Friday, April 19, 2013

Paula Nix: A Lady Who Loves Beer

We continue today with our regular focus on women and beer, but would like to preface this week's feature by sending along the thoughts and prayers of the Atlanta beer community (and the community at large) to those who were injured, killed, and directly affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon. We raise our voices, our prayers, our thoughts (and yes, likely a glass or two) to the surgeons, doctors, friends, families, and first responders who ran (and continue to run) toward the chaos, and who continue daily to support and help heal each other as we search for answers. 

{Ladies Who Love Beer} Paula Nix

A woman whose love of beer has evolved along side her husband's home brew, this lady has a passion for converting people to the world of craft beer. When she's not homeschooling her three kids, enjoying her "makeshift beer garden with friends," and soaking up the good drink (and good eats) of her local beer haunts, this pastor's wife can be found enjoying the good company of her husband (and best friend) in their Woodstock home. 

Paula Nix and her husband Spencer. Photo credit Jennifer Carter

This is Paula Nix, and she loves beer.

Do you brew, or help someone who does? What’s your level of experience? What do you enjoy about it?
My husband, Spencer Nix, is CEO of Reformation Brewery and helps with the brewing. Reformation Brewery, should begin brewing officially in Woodstock this summer. Thus far, my contribution to his brewing has largely been along the lines of cheerleader & taste tester. Up until now, I have really enjoyed being a part of Reformation Brewery’s community and regular brew nights. I am learning more about the science and art of brewing. But my favorite thing about brewing is gathering with folks to enjoy the final product and sharing stories and life together.
Her favorite person to drink with is... 
My favorite person to drink with is my husband, because he is truly my best friend. And he makes me laugh. And raising three kids requires good beer : ) 
Before Ms. Nix was a beer drinker, she mostly drank...  
In my younger years, I was never much of a beer drinker. I had really only been exposed to the cheap stuff that shows up at college parties and wasn’t a big fan. I leaned more towards “girly” drinks like margaritas, wine... anyone remember Zima? My foray into the world of beer really came as my husband began homebrewing back in 2006. I started mildly with wits and hefes and have since expanded my palate, realizing that beer can be complex and nuanced. I love a good backstory, so knowing the people who brewed and hearing the stories of why and how they did it, won me over to trying it. And now I love it.
Where do you work/play? What’s your day job? How would you describe yourself? Aside from beer, what are your passions/interests?
My primary “job” is being a mom to our three kids (ages 8, 5, and 2 1⁄2). Most days I homeschool our kids, cook meals, and shovel the proverbial snow while it’s still snowing. I also teach part time at the homeschool academy where our oldest attends. In my limited free time, I enjoy reading a good novel, listening to folk music and conversing with good friends around food and drink. I am passionate about teaching and learning. I’ve been involved in education for almost 14 years. That passion bleeds into my love of craft beer with a desire to educate people (especially women) about the gift of good beer.
When she’s not drinking beer, she enjoys...
I enjoy cooking and incorporating beer into that when I can. Gathering with the wives of the guys behind Reformation Brewery is always a good time. I’ve gotten to meet and know some really amazing people already through our brew nights, men and women who love the craft of brewing and appreciate art in so many other forms.
Her current drinking obsession and/or favorite beer(s) of the moment are...
I’ve really enjoyed experiencing beer with the seasons. This winter I got excited about stouts and porters for the first time ever. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Bell’s Vanilla Porter are both excellent. Now that it’s finally warming up, I’m looking forward to Spring beers--Monday Night Brewery’s Fu Manbrew and it’s hint of ginger is pretty tasty. Weihenstephaner, makes a great Hefeweizen. I’m also loving Ommegang’s Abbey Ale as of late. I like all of their beers. I’m seriously looking forward to Reformation Brewery’s beer being available. Right now I have a personal supplier and my favorite is their Folk Heart, a Belgian Dubbel.
Her favorite place to drink is...
Really, my favorite place to drink is anywhere I can hang out with good folks and drink good beer. Century House and Freight (both in Woodstock) have great food and good beer lists. But I also enjoy picking up a growler at Blind Murphy’s or filling one up with whatever Reformation Brew we have on hand and sitting on the couch or in our makeshift beer garden with friends.
Can you tell us about women friendly spaces of note in your area (or wherever you travel regularly)?
The two restaurants I mentioned earlier are nice spots, as are Downtown Kitchen and Goin’ Coastal in Canton. All places with excellent food and intentional beer offerings. And, of course, there’s my living room. 
What do you most like/loathe about the culture of beer. How do you see women represented locally, nationally, globally. What you’d like to less/more of?
I like the community that can gather around craft beer, particularly the Reformation Brewery community. I’m always amazed at how the simple gift of beer can break down barriers and bring people together. I’ve met so many people who are artists in their own right--writers, musicians, poets, painters--and they all appreciate the artistry of well-crafted beer. The conversations that happen around good beer and the friendships that form on that common ground are a gift. 
I like to meet women who say, “I’m not a beer drinker,” and then convince them otherwise. I’d like to see more women step into the craft beer community and learn the stories of the beer and the brewers. I look forward to meeting more women brewers and women beer drinkers as Reformation Brewery grows.
What’s a question you wished someone would ask you, and what’s the answer?
What changed my attitude towards beer? Learning more about the process, the possibilities and the people behind it. Every person has a story and so does every craft beer. The more you learn about those stories, the more you appreciate the people and the beer.
To connect with Paula follow her on Twitter @paulanix and on Untappd at thepastorswife.

Are you a lady who loves beer? Do you know someone who is? To get in on the already evolving lineup of women, email me at heybrewtiful{at}gmail{dot}com with your story.

Want to meet more {LadiesWhoLoveBeer}? Meet me here each Friday for a weekly focus on women and beer, or meet the ladies who've already contributed to the growing collection of interviews.

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