Road to Cicerone® Course Book Series

Sasha Womble

I'm Sasha Womble and I just really like beer. 
I started my beer journey 20 years ago by innocently going to a pub with a friend who scoffed at my beer choice and it's been a roller coaster ride ever since. While I heavily support my local breweries I enjoy sampling beers from around the world and discussing them whenever with whoever I can. If you're short on time don't start talking beer with me. 

I'm the feminine voice on the Brewz Brothaz podcast where we discuss all things fermented with an eye on the POC experience in the brewing world. Joining the podcast has expanded my beer knowledge and the next step is to pursue a Cicerone certification to add credibility to my passion for beer. I look forward to joining the growing number of BIPOC women who share the same love of beer & spirits while encouraging other women who look like me to find an appreciation for the craft. 

Thank you Fermenta for contributing to this goal! 

Road to Cicerone® Course Book Series

Josephina Rosario

Josefina Rosario is an Architect who has professionally practiced Residential and Commercial Interior Architecture in the Dominican Republic, Spain, and currently in the United States. She has a Masters degree in Urban and Spatial Planning and is really interested in learning how breweries are shaping our communities. With a passion for beer that sprouted from a trip to Belgium in 2010, she started home-brewing about three years ago. During her trip to Belgium she announced to the universe that one day she would be the brewmaster of her own brewery. Homebrewing has opened a bigger curiosity for everything beer and the door to a world of imagination. As an artist and having a creative mind, she finds beer to be liberating. A full expression that can be transferred for others to enjoy. A “doer” with a positive attitude, she is currently pursuing the Level II Cicerone. Her goals for this year are to become a Certified Cicerone, a BJCP judge, and write her business plan. She uses the taproom of the brewery where she works as an educational platform to make sure everyone stepping into the taproom understands what they are enjoying with each glass of beer.

Bertie Brown (BIPOC) 2021

Michella Chiu

Michella Chiu is now working as a wine marketer. She has completed the WSET Level 3 and the Business of Wine certification, and is now working towards the CSW and CWE exams. She sees herself offering valuable work to wine clients as a female-Asian marketer who has a global perspective on wine marketing. This particular scholarship will enable Michella to take her wine education to the next level, and become a truly unique marketer who helps wine brands navigate the muddy waters of e-commerce and digital marketing. She looks forward to working with more clients and helping more brands land on the next stage of business growth.

Bertie Brown (BIPOC) 2020

Eren Watts

I have been working in hospitality for over a decade. Starting off as a server at your typical fast casual restaurant, it was there I first became interested in spirits. When I moved to the Ypsi/Ann Arbor area for school, I then began working in breweries. It was there I started to gain a deep appreciation for brewing and all things fermented. My current role as a wine buyer for some of the best bars in Detroit has been a great opportunity to help educate others and expand my own knowledge. I think wine should be fun and inclusive! Oftentimes, Women of Color tend to be overlooked for continuing education and management roles in this industry.  I hope to one day be able to help open doors for other Women of Color like me.

BeerSavvy On-line scholarship 2020

Scholarship donated by the Cicerone® Certification Program

Wendy Taylor

Hello. My name is Wendy. I enjoy Long walks on the beach and just about anything Broadway related…Just kidding, well not about Broadway, but I’m much happier to belly up to the bar at the closest brewery in my free time. I say closest, but over the last few years I’ve made it my mission to visit as many new breweries as possible. Seriously, I went on a cruise to Alaska last year and scheduled all of my excursions around the hours of the breweries in the ports. I’ve been a craft beer fan for years and have been fortunate enough to participate in groups like the Detroit Draft Divas and Fermenta that allow me to meet like-minded folks who have helped nurture that interest and taught me a lot in the process. I don’t work in the industry, but last year I accepted a spot as a host on a local beer podcast, Better on Draft, kicking my “hobby” into overdrive. I truly believe that there is a beer for everyone and with the right knowledge, you can help them find it. I’m so thankful to Fermenta for this opportunity to expand my knowledge! My goal is to use that knowledge to spotlight some of the amazing people I have or will meet in the industry and share some of the delicious beers they are making."  

UC Davis Beer Quality - Quality Systems on-line course 2020


Johanna Griest, Certified Cicerone® is a first-year Fermenta member from North Peak Brewing Company and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, MI, where she oversees the quality control and assurance program for both breweries. She also recently began instructing the Brewing Science course in The Brewing and Distillation Technology Program at Schoolcraft College. Her background and Bachelor's Degree is in the biological sciences but since entering the world of beer, she has built and managed three comprehensive quality control programs and sought numerous educational scholarships and opportunities through The American Society of Brewing Chemists, The Pink Boots Society, White Labs, The Cicerone® Program, and now thanks to Fermenta, UC Davis. She is anxiously awaiting her coursework from Charles Bamforth to see what his Quality Systems course from UC Davis can add to her knowledge, her instruction, and her laboratory in Dexter!

When she's not analyzing or enjoying beers, you'll find her competing in autocross with her Mazdaspeed6 racecar, playing bass in the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra, or out enjoying nature with her husband and 2 dogs. 

She is eager to share the knowledge and experience she gains from this course with other Fermenta members in the future!



