobs.

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And even if we weren't I probably would have played around a little bit, had I been able to get a hold of what I needed. So after College I, when I graduated, I moved to California, that's where I got a job.

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about meeting people in the brewing industry, going to college, and her job at the Golden Gate Brewing Company

Keywords: Alaskan Brewing Company; beer; Charlie Papazian; Don Outterson; GABF; golden gate brewing company; great american beer festival; John Meyer; oregon; schirf brewing; Siebel Institute; university of Wisconsin; utah

Subjects: Alaskan Brewing Company beer Charlie Papazian Don Outterson GABF golden gate brewing company great american beer festival John Meyer oregon schirf brewing Siebel Institute university of Wisconsin utah

25:47 - Women in Brewing + Transition from California to Oregon

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So I'm curious about at that point, so they're, essentially I'm assuming at that point in the old brewer network there were no other women

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about some of the other women working in brewing when she started, and her move from Triple Rock brewing to Steelhead brewing in Eugene, Oregon.

Keywords: american brewer magazine; brewing; california; Carrol Stout; Mellie Pullman; oregon; oregon brewers guild; Siebel institute; steelhead brewing company; Triple Rock brewing company; women in brewing

Subjects: american brewer magazine brewing california Carrol Stout Mellie Pullman oregon oregon brewer guild Siebel institute steelhead brewing company Teri Fahrendorf Triple Rock brewing company women in brewing

37:47 - Other microbreweries in Eugene+ beer culture in the 1990s

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Where there any other micro-breweries in the Oregon...or in Eugene?

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about moving to Eugene, what it was like while she was working there, and her time working for Steelhead Brewing Company.

Keywords: beer culture in the 90s; brewpub; eugene beer culture; Eugene, Oregon; Mcmenamin's; microbrewery; microbrewing; oregon lumber crash; Steelhead Brewery

Subjects: beer culture in the 90s brewpub eugene beer culture Eugene, Oregon Mcmenamin's microbrewery microbrewing oregon lumber crash Steelhead Brewery

43:16 - Working at and leaving Steelhead + Road Brewing

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And so how did you, when did you start seeing new breweries opening up, when did you leaving Steelhead and then what was that, that time from when you started to when you left, the brewing scene, how was its evolution going.

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about her time on the road, brewing at many different breweries and how the broader economic down turn in 2008 affect brewers.

Keywords: beer blogging; economic depression; hops crash; hops farmers; hops symposium; hops vendors; microbrewing; OSU; road brewing; road trip; steelhead brewing company

Subjects: beer blogging economic depression hops crash hops farmers hops symposium hops vendors microbrewing OSU road brewing road trip steelhead brewing company

61:22 - Educating brewers and mentoring women brewers

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So was that, was there a point around that time that you felt there was some shifting more towards thinking about educating brewers, so what was the transition like from being at Steelhead, going on the road trip, to education, and I know your main job isn't education...

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about beginning to education brewers, writing articles, and meeting Laura Alrick.

Keywords: brewing; brewing education; brewing network; education; Jamie Martin; Laura Alrick; mentoring women; women brewers

Subjects: brewing brewing education brewing network education Jamie Martin Laura Alrcik mentoring women women brewers

69:09 - Pink Boots

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So I was at Stonebrewing and I'm having dinner with Laura Alrick and it's really clear that she needed to network and mentor with other women...

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about the constipation and development of the Pink Boots Society, how they grew, what they've achieved so far, and what they expect to achieve in the future.

Keywords: american society of brewing chemists; barley's angels; Denise Ratfield; Emily Engdahl; great western malting and country malt group; master brewers association; pink boots; scholarships; Teri Fahrendorf; women beer leadership conference; women in brewing

Subjects: american society of brewing chemists barley's angels Denise Ratfield Emily Engdahl great western malting and country malt group master brewers association pink boots scholarships Teri Fahrendorf women beer leadership conference women in brewing

105:48 - Siebel Institute + Work in computer programming

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: This is my diploma from the Siebel Institute in Chicago, the world's largest diploma, I don't know if they're still doing them this large, but it's pretty cool...

Segment Synopsis: Teri talks about her time learning at the Siebel Institute and her prior work in the computer science industry in the early days of programming.

Keywords: brewing school; computer programming; homebrewing; Siebel institute

Subjects: brewing school computer programming homebrewing siebel institute


TE: Here's the release

TF: Oh yeah yeah. Excellent.

TE: And then I will stick it in the back of my coat form

TF: Yep

TE: Well I'm so glad this worked out, this is....

TF: Yeah this is a good space and it's not far from my house

TE: So do you live...

TF: About a mile from here, maybe a mile and a half. I'm just south along the river, which is sort of east actually (laughs) and then today's date which is the 19th, is that correct?

TE: Yes.

TF: Yes it is.

TE: (laughs) I said that with certainty and then I was like counting from a day I knew what it was.

TF: And then uh...interviewee...Well I really appreciate the opportunity to tell my story. Thank you.

TE: It's very exciting, well I think you know, you getting an award a week ago, was it that long ago?

