Jennifer Galtieri, craft beer specialist, Clare Rose Inc., Melville, N.Y.
Jennifer is like the Dora the Explorer of craft beer, perpetually looking to try new brews. Every time she went to her local beer distributor, she wondered why people were consistently buying the same beer every week. “Walking through the store was like walking through an art gallery,” she says. “So many labels with unique art and styles I never heard of. I found myself walking around looking at everything.” This love lead her to a position as manager of a craft beer bar, where she made contacts to land as a craft beer specialist for Clare Rose Inc. Now it’s her job to match the branding of a brewery with the atmosphere of a bar or restaurant. She realizes that being a wallflower is not an option for any woman in this industry. “Most of the women with careers in craft beer are very strong individuals with unique personalities that stand out and make their presence known.” Being one of the only women in the industry, for her, has had more advantages than disadvantages. “I think we are extremely memorable individuals,” she says. “As much as I think that we, as women, may need to work a little harder to get the same respect, I also think that once we gain the respect we deserve, it has slightly more value.”
Callie Brennan, owner, Crazy Beans, Miller Place, N.Y.
Like plenty of recent college graduates, Callie found herself in the service industry and that was when she fell in love, with craft beer. But beer was not her only love; so she opened Crazy Beans. “I combined everything I loved under one roof: coffee, delicious food, bacon, chocolate, good people, art, music,” she says. “I couldn’t open a business that didn’t have one of the things I love the most: beer. Why can’t a coffee house also showcase craft beer?” Having only local craft beer on tap, allows Callie to educate her customers and interact with the brewers. “It’s not just the local craft breweries that I’ve fallen in love with, it’s the people behind the beer making,” she says. “If there’s one thing I know about beer enthusiasts, it’s that they love to talk beer. The beer community is friendly and open to all different kinds of people.” Callie credits Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts, for her enthusiasm. She also learned that being one of the only girls isn’t that bad. “It’s easy to stand out as a female in the sea of usual male beer drinkers,” she says, “but I have found that as a woman beer enthusiast, you’re respected more.” The success of Crazy Beans is spawning Crazy Beans 2 in Stony Brook’s historic district, set to open in the not-too-distant future. Not content to rest on her laurels, Callie has one more thing she hopes to accomplish: “It’s a huge goal of mine to start brewing my own beer. It’s something that I’ve put off for far too long now.” So maybe we’ll also see some Crazy Brews in the near future?