My name is Cole Levy and I am the Market Manager for American Liquor Co. I have been in the Spirits industry for 10+ years, working my way up from server to bartender to GM to brand ambassador, finally to sales rep. It wasn't until I became general manager of Detroit City Distillery and assembled a team of badass women that I realized not only am I inspiring other women to achieve their goals, but I can use my voice to amplify this. 

My passion for this industry and empowering women has led me to my goal of starting a nonprofit. This foundation will work to provide education and resources for women, especially BIPOC women who want to get into the beverage industry but don't know how. From training for the WSET, CSS, Cicerone and other certifications to apprenticeships with local breweries and distilleries to basic job interview training, I want this to be a place where everyone feels welcome and is given a chance to get their foot in the door. 

Additionally, this foundation will provide support for women struggling with abuse in the beverage industry. As a sober industry professional, I want people to know that you don't have to drink to enjoy it! In fact, since becoming sober I've found that I love beer, wine and liquor even more! 

Thank you Fermenta for this scholarship that is a huge step in reaching my goals! 

"All Things Fermentation" Membership & Gift Card 2020

Kai Surprenant

My name is Kai Surprenant, and I am an active member in the beer industry trying to further my knowledge to pursue a dream of becoming a sales rep in the West Michigan craft beer industry!

I have a passion for sour beer, saisons and everything in between.

A little background about myself: It all started when I had my first saison from Hill Farmstead called "Arthur". I knew I wanted to know everything about this style of brewing and expand my palate. I started easy with Saisons and a simple Berliner Weisse, then moved on to a gose and now have a passion for pursuing wild & complex sours.

I have had lots of education and guidance from Cody Smith - owner of Oracle Brewing Company, along my path. I am so proud to have been a part of opening Oracle with such a wonderful group of individuals with the same passions as I who wanted to learn and grow with the ever changing industry.

I would never be where I am without them! After 2 years of working alongside Cody Smith and Crew, I made the decision to move to Beer City - Grand Rapids, MI.

 "I originally met Kai through beer. With her passion and enthusiasm I knew I wanted her to be a part of our team when we opened Oracle. We were happy to have her for as long as we did." - (Cody Smith)

Since then, I have spent time at Brewery Vivant, 7 Monks Grand Rapids, and now with Founders Brewing Company. I look forward to the opportunity of fulfilling my dream of becoming a Sales Representative for a great Michigan Brewery!

Hop Aroma Sensory Kit & Cicerone Certification Program Malt Box w/Webinar 2020

Kasie Bunio

In July of 2020 I graduated from Schoolcraft College with a Brewing and Distillation Technology Certificate. I deeply enjoy sharing what I have learned in this program with my friends and family. As a newcomer into this industry, I am always looking for new ways to improve and enhance my knowledge. Thank you Fermenta for this great opportunity. I will be using the kit to help form and enhance my pallet. To get better feed back on my gluten free home brew I will use this opportunity to share some fun knowledge with my home brew testers. 


Red Wine Aroma Sensory Kit 2020

Renee' Kolleth-Thomas 

My name is Renee' Kolleth-Thomas and I am a nerdy biologist.  I have always loved biology and all of the sciences.  I started naturally fermenting foods in college like sauerkraut and pickles, but didn't discover home brewing until later.  I started home brewing in 2013 with my boyfriend (now husband) and instantly fell in love with science behind it.  At the time, I wasn't happy with the career path that I was on and one day over the brew pot I mentioned to my boyfriend that I could see myself brewing professionally and being genuinely happy.    He told me that I should, I was good at it and I that I should go for it.  Not long after I was told about Fermenta from 8 Degrees Plato owner Tim.  I looked up their website and saw that there a lecture being held the following weekend about brewer's yeast.  Well, that's my jam!  My boyfriend and I attended the lecture, and after the lecture I approached lecturer Stacey Roth to see how I could gear my resume and cover letter to get in the industry.  She handed me her card and said, "we're looking for people".  I was working at Griffin Claw Brewing Company 4 weeks later.  I worked for GCBC for about a year and half then started at B Nektar Meadery where I have been ever since.  I am now the Head Mead/ Cider/Wine maker for B Nektar as well as the Laboratory Manager.

Beer Off-Flavours Kit & Webinar 2020

& Bertie Brown (BIPOC) 2020   Scholarship sponsored by Fermenta

Maria Allen

Maria has been a part of the fermenting community through beer since 2018. She started an instagram page (@blackbrewbabe) to document all of the great beer that she tries across Michigan and the world. Maria has started homebrewing in the last year and has really enjoyed the entire process. In 3 to 5 years she hopes to be brewing at a larger scale than her 5 gallon batch! She is also hoping to build a foundation and knowledge of fermenting and brewing so she can eventually open up her own brewery.

This scholarship will help her build a foundation for brewing. She looks forward to learning about the different types of beers and brewing methods that make each beer unique.

Bertie Brown (BIPOC) 2020

Scholarship sponsored by Brewz Brothaz

Jasmine Hairston

Jasmine is the the Culture and Community Manager at Eastern Market Brewing Co. (EMBC) and Ferndale Project. If you’ve visited EMBC in the last two years, you’ve probably had a beer poured by Jasmine. She started working part-time as a beertender at the brewery two years ago while she was still a high school teacher in Detroit. Talking it up with customers and making people feel welcome is where Jasmine shines the most. She looks forward to continuing to support the culture of the brewery and expanding its role in the local community and the Michigan craft beer industry as well. 