TF: Mhmm

TE: It's the continuing history

TF: Oh I'm not done yet man


TE: (laughs)

TF: (laughs) Yeah when I'm 80 you guys will have to come do this part 2

TE: Yeah I know, I did an oral history with Blake Crosby and I said that it would be cool to come back 10 years from now and then 10 years from now to talk to people at different stages.

TF: Sure, sure, or even 20 years when they really look different you know and the world is a different place and everything. Mkay I think that does it

TE: Well that's a serious, it's like you could juggle that

TF: Double cameras. As long as your shoulder is pointing in the right direction


TF: and if these wires, like are you just going to get me from here up or should I try to hide this wire maybe? I can put that in my butt pocket. What? Background: You can just stick it or set it on the ground

TF: Sure, I can do that or I can even clip it on my butt, the butt pocket here. 2:00Yeah I think that works and I'll get it kinda behind me then. Are you freezing in here, are you okay?

TE: I'm okay, I might do some jumping jacks

TF: Cause I'm like, I'm looking at you going "uh-uh." That's spring or summer, that's not a winter outfit

TE: No, it's not at all

TF: At least for me, you don't even have warm socks

TE: I don't and the funny thing is that I, we drop my daughter off with my sister on the way up here and I made sure she has all the warm clothing and I say "make sure you bring your rain jacket," "it's not raining," and I said, but yeah then what do I do, I just walk out of the house as if weather...

TF: (laughs) is irrelevant

TE: doesn't matter where I was (laughs)

TF: Yeah that's right


TE: I'll just wait for the lights to warm up

TF: The what?

TE: For the lights to warm up our little sphere

TF: I doubt it, but maybe

TE: I'll watch the thermometer, maybe we'll get up to 61

TF: What's it at now?

TE: 60

TF: Ahh yeah

TE: I could take my hair down and then it would be really warm

TF: That's true. I always think once I'm in a situation like this "I should have brought a mirror." Because I've had things where at the end I go and look and my makeup was totally running, nobody said anything

TE: I don't see anything like that

TF: Yeah I decided to stop putting a little eyeliner underneath my eyes because it just spread so I'm like "okay I think I'm going to be good on the makeup today." I think I'm probably better off without a headband since I'm not 12, but I like em because it keeps the hair out of my face, but I'll wait till he's 4:00ready then I'll take it off, because I'm a working girl, I'm always working with my head down, you know.

TE: Well I've learned that about having my hair down, that it makes me look like Sasquatch when I'm on film or people take pictures, that it just turns into this

TF: big bushy thing or something kind of?

TE: Yeah it's, as I age it's getting curlier and much less sunlight (laughs)

TF: Oh that's cool

TE: I guess

TF: Yeah, wonderful

TE: It's kinda fun, (laughs) but also kinda not

Cameraman: Alright, I think we're ready to go

TF: Okay, I'm going to take my headband off, is my hair doing anything unruly

Cameraman: It looks pretty good

TF: Go like that

Cameraman: Yeah

TF: Okay.

-something falls-

TF: Uh-oh, was that me?

TE: No that was me

TF: I hope you got your little corner protectors on that thing

TE: Oh I do

TF: That's good

TE: I am a dropping kind of person

TE: Okay

Cameraman: Okay so I'll be walking around a bit, getting other shots of you


TE: So do you want to talk to me or to the camera?

Cameraman: She'll just talk to you here

TE: Okay, excellent. So the way that my arc of questions is to initially ask you to talk about early experiences and then we'll kind of move through your career and sort of narrative, but don't feel like you have to stick to a chronological order if things come up that are interesting

TF: Because you can edit it?

TE: Yeah

TF: Okay

TE: So talk about your first beer experience as you were growing up so

TF: Sure.

TE: not necessarily the first time you drank beer (laughs), but the first time you thought about it.

TF: Right. Well I grew up in a German-American family in Wisconsin so beer was a part of the culture there certainly and my very first taste of beer, I wouldn't remember it because at family reunions when the babies are crying we usually 6:00give them a little sip of beer and then they take a nap (laughs). And then growing up as I said, a lot of dairy in the Wisconsin dairy state including pizza night, probably once every week or two and when it was pizza night we had a choice, it didn't have to be 2% milk; it could be milk or Coca-Cola or beer. So we had a choice and it wasn't like beer was, you know, set aside separate other than that it was a treat, like Coca-Cola was a treat. So you know sometimes we felt like having a Coke because it was a treat and sometimes we felt like having a beer wasn't the forbidden fruit that our current culture seems to make it.

TE: Did you grow up in a big family?

TF: I was the oldest of four children. Had some cousins half an hour away and then most of the cousins are spread out because my parents were not from Wisconsin, so there was cousins all over the place and where else can I think 7:00of.... Oh I can talk about fermentation in general kind of.

TE: Sure, ok.

