Women in Beer: Meet the Sisters of Shine Brewing Co.
During our visit to Denver, Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival we had the opportunity to meet some awesome women in beer! Jessica, Jill and Jennifer are the owners of Shine Restaurant and Brewery in Boulder, Colorado and they are also triplets! We had the chance to sit down with them and learn what makes each of them unique over some of their delicious beers. After meeting them and hearing their story, we could not leave Colorado without making the drive out to Boulder to have brunch at their restaurant and boy, are we happy we did! We got to enjoy four of their gluten free organic meals and we had a chance to try all of their beers on tap. Their beautiful restaurant gave us the chance to recharge and fill up on delicious healthy food after a jam packed weekend at GABF.
The sisters teamed up with brewer Mike Kasian back in 2011 to create an awesome selection of beers including a gluten-free beer that won the Bronze medal in the Gluten-Free category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014. We loved the opportunity to speak with them, learn about their journey, their passion for the beer industry and sharing their holistic, health-centered vibe.
Tell us more about how each of you support the brewery:
Jessica: I love discussing flavor ideas with Mike. Being a chef, I enjoy helping figure out different flavors and ingredients that work together. Mike is so very talented so I like to learn from him and to be someone he can bounce ideas with.
Jill: I support the brewery by helping talk through styles. I have actually brewed with Mike through an ongoing project we have going called the Goddess Project where my sisters and I get in there to brew alongside Mike. I help with the Marketing and PR. I pour at events with Mike and attend events like the Great American Beer Festival and Craft Brewers Conference to dive deeper into the industry. I am in constant communication with our brewer Mike on where we have been, where we want to go, day to day inspirations and issues. I also help with outside accounts and just all around keeping Shine Brewing Co. on the up and up.
Jennifer: I support the brewing from the back end. Since I do all our day to day business operations, I am in contact mostly with our vendors. Also, being gluten intolerant, I play a role in making sure our gluten free beer tastes delicious.
What do you like best about working with your sisters?
Jessica: I believe my sisters and I are each other’s greatest teachers. We know each other’s strengths and challenges while learning to appreciate all of them. There is so much trust there. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s one of the most inspiring, loving and honest relationships I have.
Jill: Well, we have been navigating and negotiating since the womb. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses REALLY well. There is an unconditional love and trust between us so we can give each other freedom within our different roles of the business. When we are on (meaning all in a good space and feeling our A game) we are unstoppable. We really try and support each other in that.
Jennifer: I appreciate that we each gravitate to different places in the business. It makes us a dynamic team.
How did you get started/what interested you about brewing industry initially?
Jessica: To be honest, it started when we loved the location, and it happened to have a brewery attached. Don’t get me wrong, I always loved beer, but I didn’t really understand it. I have grown a huge appreciation for all that goes into it and the community that surrounds it.
Jill: The equipment came with the building when we took it over and at first we were going to sell it but after a little research we decided to give it a shot. I loved the creativity and the comradery behind the industry and since it was exploding we decided lets do it. I am proud to say we are now one of the only award winning women owned breweries in the country.
Jennifer: At first it was a completely new industry for me to be a part of, but 5 years later, I am so proud of the beers we are serving and produce. It’s always interesting to learn new and different crafts.
Share an interesting brewing experience?
Jessica: For me it has been around helping sourcing ingredients. I have close relationships with farmers that I use for the restaurant. They are happy to put ripe local fruit aside for me and they let me know when they have seconds which are imperfect for sale, but perfect for brewing and less expensive. Then Mike and I discuss what would work with those ingredients. It is a lot of fun for me!
Jennifer: Watching my sister Jill wear her pink brewing boots to brew a beer for the Pink Boots Society.
What advice would you give women who want to break into the craft beer industry?
Jessica: I think the biggest gift women can give to the industry is their femininity. We don’t have to be one of the good ole boys to make it work. It’s actually the female creativity, intuition etc. that brings something fresh and new to the beer industry. I say, own it girl!!!
Jill: OWN it, and when I say that I mean own what is true for you. Don’t feel like you need to be one of the guys. We bring the femininity into the beer world with our yogic beer name (we are 20 year yoginis) like Ahimsa Gluten Free Ale (Sanskrit for unconditional love and non-harming), and Down Dog Red, Shakti, Kali etc. We also put rose quartz essence in each batch of beer which taps you in to your heart chakra. The beer is AMAZING.
Jennifer: Why not? Just like most industries out there, women have been bringing such a strong presence to a lot of different industries which have not been traditionally women driven businesses. I love how women bring such a different perspective and energy to all things business.
On your days away from the brewery, what activities do you indulge in?
Jessica: Drinking beer. Kinda kidding, but not really. I have a Czech husband and he loves his beer! So we like opening a fine crafted beer when we get home and spending lots of time with our 2 daughters. I also enjoy hiking with friends and cooking for my family.
Jill: Nature, hiking, biking, yoga, cooking, dining and drinking with friends. Living a life in balance.
Jennifer: I love to walk outside in the sunshine and do yoga.
What style of beer do you enjoy drinking the most?
Jessica: I really like the rich dark beers like the imperials, browns and stouts. I like to go BIG!
Jill: I am loving our Down Dog Imperial Red. I am into the Imperial beers lately since they are a little higher in alcohol and usually poured in a smaller glass like a 10oz instead of 16oz. I can sip on it and get a nice warm buzz and it stays cold because it’s a smaller portion. I also love seasonals. We have an amazing Peach Ale right now using local Palisade Peaches. That one is a real porch pounder!
Jennifer: Anything gluten-free!
Don’t live in Boulder, CO and are looking for some awesome Gluten-Free and Paleo-Friendly recipes? Be sure to check out their cookbook called EAT DRINK SHINE. You can purchase it here and enjoy the sisters recipes from the comfort of your own kitchen!
For more information on Shine Brewing Co. and the sisters restaurant check out:
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