 Bertie Brown Scholarship: I never had much of a goal when it came to craft beer aside from serving and drinking it. But over the past few years I started hearing more and more folks recognizing the lack of diversity in our industry and now more than ever there’s finally enough people willing to put in the work. So my goals in craft beer are about putting in the work to more intentionally make craft beer a space for all. 

I’m a queer black woman. I want queer folks, BIPOC folks, and women better represented in all areas of the industry from customers to distributers. Thanks to some really amazing industry folks and scholars there’s more content and material to strategically help make that a reality. This scholarship will support my on-going professional development towards my goal of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive craft beer industry. 

Bertie Brown (BIPOC) 2020


Stephanie Bixler

I am a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, or traditionally known as Anishinaabeg.  Chippewa are often also known as Ojibway.  The Anishinaabeg (which can mean “Original People” or “Spontaneous Beings”) have lived in the Great Lakes area for millenia.  Sault Tribe’s ancestors were Anishinaabeg fishing tribes whose settlements dotted the upper Great Lakes around Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, throughout the St. Marys River system and the Straits of Mackinac. Anishinaabeg gathered for the summers in places like Bahweting (Sault Ste. Marie) and broke up into family units for the winter.

Today the Sault Tribe is 44,000 strong. While the tribe headquarters in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., its economic impact extends for hundreds of miles. The tribe has landholdings, businesses, housing and other service centers throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Our tribe revenue monies supports education, healthcare, housing, elders, and many other community organizations, not individuals directly.

I hope to gain more visibility for the Native American community in this industry.  So far it seems we are underrepresented in this work force and I would like to work to make that change not only for myself, but others and our future generations, too.  This scholarship can definitely help me to continue my education and better equip me to do just that.  The farther and higher I am able to broaden my experience, the more I can help others do so as well.

I will use the funds to purchase Road to Cicerone course books, styles focused.  This will be a huge help because the jump from Certified Beer Server to Certified Cicerone is a very big leap in knowledge, practice, and study materials and time.  My biggest areas of improvement needed are definitely styles and off-flavor identification.  Being able to get these focused and structured (and endorsed) materials will have an immense impact in strengthening those parts of my skill set.  I am greatly thankful for this opportunity!!  

Siebel Specialized Lectures 2020

Renee' Kolleth-Thomas

My name is Renee' Kolleth-Thomas and I am a nerdy biologist.  I have always loved biology and all of the sciences.  I started naturally fermenting foods in college like sauerkraut and pickles, but didn't discover home brewing until later.  I started home brewing in 2013 with my boyfriend (now husband) and instantly fell in love with science behind it.  At the time, I wasn't happy with the career path that I was on and one day over the brew pot I mentioned to my boyfriend that I could see myself brewing professionally and being genuinely happy.    He told me that I should, I was good at it and I that I should go for it.  Not long after I was told about Fermenta from 8 Degrees Plato owner Tim.  I looked up their website and saw that there a lecture being held the following weekend about brewer's yeast.  Well, that's my jam!  My boyfriend and I attended the lecture, and after the lecture I approached lecturer Stacey Roth to see how I could gear my resume and cover letter to get in the industry.  She handed me her card and said, "we're looking for people".  I was working at Griffin Claw Brewing Company 4 weeks later.  I worked for GCBC for about a year and half then started at B Nektar Meadery where I have been ever since.  I am now the Head Mead/ Cider/Wine maker for B Nektar as well as the Laboratory Manager.

Homebrew Con 2020

Scholarship possible thanks to anonymous donor


"I am a long-time beer lover, but I am still relatively new to the homebrewing and alcoholic beverage community. After experimenting with the art of brewing beer at home (along with my sister, Jaki) for over a year, I moved from New York City to Michigan for personal reasons. I took this move as a sign that I should take advantage of the growing Michigan beer scene, and decided to pursue my new favorite hobby further. Having recently completed the Brewing and Distilling Technology program at Schoolcraft College, I now look forward to expanding my knowledge of all things beer and (hopefully!) trading in my day job as a CPA for something in the Industry. The ultimate goal is to open a brewery of my own - I really enjoy meeting other craft beer fans of all backgrounds, and I hope to create more opportunities for women and people of color in this space. 

In the meantime, I still homebrew with my sister (though these days it's virtual!) and I am so excited to attend Homebrew Con 2020. Thank you Fermenta! I can't wait to share what I learn with all of you. Maybe over a beer sometime soon?" 

BeerSavvy Bootcamp On-Line 2020

Scholarship donated by the Cicerone® Certification Program 

Kata Kiss

I am Kata Kiss and I work as a brewery consultant in Hungary, where I offer high-concept consulting services, top quality laboratory testings, custom-made brewery trainings and various interactive workshops. I have an MSc in Biochemical Engineering and was always passionate to  combine my enthusiasm for the beauty of science with the fascinating world of brewing technology. Many breweries that I work with consider product development as a core capability of their businesses. The development of a new product has its necessary stages that take it from idea to launch.  While I have mostly been working on the technical aspect of this process, as my main improvement goal I always try to take a systematic approach to the process and to align it with the brand integrity and strategic aims of the breweries I work with. I believe that keeping brewery workers engaged with continuing education can be the key to tackle these challenges together. 