TF: Sometimes people will ask me: "well why beer?" and "why fermentation? How did that capture your imagination?" And I would say I liked making stuff so as a kid you would always try to make stuff and when I was 10 years old I decided, I'd already been a cookie baker for quite a while, an accomplished cookie and cake baker, and I thought I'm going to make bread because that's something new and really unusual and different and I didn't know anybody who made bread. But I liked homemade bread or at least I don't think I had had any at that point, I think I just thought I would and so I got out the cookbook; actually I remember making pretzels once and so I look up pretzels in the cookbook and it's saying add chocolate powder and roll it in sugar and I'm like "Wow I didn't know you 8:00could use these ingredients and end up with pretzels." Because I was too young to understand that your ingredients are absolutely what you're going to end up with. So at the end I ended up with chocolate cookies that looked like pretzels and I was very annoyed and so I learned from that experience that your ingredients are really important, what you put into it. So when I started making bread I made sure that I was using something that looked like UNSURE bread. And I was ten years old and my parents were heading off to an antique auction, that was big back in 1970 and they said "okay you can make the bread, but you can't bake it until we get home because you're too little to use the oven." So I made the bread and I let it rise and I made the bread and made the two loaves of bread and then my father had this brainy idea: "hey let's only make one of the... let's only bake one of the loaves halfway and then we can save it and bake the other half another day, we could put it in the freezer or something." And that's what I call a half-baked idea, it really didn't work very well.

TE: (Laughs)

TF: But the one loaf that we did bake really turned out great and so I've been 9:00baking bread and fermenting things ever since. I happen to feel that I have an affinity for that, that somehow I understand the yeast or they like me, because I have excellent success with that. My father has since tried making bread and it wasn't since the invention of the bread machine that he stopped killing the yeast.

TE: So do you study to learn about different strains of yeast, is that something that you started doing early on or was that kind of information available to you or accessible or even interesting to you or were you more of a tinker and experimenter to see on your own what would happen?

TF: Well yeast education was pretty slim, I started a long time ago. I started home-brewing in 1988 and I started making homemade wines in 1979. We were just happy to have yeast. My first homemade wine I used baker's yeast from the store 10:00because I didn't realize you could find other kinds of yeast. And that was in 1979 and in 1983 I discovered a home wine and beer making shop and discovered Champagne yeast and was able to make some wines. (coughs) I was able to make some apple wine and some wines like that with actual real yeast and it definitely made a complete difference in the flavor of the product. Of course I wasn't making Welch's grape juice wine at that point. I was using real apple juice and I was buying grape concentrate. And I did make homemade wines throughout college. In Wisconsin at that time the drinking age was 18, so were all legal.

TE: (Laughs)

TF: And even if we weren't I probably would have played around a little bit, had I been able to get a hold of what I needed. So after college I, when I 11:00graduated, I moved to California, that's where I got a job.

TE: And what year was that?

TF: That was in 1984 and pretty quickly I realized that you could get really decent wines at really good prices so I needed to ferment something else. So I was continuing to ferment bread, but then I started fermenting beer in 1985 as a home-brewer and I was a cob-, I won't say cobalt programmer because people will be like "what's that? Cobalt?!" I was a computer-programmer in the 1980's in a cubicle and not real happy with the job, so when there was an opportunity to go to the American Home Brewers Association National Conference and learn more about my hobby I did that and that was in 1988 and I was able to meet some very interesting people who had had other careers and then gone into beer 12:00professionally. Now at this point in 1988 I believe there were about 50 large national breweries and about 50 craft breweries. It was probably pretty even at that point. So to actually decide to change your career to brewing was pretty darn radical, but I did learn, I met John Meyer who's the brew master at Rogue, at the time he was at Alaskan Brewing Company and he had been an...an...let me start over with this, because I know you can edit it.

TE: That's right (laughs)

TF: And John Meyer had been a senior aircraft technician for Hugh's Aircraft in Los Angeles and he had made the jump and survived financially and so I thought so could I. And he had attended a school called Siebel Institute in Chicago which I had never heard of before. And I met another person named Don Outterson who had done the same thing. I met some famous people in the craft beer industry, well at that time it wasn't called the craft beer industry, it was 13:00called micro brewing and those were micro beers, just like microcomputers was a big term back in the day. And so I met Charlie Papazian and Michael Jackson, the beer writer from London and I watched the award winner...


TE: (laughs). That was surprising.

TF: I think that's the hot water heater wasn't it?

Cameraman: yep

TF: Okay. Must have vented.

TE: Which I guess is good (laughs).

TF: So I'll backtrack

TE: It's good that it was doing that.

TF: Yeah, so I'll backtrack just a little...

TE: So you met Charlie...

