We celebrate women's accomplishments every day here at Brewing with Enzymes. But with International Women’s Day (IWD) coming up next week, we want to celebrate them a little extra. We would like to introduce our own female brewmaster, Ana Paula Freitas Pereira de Almeida! Ana is from Brazil, and is a talented scientist and beer tasting judge.
What is your background?
Ana: My degree in Food Engineering. Although my desire was to work in the baking industry, my first job offer was in brewing. I quickly realized I really like talking about brewing and interacting with brewmasters. They are a real friendly crowd. Working with beer was not my choice. In fact, it was my destiny!
Working with beer was not my choice. In fact, it was my destiny!
When did you start working for a brewing company?
Ana: In the 1990s, I started working for Brahma, now Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer. At that time there was no craft beer industry in Brazil, only big breweries. I worked for 14 years at a manufacturing/processing line and was given the opportunity to attend some specialization courses in Brazil, US and Germany to become a brewmaster. There were few female brewmasters then and we were always treated with respect from our fellow brewmasters and coworkers. Almost every day for 14 years, I tasted beer and evaluate raw materials and intermediate products, like water, wort, yeast, malt, etc.
When did craft breweries start to grow in Brazil?
Ana: It was around 2010 when the craft beer industry started in Brazil and so did the local competitions. My love for brewing continued with serving as judge at those events. After having several incredible judging experiences, my journey extended to global competitions; great combinations, right? What else I can ask for-travelling around the world and tasting beers, yeah!
How do you judge beer?
Ana: Selecting the best examples of the style that you are judging is not only about quality, or whether or not you liked the beer, it also must fit the style accuracy criteria by a guideline such as the Brewers Association's. It is a great responsibility, because the brewers paid to enter the competition and worked hard to make the beers. So, they expect some valuable information from judges for their next journey.
What is one characteristic of craft breweries that stands out to you?
Ana: One thing I have noticed that innovation is very important for craft breweries as their consumers are always looking for different experiences. What I know now as I have worked for Novozymes 8 years, enzymes can really bring innovation to craft brewers. If you never used enzymes before, I suggest first try in small batches. Enzymes are so flexible it is easy to scale up!
What do you see as the biggest brewing trend in Brazil and around the world?
Ana: Using non-traditional raw materials which are obtained from local resources to serve wide spectrum of for adventure seeking consumers.
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