The Cicerone Certification definitely sets the bar high. It gives me the chance  to pursue a passion project for teaching that will allow me to share my beer expertise with others.  I believe in continuous improvement, therefore the Beer Savvy Program fits my goals perfectly. 

I am beyond grateful to Fermenta for offering me the opportunity to take the first step towards my certificate! Thank you loads and cheers! 

Siebel Specialized Lectures 2020

Scholarship possible thanks to individual donations

Stephanie Bixler

A Lansing native, I grew up playing sports and watching movies.  I would try to emulate Chet Lemon, sliding head first into first base.  My sister and I can recite Dirty Dancing together, the entire movie, and probably A League of Their Own, too.  My other two favorites are Nacho Libre and Mean Girls, my go-to homemade Halloween costume is Nacho Libre.  You could say I’m somewhat of a 90’s Cliff Clavin.  Loving Hooked on Classics music series collection, especially Original and 2, I think it is under appreciated.  I love to have bbq’s with a slip ‘n’ slide, and cooking Christmas Eve breakfast for my closest friends and kids.  I have lots of favorites for food, easy answer-Gravy.  

I’ve done the Mackinac Bridge Walk, and The International Bridge Walk, more different experiences than you might expect, but each very fun.  I love Michigan, traveling in Michigan, celebrating our awesome Great Lake State, and of course Cedar Point!  Lately, when I meet someone famous as we’re in Michigan, I even ask them to do the Michigan map with our hands in a picture with me!
Professionally, I have been a restaurant manager in casual dining / late night restaurant, a part-time bartender at a brewpub, restaurant manager at a brewery and casino, also a bartender at a small town bar, and server/bartender for a start-up craft beer/cocktail/food restaurant.  I’ve helped coordinate 4 restaurant grand openings, and led on local store marketing.  As a manager I trained staff on our drinks (and food), how they’re made or type, how best to describe to guests, and how to sell it.  Additionally, I did, sometimes extensive, tracking of sales for some items or specific items for either our own internal, or and externally awarded incentive.  As a server/bartender I in turn did those things, and sometimes even creating my own beer cocktails or shots as we all do in that position, right.  
This scholarship, will be a huge help because the jump from Certified Beer Server to Certified Cicerone is a very big leap in knowledge, practice, study materials, and time.  I am energized with promising ideas flowing in my mind, excitement to potentially be involved in booming sales & experience/events volume again!
Favorite Craft Beers ~ The Mitten Brewery Peanuts and Crackerjack Porter, Saugatuck Blueberry Lemonade Shandy, Founders Green Zebra Gose, so many more! And I like DIPAs more than NEIPAs or IPAs… oh and oh so enjoy Blake’s coffee infused cider :)

Rochester Mills Brewing Company $500 Scholarship 2020

Kai Cassells

My passion for the alcoholic beverage industry began over 18 yrs ago and has taken many different directions.  Currently I am a bartender at Atwater Brewery and truely enjoy what I do.  Halfway through the Brewing & Distilling program at Schoolcraft College I fell head-over-heels in love with mead and now have a dream to make big things happen in that market! My focus is as much on the personal connections that brewhouses provide as it is on creating a unique, high quality product. Thank you Fermenta and Rochester Mills Beer Co. for providing me the assistance to continue towards my goal of being an inspirational brewer!!!

Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference 2020

Kathryn Way

I am currently a Sustainable Brewing student at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. I’ve always been interested in food science, and being a Kalamazoo native, learning beer science has been a great introduction to a wonderful community. While I don’t know exactly yet where I want to go in the industry, quality analysis has been very interesting lately. I am very grateful to Fermenta for this opportunity, and extremely excited to be attending the conference for the hop track. 

Bertie Brown Scholarship 2020

Barb Baker

Barb has been having a love affair with beer since she moved to MI almost 20 years ago. Her main focus whether on tv, radio or in person is introducing people of color and women to the glorious world of beer. She is a Homebrewer, MidWest Event Ambassador for Brooklyn Brewery (NY), newsletter editor for Fermenta, a Detroit Draft Diva and 'The Beer Lady' on "Live In The D". 

Her next step is to quit procrastinating and finally take the Certified Beer Server exam, introduce Oprah to stouts and continue learning about one of the most exciting topics she's ever found. Beer. Come join the @sirenofstout on Instagram and let's figure out our next beer to drink!

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference 2020 

Ashley Gould 

As a West Michigan native and craft beer aficionado, I've been in Hospitality for a decade before joining Cedar Springs Brewing Company four years ago. I work front of the house and also coordinate our events and festivals for the CSBrew team. I have started studying for my Cicerone® and will begin a part time sales position in 2020, so the timing is perfect for attending Winter Conference. Thank you, Fermenta!