TF: I met Charlie Papazian and Michael Jackson, the beer writer from London and I was also able to watch the Great American Beer Festival, because at that point in 1988 they tied the American Home Brewer's Association's conference, national conference with the Great American Beer Festival and it was in June at that point and so after the conference ended, the GABF, we call it the Great American 14:00Beer Festival came right after that and it's interesting because in those days the GABF had only been going, let's see...1988, I think it started in about, maybe 19...I can't remember, probably shortly after the repeal of the prohibition of home brewing which Jimmy Carter put into play in 1978. So at the most the GABF had been going ten years and probably less than that, I seem to think it was about 8 years old at that point. But how the judges were judging is they would go out on the floor of the festival and they would fill pitchers with beer and bring it back to the judges. Now of course it's huge and they have something like 4000 or more beers entered and everybody has to, even if they're draft-only brewery they have to bottle it up and pre-ship it so it's ready for the judging because there's a lot of staging and a lot of work involved, but in those days the beer was just judged straight from the cask err the keg and when 15:00the judges were getting up on stage there weren't that many of them, and so at the end they had all of the judges come back on stage for a photo, I mean sorry, all of the award winners and one of them was a woman and her name was Mellie Pullman and she was the brew master of Schirf Brewing in Salt... sorry, it Park City Utah. And I saw her get up on stage and I thought "wow she's about my size and if she can do the job physically so can I." And it's interesting because not too long after that, I believe a few years, Mellie quit the brewing industry to go off and get some advanced degrees and become a college business professor and now she is at Portland State University where she has been for a while and she is running their beer business education program and they have a course called "The Business of Beer," "The Business of Craft Brewing," actually is what it's called. And I think that's kind of neat because her career has really circled 16:00around and so much of life is really like that where it doesn't really matter what you learn or what you do, because you will use it, nothing is ever ever wasted.

TE: So what, where were you living in California and then what year, did you actually move to Chicago?

TF: Just for the course

TE: Okay, so where were you living in California?

TF: Okay, I'll do that. So when I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire in 1984 I got a job in the San Francisco Bay area at a business called Burroughs which subsequently merged with Sperry and changed its name to Unisys and at the time it was a fortune 100 company and I was in software services and I was home-brewing, so that was uhh, I started home-brewing in 1985 and in 1988 I did attend that conference and the Great American Beer Festival and when I got back I decided that I was going to attend Siebel too. So I asked 17:00my employers for a 3-month leave of absence because I thought "well if it doesn't work out, you know I really don't want to mess with my career, I'm working at a fortune 100 company," and they said "no, we won't give you a leave of absence," I said "okay then I quit." And so I packed up all my stuff, put it into storage, handed my pet bird to my boyfriend and got on a plane and flew to Chicago where I lived for about 3 months for brewing school and while I was there, after I graduated, I got an unpaid internship at a little brew pub, now defunct, called Sieben's River North Brew Pub. I worked there for about 3 weeks, just so I could get something to put on my resume. Then I came back to the San Francisco Bay Area and I had always wanted to live in Oregon. It's really strange if you think about it, something in my future was calling to my present-self back then and saying "come to Oregon." Because the Oregon Trail Pioneers intrigued me, I, for whatever reason, wanted to move to Oregon. I 18:00remember one of my classmates went to summer school at OSU in, sorry, one of my classmates went to summer school at the U of O, the University of Oregon in Eugene and showed me the catalogue and I thought the photo on the cover of the University Catalogue was just beautiful! And I thought "I want to go there, I want to go there." And so, fact I talked about it so much that my friends had a t-shirt made, was a black t-shirt with white embroidered, said "Oregon or bust!" And I used to wear it and then people would tease me because I'm not a large-busted woman. So you know you'd wear it out somewhere and you're drinking, someone says "does that mean you want to go to Oregon or you want the bust?" "no, it's a pioneer thing, Oregon or bust," they put in on Conestoga or whatever wagons, Conestoga wagons right?

TE: Calistoga

Cameraman: Is that right? Calistoga?

TF: Is that right? I think Calistoga's a place in California.

TE: Is that a place?

TF: Anyway I think it's Conestoga


Cameraman: Conestoga

TF: Yeah, okay.

TE: (laughs) You're back there with your crossword.

TF: Yeah one of you guys is like a historian around here right? (laughs)

TE: yeah -garbled voice- (laughs)