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference 2020

Kasey Bunio

Shortly after moving back from Alaska I took a leap into this industry by attending Schoolcraft College to pursue their Brewing and Distillery Program. This program is allowing me to learn the brewing process along with the different beer styles. Not only have I been able to pursue some opportunities leading into a career in this industry, I have also gained skills needed to become successful. I hope to use the skills and the knowledge that I learn to brew good gluten free beer and expand the variety of beer for those interested in the gluten free world. I want to thank Fermenta for this great opportunity that allows me to take another step closer to achieving my goals and career. I will make the best of this opportunity that is given to me by gaining even more knowledge in the industry, along with an experience that I will never forget.

Short's Brewing Company $500 Scholarship 2019

Hannah Williamson

A year and a half ago when I started working for 734 Brewing Company in Ypsilanti, I've been dying to learn as much as possible about craft beer and the industry. Fermenta and the Brewing and Distillation program at Schoolcraft have given me the opportunity to start building a successful career beyond my wildest dreams. My goal is to learn as much as possible in order to bring opportunity to women and people of color in the industry, and become a worth-while advocate for anyone who has been intimidated by craft beer. Thank you to Fermenta for believing in me.

Beer Savvy Boot Camp 2019

Kelly Williams

I’m a craft beer enthusiast hoping to learn more about beer and the industry. Currently, I’m working in healthcare, but would like to explore a career brewing. I’m planning a road trip to The Great American Beer Festival in Denver in October. I want to give a big thanks to Fermenta for giving me this opportunity!

$200 Text Book Scholarship 2019

Rickelle Juszkiewicz

I am currently a full time student at School Craft College for the brewing and distilling program. My goal is to find a job in the industry after the program, I am open to any opportunities  that come my way but I would love to get an assistant brewer position. I have always loved craft beer and the Michigan beer scene, I fell more in love with beer and brewing after moving to Ypsilanti for my undergraduate degree. Discovering new breweries and beer’s became my hobby during undergrad and now I want to make it a career.

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Conference 2019

Chelsea Van Assche

I am currently the Beverage Manager at M-Brew in Ferndale. I am a student of Brewing and Distillation at Schoolcraft in Livonia.  My goals are to become a Ceritifed Cicerone and to continue making new friends in the beer industry. 

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Conference 2019

Claira Sudduth

I am currently work at Cultivate Coffee & Tap house as their in house draft tech and beer menu manager. I am also currently enrolled in the Brewing and Distillation program at Schoolcraft College. I want to share my love of beer with everyone, and hope to become a brewer.

Distillery University 2019

Alyssa Hughes

I am the production manager and distiller at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company.  I create artisan spirits including gin, vodka, brandy, whiskey and absinthe in a field where today only 6% of distillers are women.  Fermentation has been an equally important and fascinating component of distillation that I utilize in our daily schedule for production.  The art of fermentation is an integral part of our process in creating craft spirits and as a distiller I am dedicated to learning and perfecting its’ science, history and technique.

Distillery University 2019

Tiffany Davidson

I am a student of all things Fermentation Science  and hope to continue that throughout my career. I am the Quality Assurance Manager for Old Nation Brewing Company and truly love my job. I intend to test for the Certified Cicerone level in the near future, too. The Distillery University Scholarship is truly a big thing for me. I started learning a little bit about distilling while interning with Midland Brewing Company. I know this scholarship will help me take my knowledge of distilling to the next level. Thank you so much, Fermenta!

BeerSavvy Off Flavor Course 2019

Julea Shank

Through working for a local craft brewery i have found my passion for the liquid art. The passion only grew when i had applied at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the sustainable brewing program which  i graduated from in May, 2019. Since completing the program i have joined the teams of West Michigan Beer Tours, Distant Whistle Brew-house, and Texas Corners Brewing Co. Supporting Michigan craft beer scene is my passion and i hope to grow even more professionally by getting my Cicerone. When i am not working i am section hiking the Appalachian Trail or posting on my Instagram pictures of craft beer in nature.  

Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference 2019

Joanna Merrill

I am a distiller owner-operator of The Kalamazoo Stillhouse in Kalamazoo, MI along with my husband.  The science of distilling has been ingrained in my life since 2012 when I visited my father in law where he was distilling in the Pacific Northwest.  So I left neuroscience and have been digging in to distilling ever since, building our business right here in our hometown where beer sure has a name and distilling may be next.  This scholarship opportunity will further my understanding of the role of malted barley in the fermenting and distilling process and allow opportunities for growth and development within my company through the malt track of this year's Hops and Barley Conference. Great big thanks to the scholarship committee for this good fortune!

Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference 2019

Alexis Jorgensen

My name is Alexis Jorgensen and I am the head brewer of Wolverine State Brewing in Ann Arbor Mi! Before brewing for Wolverine State Brewing Company, I brewed at Witch’s Hat Brewing Company in South Lyon, Stone Brewing in San Diego, CA, and Begyle Brewing in Chicago. I am excited to be part of the growing beer industry in Michigan!