TF: So I said "Well Oregon or bust is what they used to write on the Conestoga wagons before they left St. Louis to go on the Oregon Trail all the way to Oregon." Okay. So anyway, so here I was in California and it was closer to Oregon than Wisconsin was, that's for sure. And I returned from brewing school and you know packed up a suitcase in my little 1983 Honda Accord and I just started driving and I drove from the Bay Area up to Portland and I visited every single brewery and home-brew shop along the way and I handed out a resume to everybody and of course most of them said "well we're not...here's your resume back, we're not hiring," I said "why don't you hang onto it in case you hear of any new breweries opening, pass it on." So they did and I lived in Portland then 20:00for about 2 months while I was looking for a job. Called every brewery in town, asked them for an informational interview. Course they'd never seen a woman trying to become a brewer before so it was pretty like "who're you and what do you want?" But that's okay because I ended up with my first job in Berkley, California at a place called Golden Gate Brewing Company and they called me and said "Hey you come really highly recommended, we have 2 copies of your resume," yay that worked. And luckily they didn't know that brewing was a physical job, because that seemed to be the holdup for the other people I was talking to, so these people just saw that I had a professional brewing education which was very rare back in 1988, 1989 and so I came down, they interviewed me and said "Okay, we want to hire you," I said "great, when can I get into the brewery and when do 21:00you plan to open?" "We're opening on March 1st," I said "that's like 3 days from now," I said "there won't be any beer," they said "we're going to open with guest taps." Okay. So that was the same day that I started, was the day that they opened, so they had guest taps on for about 5 weeks because let's face it I was a home-brewer, I knew how to do a 5-gallon extract batch of beer, I had been involved with 2 all-grain batches, one at brewing school and one a friend had encouraged me to help him participate in, all of the sudden I'm in a brewery that in hindsight I know was a ten-barrel brewery, oh sorry, in hindsight I know was a 7-barrel brewery, but at the time I was told was a 10-barrel brewery, and I... "This pipe goes here, okay, and follow this and the pump's here okay and we got a head over there." So just figuring out process flow and trying to figure out how to run it. Now when these guys were going to hire me at Golden Gate Brewing Company in Berkley, I said "who's going to train me?" they said "Oh the 22:00guy who used to brew here. Yeah that was under different ownership, it's under new ownership now and he's going to come back and teach you." I said "Okay." So I get there, so I call this fellow and I said "hey, heard you're going to come back and train me." He said "I'm not setting foot inside that building ever." He said "I didn't enjoy brewing there, I didn't like the owners that were running it then, I don't know these new people, they're no friends of mine. I'm not doing it." I said "Okay...um do you have any assistant brewers that used to brew here maybe? I could hire them and work with them and they could help me, you know, to learn a little bit about this big piece of equipment I'm looking at all these big tanks, you know because I'm only this big as my background." So I hired his ex-assistant brewer who turns out was a very serious drug abuser (laughs) and so he didn't know his righty-tighty from his lefty-loosey shall we say at any rate, so that was always a challenge cause this brewery was on 2 floors. And um it was poorly designed, it was designed for looks, not for 23:00brewing and I won't give you all the details here, but let's just say brewing by myself one day I sustained 3rd-degree burns and was in the hospital. And it took me about a month to recover and I had skin-grafts; they shaved my head and took the skin-grafts from my scalp. So I get out and I need to learn how to walk again and I'm on crutches and I have no hair and I'm looking for a job. My injury had nothing to do with that brewery closing, there was a lot of other factors, but they did close while I was in the hospital. And from the hospital, being who I am, I was calling around from the hospital – and there were no cell-phones then, this is 1989, um this is basically in June of 1989 and so you had a calling card and you used the hospital phone and you just kept calling until the card ran out of money – and so I was calling all over trying to get another brewing job. Now I only had 2 months under my belt at that brewery, that 24:00was it; I started March 1st and was injured on May 1st, I had my skin-graft surgery on May 8th and I did find another job. Luckily what had happened, when I was at Golden Gate Brewing Company for 2 months is that I was able to get my own beers on tap and when I had completely gotten every tap with my beer in it then what was traditional in the day, and you see sometimes even now, is you have a pre-opening party or in this case we were already open, you have a grand-opening party and you invite all the brewers in the area. Now here that would be a very large party, but back then it wasn't that big of a party, and so what was interesting is I already figured I'm a professional brewer, I'm a professional brew master, I'm the only one here who knows how to run this stuff and um what I didn't realize is there was an old brewer network shall we say and when people came, until they taste your beer, you're just a wannabee. Once they taste your beer and it's on-sale commercially and it's good, you're part of...they accept 25:00you, you're part of the old-brewer network. And so at that little party, all of a sudden all these guys, my peers, people who I thought of as my peers, came up, shook my hand and said "your beer's good." I just realize "Oh my gosh, I just got initiated into the old brewers network. Cool!" (laughs) I've been a part of the old brewer network ever since.

TE: Did you feel like it was at that time uh that there was any concern um

-Cameraman faintly talking-

TF: Well that's a good idea, we should have done that before. We forgot.

Voice: It wasn't, I couldn't hear much of it until the fridge started up again.

TF: Ah, okay. Alright do we have to redo anything or is it all okay?

Voice: It's all okay.

TF: Okay

TE: So I'm curious about at that point, so they're, essentially I'm assuming at that point in the old brewer network there were no other women.

TF: No, not at that point. Well there were other women, but there's 2 women who 26:00started before me, who I didn't know, one was Mellie Pullman. Are we filming, should I start going again?

-Cameraman faintly talking-

TF: Okay. Um prior to the, being initiated into the old brewer network um, I had never actually met any women brewers and so there were 2 who were prior to me that I had never met; one was Mellie Pullman who I mentioned, the other one was Carroll Stout and she was the brewing master at Stout Brewing Company in Adams, Adamstown Pennsylvania. I didn't meet any women for a long time, let me think about this for a second, I was definitely the 1st one west of the Rockies – first woman craft brew master – west of the Rockies, first one in California, first one in Oregon, first one on the West Coast, first one in the Pacific-Northwest. I've had a lot of firsts in my career which is really lucky and really fun.

TE: So did you feel any um, I won't say discrimination, but did you feel any 27:00reluctance that you thought was based on the fact that you were a woman or do you think it really, that there were maybe physical concerns, so think size, you know that there's a difference between you and the size that Eric is, just the simple size of your body. So was that more, if you experienced any reluctance it would come from that or did you like that your gender was an issue?

TF: Well I had a thought, but you kept talking.

TE: Sorry, that's what happens. (laughs)

TF: (laughs) You just asked your short question, "well we'll keep going." (laughs)

TE: (laughs) So first

TF: Well hang on, let me rephrase it and then I'll answer.

TE: Okay.

TF: Okay. So how did size or gender or anything like that play into my ability to get a job and people's reactions to my inquiring about jobs?

TE: Yeah

TF: Okay. So the answer to that is that yes there was some, but I chose to ignore it. I figure, I have something to offer and if somebody doesn't want to 28:00hire me, then that's just not the right fit. There was some concern about my ability to do the job, but if you look at you know I'm 5 foot 6, at the time I was 120 pounds, somebody looks at me and says "well here's somebody, but she's got brewing school training, okay. But I just need somebody to, you know, to life sacks of grain and whatever, muck out the mash or something and here's my nephew Loui and he's a body builder you know." People are going after Loui a lot more than me at the time, but it didn't take me long to get a job and there are women today who will say "oh I tried and no one hired me because I'm a woman," and I'm like "you didn't try very hard then or you kept barking up the wrong trees, so keep going!" I will refuse to admit that there's a gender based glass-ceiling in this industry, the men have always embraced me, we are peers, I'm one of the boys sometimes, which is thus the pink boots to represent my 29:00gender. The only glass-ceiling in this industry, the only glass, the only glass-ceiling in this industry that I feel is here is an education glass-ceiling and we'll talk about that when we get to pink boots. But I feel that I was able to surmount any glass-ceiling that might have been there by going to brewing school, because I knew that when it came to brain or brawns, I'm probably a little better with my brain and I had to optimize and maximize my ability to get a job with that, so that's what I did. And I feel that every woman out there who really wants to break into the brewing industry, if you're feeling like you're getting pushback or not given the respect that you're due for your skill level and everything else, maybe it's an education thing, don't blame it on a gender thing.

TE: So when you were looking and moved from the Bay Area, did you go straight up to Oregon from there. Having the experience under your belt, at that point was 30:00there, what was the transition like?

TF: What was the transition like? Okay. I was the head brewer at Triple Rock for about a year and a quarter or so...

TE: In Berkley?

TF: Yes. I'll back that up, sorry.

TE: It's okay.

TF: I was the brew master...sorry. I was the head brewer at Triple Rock in Berkley for about a year and a quarter and that was the job that I got from the hospital bed. And so when I got out, I started, you know, as soon as I could. Basically I was injured on May 1st and July 1st I was starting my job and I only had a crew cut this long and I had to take off my goofy hat because it was too hot in the brewery. It was not, crew cuts were not really in style yet for girls in 1989. So I started there and it was a great place and I learned a lot and they were really supportive. My assistant brewer wasn't necessarily supportive 31:00because he wanted the job that I got and I had to prove to him every day why my brewing school made me the right choice for that job. But the owners, especially Reed Martin who hired me, really really believed in me, which was something that was really important for me at the time, because having had to go through the experience that I had where they shaved me head and gave me, put skin grafts on my, the 11% of me that got burned, you lose a part of your identity because you feel like you're not really a woman anymore when you lose all your hair and you know I've had my, metaphorically I've had my identity feel like I lost it and it takes it a while to gain back the confidence that you lost, so having Reed Martin and his brother John Martin believe in me really made a difference for me. And so I wouldn't have thought about leaving or considered leaving except for the fact that it's really expensive in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of 32:00my personal dreams was to own a house and I still wanted to get to Oregon cause there was still something in the back of my brain saying "you need to be in Oregon." So every vacation I would go north, I'm a northern girl, I'm from Wisconsin, so I go north. So now I think I'd like to go south because of days like this when it's raining and cloudy, but then I was always going north in the summertime for my vacations. And there was a magazine called American Brewer Magazine published by Bill Owens and on about page 20 or 30, probably about page 20 there was a little blurb about something called the Oregon Brewer's Festival was coming up in just a few weeks and it was like I said on page 20 and it was going to be the first ever Oregon Brewer's Festival in 1988 and it was just before I was going to leave for Siebel so I actually came up to Oregon and I met some of the brewers at that point. And it's funny because I said "I'm coming and I'm introducing myself because I'm heading to Siebel and when I come out I'm 33:00going to be coming here and I'm going to be talking to you and asking you about a job," and they all said "go talk to Fred Bowman, he attended Siebel." "I don't want to talk to somebody just because they attended Siebel, I'm trying to find a job here people!" So when I did that, I also met more of the brewers up and down the coast when I went on my job searching hunt at that point, but at this point I'm at Triple Rock and I'm thinking "I'm here for a while, whatever." I came up to the Oregon Brewers Guild again, it was the 3rd year they were having it, I couldn't go to the 2nd year because I was just started at Triple Rock and I was in training. So here it is the 3rd year of the Oregon Brewers Festival and it's 1990 and I go up there and here's this guy wearing a t-shirt that said "Brewer wanted: Eugene, Oregon," "oh my gosh I have to talk to this guy, but there's my owners over there, whoops and there's my assistant brewers, how am I going to do this?" So I kind of had to wait until no one was looking and then I took my 34:00business card and I said "if you're looking for an experienced brewer, I have over a year under my belt," say a year and a half between, at least a year and a half between all the breweries I had worked for at that point, "call me." And there weren't a lot of experienced brewers at that point, you know there's a lot of home brewers who are crossing over, but very few experienced brewers. So sure enough he called me, I think on Monday, oh and he said, he said "on your way back, when you're heading back from the Oregon Brewer's Festival to California, drop into Eugene and at the corner of 5th and Pearl that's where the brewery is going to go in and it's across the parking lot from the -unintelligible word – station, so I'm like "I don't know which building," and I'm like wandering around trying to find which building, peeking in windows and there was a building that was just a shell of a building being built and the inside was just one floor and I'm like "it can't be that big," anyway that was the building that it went into, right on the corner. And so um meanwhile, he called me on Monday 35:00and um because of my experience with my brewery at the brewery that I had, excuse me, because of my experience at Golden Gate where I had been injured and they had also bounced paychecks and there was a lot of really weird weird stuff going on I wanted to make sure that before I quit Triple Rock, which is a for sure thing and was at that point a 5-year-old brewery um that, that there would be stability there because I was very big in favor of receiving all my paychecks I had due. So I asked him about the owners and their backgrounds and if they didn't make any money at first, cause this is the 10th brewery going to be going into Oregon and if you know what it looks like now there's almost 200 in Oregon, so this was 1990 and there was probably even less than 9 at that point cause several were probably open while we were trying to get open. But there was no for sure thing, the industry didn't look anything like it did now, so after me 36:00almost interviewing him, he said "well I'm coming down there"... no what did he say? Basically they gave me an offer by Thursday, I think he actually drove down that week and I said "bring some soda canisters," we call em' Cornelius Cans and I'll fill em' up with some beer and you can bring it back," because he said "well we don't know what your beer tastes like," "come on down and drink it," I said. Came down, he drank some, he grabbed a Cornelius, brought it back to Oregon, all within the space of a few days and the owners up here of Steelhead, that were trying to get Steelhead open, they taste this, it sounds good to me. I gave notice on Friday, and I gave a month notice at Triple Rock, you know, and I found and trained my replacement and I was hoping to have a few weeks off in between moving my stuff to Oregon, but I had to go back to Triple Rock then and train my replacement and then I came back and I started almost right away. The Oregon Brewer's Festival was the last weekend in July and then I was hired about 37:00a week later, I gave a month notice, after that I all my stuff up, my parents flew out and helped me the driving the big moving van, not that I had a lot of stuff, but I had enough and they needed a vacation. So we drove all my stuff up to Eugene, I also had to find a place to live in between there, so I found a place to live. We drove it all up at the end of August and I started September 17th 1990 at Steelhead and got that brewery off to a great start and we opened in January of 1991 with all the tanks full of beer to a line around the corner and um I will say that a lot of people were interested, but they didn't really know what it was.