College Text Book Scholarship 2018

Molly Hough

I have always been a self proclaimed beer snob, getting my start at 21 working service at bar with a huge beer selection. From there I have bounced around to a few breweries where my love and appreciation of craft beers turned into genuine interest about not only brewing but the industry as a whole. I finally landed at Witch's Hat where I am fortunate enough to get to work service, bottling and as a sales rep with the hopes of gaining a better understanding of all aspects of the industry. Although I have assisted with both home and commercial brewing, I'm not 100% sure being a brewer is for me. I started the brewing and distillation program at Schoolcraft with the goal that it will guide me in the right direction career wise and to learn more about what I love.

Schoolcraft College Brewing & Distillation Class 2018

Hannah Williamson

My name is Hannah Williamson and I'm currently a bar tender at 734 Brewing Company in Ypsilanti (come say hi!). I discovered craft beer through my partner who generously shared his excitement of good beer and home brewing with me. After getting my job at the brewery, I was encouraged to start my path towards becoming a Cicerone and am currently studying for the exam. 734 is a great place that encourages my education and part of their mission is to train all the bartenders to run their own brewery someday. Between the Cicerone program, my job, my family, and now Fermenta and Schoolcraft college, I am endlessly excited and grateful for all the opportunities and support to find my place in the industry. My goals are to become a head brewer, a certified Cicerone, and a beer judge. I hope to create opportunity for others in the industry and the community in which I live as I continue to learn. 

In my spare time I run a knitting group and enjoy knitting, spinning, and dyeing yarn and fiber. I love sci-fi, cats, spicy food, and anything with strawberries.

Beer Savvy 2018

Beth Regan-Tyrell

This year has been a pretty life changing one for me thus far. I am not only jumping back into the workforce after being a stay at home mom for several years, but I also started my own distribution company, Oath Distributing. After seeing the need for smaller distribution outfits to accommodate the smaller breweries who were getting lost in the huge books of the large distributors (or not getting picked up at all), I began the taking steps last summer to become a fully licensed distributor of beer, mead, wine and cider in the state of Michigan. Six months
after beginning the process I had license in hand and we are off to a wonderful start with some fantastic brands. 

My spouse has been in the craft beer business for over 15 years, having worked for distributors as well as suppliers, and I’ve been there all along helping with events, festivals and dinners and getting to meet many amazing people in the industry as well as some spectacular homebrewers. Beyond that, I had several years under my belt working as bar staff and wait staff for a few different breweries and bars, which at the time I loved. While my company is new this year, I am not new to the craft beer industry and am so excited to have an opportunity to keep expanding my knowledge. 

Besides Oath, my life is forever busy with my 3 children and 2 geriatric dogs. Because of the circus I live in, my down time is best spent doing calming activities and my favorites are sewing, yoga, reading, gardening and of course, enjoying a beer with friends &/or family (which admittedly isn’t that calm).

Beer Savvy 2018

Julea Shank

I have been in the beer industry for two and a half years as a server/bartender for Texas Corners brewing co. My passion took off when I enrolled in the Sustainable Brewing Program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. If I am not taking photos of craft beer in nature, then I am at home brewing beer or reading about beer. My goal is to become an educational influence for women in the great industry of beer.

Siebel - Executive Overview of the Brewing Process 2018

Tiffany Davidson

Dreams do come true if you work hard enough. My name is Tiffany Davidson and I have been a member of Fermenta since 2015. I started as a homebrewer, had the fortune of earning my Certificate in Fermentation Science from Central Michigan University in August 2018, and I’m now starting a new career with Old Nation Brewing Company on October 15, 2018. I owe a lot to Fermenta for helping me make connections, learn valuable skills, and supporting me all along the way. I cannot wait to start this course with Siebel. 

American Society of Brewing Chemists One Year Membership 2018

Angie Williams

I am a teacher-turned-lawyer-turned-brewer, & I am currently the brewer at Fenton Winery and Brewery.  I always strive to learn, & I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the wonderful people who helped teach me what I know & made me recognize what I don't know.
American Society of Brewing Chemists One Year Membership 2018

Dannielle Vierzen

My name is Dannielle and I am owner operator at Mushroom Head Malt co. I have been farming for tens years. I grew up wanting to be a scientist, but life said no at the time. Brewing science has become my redemption and I look forward to continuing my studies.
Beer Quality: Foam UC Davis Extension Program 2018

Pam Stigall

My Name is Pam Stigall. I am currently the beverage manager at Rochester Tap Room in Rochester Hills. I am a career front of house employee with about 30 years in the business! I have been seriously into craft beer for about 10 years now, starting with my time as a bartender at Fort Street Brewery in Lincoln Park. Prior to my current position, I spent nearly 4 years behind the bar at Ale Mary's in Royal Oak where I had the opportunity to spend every day with some of the most knowledgeable beer people around. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to have my own program at the Tap Room. I am excited to continue my education with the scholarship granted to me for the Foam course. Education is so important to make us just a little better each day!  Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference 2018

Natalie Carbary

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference 2018

Amy McClung

A nature enthusiast, artist, mother, wife, writer, home brewer, and adventurous soul. It would make my day to have good people, good beer, a campfire and music set the scene. Loving this life- what’s your super power?

BeerSavvy Bootcamp 2017 


Dannielle Vierzen

I have been conventional farming for 7 years and not loving everything about the farming industry. So after 3 years of planning we are auctioning off most of the farm equipment and diving head first into the construction of our malt house. I am thrilled to be part of the craft brew movement and Fermenta.  When I am not farming (never) I enjoy painting, gangster rap, drinking brews, and  date nights…. did I already say farming?