TE: Were there any other micro-breweries in the Oregon... or in Eugene?

TF: The only one in Eugene at that point was McMenamin's High Street, so that was the only one and that had a reputation of being a hippie hangout and so a lot of people who were not, say hippies, didn't want to go there. Eugene is 38:00interesting like that because there's definitely different factions who don't necessarily want to hang out at the same places. Steelhead I think was able to bring some of those factions together. Some of the owners of Steelhead were really into the golf scene, so all of their country club friends would come in and visit and the beer was great, the food was great, the ambience reminded one of a nice large British pub with the foam booth in the middle of the room and everything and fake British pub art on the walls and um people loved it from the beginning and we did uh have to educate people, "what's an ale versus a beer? What's a lager? Well how is micro-brewed beer different from regular beer? What's a microbrewery versus a brewpub?" I mean these kinds of questions aren't 39:00asked anymore and certainly the same words are not even used anymore, but those were the questions we got back then. "What's the difference between aroma and bouquet?" That question is a little more sophisticated and came a little later, but we had information sheets that we would put out for years that I typed out, that I wrote up that had these questions and their answers on them because a big part of what we did, not just me, but all of us that were basically brewing at breweries in the early 1990's, was educating the public. I mean now you can go into any pub, bar, tavern or restaurant in Oregon and there will be a craft-brewed beer there, back then, you had to seek them out, they were not common, we could get Bridgeport Blue-Herring and once in a while Black-Butte Porter and those were pretty much the only beers that were not made in Eugene that you could get in Eugene, that was it, other than that it was Coors, Bud, 40:00Miller, whatever.

TE: Did you feel like people in the early 90's period were pretty open though to trying new things, did they feel experimental or did they say "well, I think I'll just take a Coors?"

TF: Some of them were, some of them had tried craft beer, but the quality level was very spotty, so first of all a lot of them wouldn't believe that it was beer, "well that's black-colored, that's not beer, beer is yellow, has head on top and is fizzy and tastes like bitter soda-water or something," so then you start making something like a stout, you know, and it's a little more like coffee or chocolate and they don't know what to do with it because it's the wrong color, it doesn't taste the same, so there's a lot of education about that too. I would say that the average person was not necessarily very experimental, 41:00but people in my age demographic which at the time we were in our 30's, post-college, and it is a college town. The post-college crowd was definitely more into it, however they were also into cheap, because Eugene was never famous in those days for being a wealthy town, that's for sure. In fact when I moved to town the only person who had a really nice car was my boss, everyone pretty much drove beaters. And Eugene was still recovering from the lumber crash in Oregon in 1978 and when the housing prices crashed and it wasn't until about 1991, 92'that housing actually recovered where it had been when it crashed in about 81'. So it took 10 years or more for those houses that had, you know, been at 100,000, dropped to 50, to make their way back. People told me about in the 80's, like 1985, if there was 1 job and it was a janitor job, there was 300 42:00people in line in the pouring rain and they started showing up at midnight for 8-o-clock taking your application, it was really depressed and I didn't see that change until 93'. So that, I mean 1978 to 1993, that's a really long recession that people don't really remember how bad it was in Oregon and Eugene definitely was a part of that cause it had a very strong lumber-based economy at the time, it's different now, it has a big regional hospital, it has a strong university component, but it was really really heavily lumber-dependent back in the day. It's much more diverse now with hi-tech going on and everything, but I think that Steelhead coming in when it did made it a more attractive place for when let's say Symantec wanted to move their call-center from Palo Alto to somewhere else. So I think that the brew pubs and breweries along the way have just 43:00increased the quality of life and the attractiveness of Oregon and certain cities in Oregon as a destination for corporations and businesses to move to or build in.

TE: And so how did you, when did you start seeing new breweries opening up, when did you leave Steelhead and then what was that, that time from when you started to when you left, the brewing scene, how was its evolution going.

-Cameraman faintly talking-


TF: heh that's a lot more comfortable. Go? Good?

TE: Do you need water or anything?

TF: No I'm okay. Thanks.

TE: Okay.

-Cameraman faintly talking-

TE: (laughs)

TF: Well I'm funnier with a beer so it's up to you guys (laughs).

TE: (laughs)

TF: Seriously, it's up to you guys, I don't care. So I started at Steelhead as I 44:00said September 17th 1990. We opened January 22nd, I think it was January 22nd 1991, maybe it was January 21st, but I think it was the 22nd and I was there for almost 17 years, a long time and I saw a lot of things changing. I saw in the 1990's a real rush in people getting the idea that they wanted to open breweries, more and more breweries opening and people entering the brewing industry as owners who had this idea that they could make a killing and they could open a brewery, they could sell it for tons of money and that's always a bad idea to think that that's possible, because that's really kind of a strange bubble when that happens. So there's a lot of new breweries being made, sorry, a lot of new breweries being built and opening. So a lot of my peers were job hopping just for fun, because they could go, every year they would have a new 45:00brew master job somewhere else, it's very exciting opening new breweries and they were bumping their salary every time they jumped, but it's, it ended up being a little like playing musical chairs, because in about 1995 the industry tripped and stumbled just a little and then it started, it was like a giant, like a giant child with really short legs who started falling, couldn't, tripped on a pebble, couldn't quite keep up and so there was a lot of capacity and a lot of breweries being built, but the consumer base hadn't quite matched the growth and then so starting in late 1995, but really starting to be noticed in 96 and continuing through about 2001, 2002, our little bubble burst and it was as I said in the early 90's up through about maybe 96ish, you saw the musical chairs 46:00of the brewers going here, going there and all of the sudden if they're between jobs and they didn't time it just right, they weren't finding a job because breweries were closing. A lot of closings and a lot of equipment getting auctioned off really cheap, really cheap. And previous to that it was really hard to find breweries, during that growth phase in let's say 93, 94, 95 a couple of new brewing schools got started, not all of them survived, some new tank manufacturers got started, not all of them survived. It was a long bubble-breaking, beer-industry recession, as I said it was really prevalent from 1996 for sure through probably I would say 2001, pretty strong and that's a 5-year really strong correction in a market, it was tough and it was tough for a lot of brewers, you know they went, a lot of brewers just ended up somehow not having that job and so they ended up in web-page design cause that was growing 47:00at the time and the whole tech bubble was growing, so a lot of brewers who couldn't get jobs, I mean let's face it we're science and art-oriented and why not website-design, I guess that's kind of science and art-oriented in its own way too. And me, I'm a stability person, I'm just a very stable type of person, so I ended up staying at Steelhead the whole time and then right about the time I left we started going into another little bit of a bubble, it was kind of interesting. I quit Steelhead for multitudes of reasons, but one of them also was to go on a road trip and this road trip, I called it the road-brew... I called myself the road-brewer and I visited about 70 breweries and I brewed at 38 of them, so I was, nowadays we'd call me a gypsy-brewer, we didn't have that name back then, but I went on the road and I was brewing with different

breweries 48:00 49:00 50:00 51:00 52:00 53:00 54:00 55:00 56:00 57:00 58:00 59:00 60:00 61:00 62:00 63:00 64:00 65:00 66:00 67:00 68:00 69:00 70:00 71:00 72:00 73:00 74:00 75:00 76:00 77:00 78:00 79:00 80:00 81:00 82:00 83:00 84:00 85:00 86:00 87:00 88:00 89:00 90:00 91:00 92:00 93:00 94:00 95:00 96:00 97:00 98:00 99:00 100:00 101:00 102:00 103:00 104:00 105:00 106:00 107:00 108:00 109:00 110:00 111:00 112:00 113:00 114:00 115:00 116:00 117:00 118:00