One Year Membership to the Brewers Association 2017

Tiffany Davidson

I am a two year Associate Member of Fermenta and a homebrewer for the last 5 years. Since joining Fermenta, I have been fortunate enough to win 2 (now 3) educational scholarships. These opportunities have helped me to realize my dream, to make a career change into craft brewing. I am starting my dream program with Central Michigan University this Fall and look forward to learning what the program has to offer. However, learning is not static. To become a better brewer and to succeed in the industry, it’s important to take every opportunity to learn. BA offers a great deal of support to students like me. I have already taken advantage of their free Safety Program online (12 webinars with tests). I cannot wait to learn even more! 

Cicerone Off Flavors Seminar 2017

Donna Roberts

I’ve been drinking craft beer since I can’t remember when (I don’t think the beer had anything to do my memory loss though. Maybe I’m just in denial). Since Oberon was Solsun. Since no one was sure if that fledgling brewery in Marshall was going to make it (I’m glad they did, I love me some Fore Smoked Stout and some Crooked Tree. Not together though). Since Founders was a small brewery on the other side of the river. I’ve learned a lot about beer in that time. But I never knew WHY a beer tastes off – I just knew that sometimes good beers taste bad. As a former home brewer, I’ve inadvertently replicated some of these off flavors myself. Which is part of the reason I don’t homebrew anymore. That and the fact that I hate cleaning. Which may also be another reason for the off flavors. Whether or not I dust off the home-brew equipment in the near future, I’m very grateful for the knowledge Annette laid on me at the class. As an O.G. Detroit Draft Diva, I get the opportunity to “guest brew” a couple times a year a local breweries. I feel like I have a better grasp of what to avoid now. 

Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference 2017

Moragh Goyette

I had my first taste of a real local craft beer back in 2003. A Red’s Rye. My taste buds were shocked and my brain couldn’t handle that something so delicious could be made here at home, a state where automotive industry was the only thing we ever did. The more local beer I had the more I wanted; more styles, more flavors, more education about the industry as a whole. I had a job as a Lab Technician at a local hospital at the time and it allowed me to afford going to every brewery in the state that I could on every available weekend. A Rat Fest here, and  a Wood Aged Barrel Fest there, 2, 5 and 10 year brewery anniversary parties, tap take overs, beer dinners and pairings, bottle releases and parking lot cookouts. And the people. Oh boy howdy, the people. Never have you met a group of folks from all different walks of life who are so damn passionate about this industry. So after nearly 8 years at the hospital, which was a very lucrative job but utterly soul crushing, I decided a life change was in order. First a job at a righteous liquor store, then onto Assistant Brewer at Ann Arbor’s Grizzly Peak, and since Dec 2014 I’ve been working in the cellar at Northern United Brewing Co. in Dexter. We proudly brew, package and warehouse North Peak Brewing beers and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. I’m excited to see what the future holds for the breweries in this state as well as the industry overall.

OR, if this is more of a Tindr style thing:

Avid cat lover, pie consumer, beer “snob” if you’re into labels.

Likes: graphic novels, horror movies, road trips to far away breweries, chickens.

Dislikes: walks on the beach (that’s how you get melanoma), country music, laugh tracks.

What’s Best In Life: To crush your enemies and see them driven before you, to produce high quality products with the goal of consistency from batch to batch, to enjoy hanging out with your work crew after the work is done.

Seeking: a life-long career in an industry I’m incredibly passionate about, with opportunities for continuing education and workplace advancement. Are you the one for me? Let’s get together for a pint and find out!

American Homebrewers Association One Year membership 2016

Tiffany Davidson

I feel that this opportunity would provide me with even more education that I can use when I hopefully become a part of the industry. Continuing education is important in the craft brewing industry. Through a membership in both Fermenta and in AHA, I hope to reach higher and achieve my goals successfully.

Founders Sensory Evaluation Class 2016


Vanessa Tamez

I manage Groovy Hopster Farm in Chelsea, MI and finished my M.S. in conservation in April 2016. I’m interested in organic and sustainable farm management, and our mission is to try to implement these concepts into our hop business. When I’m not farming hops or seeking out new craft beer to taste, I can be found spending time with my pet hedgehog, Pancake!

$200 Text Book Scholarship 2016


Meaghan Douglas-Lyman

$200 Text Book Scholarship 2016

 Stephanie Yates

My real introduction to good beer came in 2005 during a month long study abroad in the Czech Republic where a pint of Pilsner Urquell cost less than a glass of water (so you can imagine how that semester went).  I spent the remainder of my years at Western Michigan University alternately educating myself in creative writing & Japanese (my majors) and the procurement and consumption of every craft beer I could get my hands on.

Meanwhile, at home, my (newly enlightened) father had also switched from his trusty Molson XXX to a handful of Michigan craft beers, and together we set out on a journey to hit every Michigan craft brewery (I’m currently at 144!) before deciding about 3 years ago to foray into home brewing as well (maybe not your typical daddy/daughter bonding activity)!  I joined Fermenta early this year and also enrolled in Schoolcraft’s brewing & distillation technology program last winter in hopes to connect with other craft beer aficionados, expand my knowledge of the industry as a whole beyond just brewing, and hopefully find a niche for myself within it.

When I’m not brewing, I’m currently working as a materials/supply chain manager at RCO Engineering. In my free time I like to throw barbells around, cook fancy food (go figure – recipe design is my favorite part of brewing!), and travel literally anywhere I can drum up an excuse to go.

BJCP Mead Exam 2016

Annie Zipser 

My introduction to craft beer came in 2003 when a friend decided that my husband needed to learn to homebrew.  Over the years I assisted in the process and helped with the decisions of what to brew.  I joined the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild and the Detroit Draft Divas and got to brew my first beer (as opposed to being an assistant brewer) for Rat Fest.

I was introduced to mead at a Brewers Guild meeting and was hooked!  I have been making mead for about three years now.  I started working at Adventures in Homebrewing about 1 ½ years ago and am the resident “mead person” for the Ann Arbor store.  I joined Fermenta about the same time that I started working at the store.  I joined because I really like the opportunities to network that Fermenta affords me.  I am also on the events committee and am enjoying being involved in that capacity.

Cicerone Off-Flavor Kit and Tutored Tasting Webinar 2016

Debbie Leggett 

Craft beverage is a huge part of my life; for fun and as a profession, at Schramm’s Mead in Ferndale and Hopcat Detroit.  I love to cook and entertain guests at my home and design parings for beer and mead. In 2015 I became a BJCP Mead judge and have judged in the 2015 Michigan Mead Cup and the 1st round of the 2016 American Homebrew Competition.  I joined Fermenta at the kickoff meeting in August 2014 and enjoy the educational opportunities and friendships I have made in the group.  I am currently a graduate student at Wayne State University in Detroit studying linguistics; with a focus on sociolinguistics, dialectology, and power relationships in language communities.

Wine 101 Schoolcraft College 2016

Tracy Broomfield

I first started appreciating craft beer by meeting my boyfriend after work for a pint at a local brewery after a busy day doing what I do best – teaching high school students! Meeting and speaking with the head brewer sparked our interest in craft beer, so we started attending tastings at various venues. Over the course of a year, I observed my boyfriend homebrewing and decided I’d like to give it a try. That was six years ago, and I’ve been an avid homebrewer ever since!

I became a certified beer judge in 2013 and have judged at many homebrewing competitions. I’ve attended the last four National Homebrewer’s Conferences in Seattle, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, and San Diego. In the summer of 2015, I was elected to the office of President of my homebrew club, C.R.A.F.T., based out of Clinton Township, MI. and have been happily presiding over the club since then. I joined Fermenta to further my knowledge about brewing through Fermenta’s events. In my free time I enjoy reading, comic books, writing, traveling, and sampling all of the delicious beer that the world has to offer.

Michigan Grape and Wine Conference 2016

Ginny Sherrow

Craft Beverage Education Association Workshop 2016

Meredith Gwynn

Beer Camp 2015

Tiffany Davidson

I am fairly new to home brewing, having only began a few years ago when I received a Mr. Beer kit from my lovely fiancee. I am hoping to continue educating myself and gaining experience in brewing, so that I can seek a Certificate of Fermentation Science here at CMU. I would love to work in the industry and help produce well-crafted beers and ciders for my friends, family, and the larger craft beer community. When I am not brewing, I work as an Administrative Secretary at Central Michigan University and volunteer as an assistant martial arts instructor.

BeerSavvy Online 2015

Erica Brewis

I discovered craft beer while studying English Literature at U of M in Ann Arbor, where my favorite study groups met over pints at Ashley’s. I now call Detroit home, and work at 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company, a craft beer retail store with 16 beers on tap. I am also a freelance writer in the beer world, with regular columns for MittenBrew and Detroit Beer Press. I joined Fermenta to build relationships with women in the industry, to learn from their expertise, and to take part in new experiences through the group’s events. In my free time, you can find me rock climbing, running, or otherwise enjoying great beer in Michigan’s great outdoors. 

Zingerman’s Sensational Scotch Seminar 2015

Emily Bennett

All things fermented are happiness to me—not just because of that good beer buzz early in the morning. History, companionship, artistic flavor, craftsman (and woman) ship, as well as sights, colors, tastes and smells are all brought together in the craft fermenting industries. They provide an intellectual framework for my many travel adventures and interaction with the most creative people I’ve ever met. How many hobbies can say that? When it is inappropriate to sit an sip an adult beverage, you will find me dabbling in podcasting, writing, skydiving, and sewing. Maybe I too will someday cut away from my day profession in the healthcare field and dive head first into a column still or fermentation tank. Until then, Cheers!

Beer Camp 2015

Heather O’Brien

Beer has always been a favorite of mine. My brother in law is a chef and introduced me to the wonders of craft brewing at the brewpub where is head chef. I was fascinated by the differences in their beer selections. So, I am now going to study to become a Cicerone and learn how to brew well!

I work at High Voltage Cycle currently, part time as a motorcycle mechanic, and I am also a freelance writer/editor. I AM looking to get into the industry as soon as something becomes available that fits. I have found it really is a passion!

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