Friday, July 19, 2013

Kati Collier: A Lady Who Loves Beer

An Atlanta native who returned to her roots after living in Ohio with her husband (and Stone Brewing sales rep.), she's looking forward to settling down in Decatur not far from Brick Store Pub (jealous yet?). Marketing analyst and "Professional Beer Wife" (no, seriously), this foodie will probably be found crying and clutching cookbooks this October when she get's to meet her idol--Ina Garten (How could you NOT love a woman that puts coffee in her brownies?). A woman after my own heart.

Meet Kati Collier: a lady who loves beer.

Can you tell us about where you live and how you pay the bills?
If everything goes well, my husband and I close on a house in Decatur next month! The real estate listing for the house included a picture of Brick Store Pub which is a mile from the house – so it was pretty much meant to be ours. I’m a marketing analyst by day, moonlighting as a Professional Beer Wife – I’m married to Brett, Stone Brewing Co.’s Southeast sales manager. It’s not a bad job.
Aside from liquid interests, what do you do with your spare time?
We just moved back to Atlanta after spending two years in Ohio, so I’m enjoying catching up with old friends and trying out new restaurants/going back to old favorites. I also love to bake. Particularly recipes by my idol Ina Garten – she writes the kind of recipes that are so meticulous they come out perfect the first time and every time. She’s coming to the Cobb Energy Center this October and I will be in the front row clutching her cookbooks, probably crying.
I do have to brag about the sweet beer glass collection Brett got me for my birthday one year. He found around 70 or 80 unique glasses from different breweries and we’ve had fun adding to the collection ever since. I think we have easily over 100 glasses now. My favorites are the awesome Belgian goblets, like Delerium Tremens and Urthel Hopit.
Can you tell us the story of how you got interested in beer?
I wish I could pinpoint the gateway craft beer that opened the floodgates for me. I know it was somewhere around 2008 – I had just graduated from Georgia Tech and was working in the city, and really enjoyed exploring the Atlanta restaurant scene with my friends. Around that time, the Atlanta beer scene was really exploding. The Porter and Hop City opened their doors, which both introduced me to a ton of new beers. In 2009 I took a trip to beer mecca – Belgium – and had a great time visiting Cantillon brewery and drinking every Belgian beer I could get my hands on. 
In 2010, I met a cute boy at Der Biergarden downtown. We started dating and did tons of fun beer stuff together – visited breweries, homebrewed, went to festivals, and racked up Brewniversity credits at Taco Mac. One of our favorite dates was going to the Decatur Beer Festival together. A year later, he was offered the awesome opportunity to run the Midwest sales for Stone Brewing Co., which was one of our favorite breweries. So we packed up and moved to Columbus, Ohio – and got engaged soon after! I had never lived anywhere but Atlanta, so it was fun to experience a new part of the country beer-wise and get exposure to new breweries and beer geeks. A lot of awesome breweries are in the Midwest – a few of my faves include Jolly Pumpkin, Bell’s, and Three Floyds. Last month we moved back to Atlanta so Brett can run the Southeast territory. It’s an exciting time for us!
Can you tell us about what it’s like being a woman involved in the craft beer culture?
It’s great being back in Atlanta where there are lots of girls interested in beer! A few of my girlfriends have even turned into bona fide beer geeks, so I’m pretty thrilled to have new partners in crime. I do end up at a lot of events that are mostly guys, but I’ve found beer culture is pretty friendly and welcoming to everyone.
Do you brew? Tell us about that. Do you have a brew partner? What do your friends and family think of it? What’s up next? What’s your favorite brew been so far (and why).
Brett and I brewed exactly three beers together. Our first was a terrible IPA. Our second beer was a little better – an orange chamomile witbier. The third was pretty decent – a chocolate stout – but we ended up having to trash most of the batch when we moved to Ohio. We may eventually homebrew again once we have more space in a house.
What are your current seasonal favorites and can you find them on tap? A suggested pairing to go with that beer (can be food, a certain someone, anything goes here)?
Even if Brett didn’t work for Stone, I’d still be a huge fan. I love how they’re constantly putting out these crazy good one-off beers – this summer there’s been RuinTen, Espresso Imperial Russian Stout, w00tstout, Enjoy By, etc. It’s such a fun brand and the brewery is really engaged with fans everywhere. I love when they brew a new beer, they usually publish tasting notes, where to find it, and some good pairings. They want you to fully experience everything the beer has to offer.
Is there anything you’d like to see the craft beer scene do differently? How would you change it and why?
If we’re reaching for the stars here, I’d love a beer that tastes like a double IPA, but has the calories and ABV of MGD 64. For being such a huge beer lover I have an embarrassingly low tolerance – I once had a two-day hangover from a whopping three beers. If someone invents a diet/sessionable yet amazingly tasty beer, my life will pretty much be complete.
What’s the best place to grab a beer where you live (and what do you love about it)?
I’m partial to The Fred – Taco Mac’s speakeasy. It’s such a cool, chill atmosphere and we always meet the coolest other beer geeks. We’ve had tons of fun date nights there. Now that I’m back in ATL I really need to get my Brewniversity credits up – I’m still about 20 away from my Bachelors! I get pretty self-conscious still drinking from a normal pint glass when all the cool kids around me have mugs.
Are there any beer-related events you’re looking forward to?
I enjoyed my first Beer Geek Tuesday at Cypress Street Pint & Plate a few weeks ago and hope to go again soon! I’ve been enjoying getting caught up on new Atlanta beer since I’ve been gone - Monday Night, Red Hare, new brews from Terrapin & Sweetwater, etc!
How can people connect with you (twitter, facebook, untapped, etc.)?
You can reach me on Twitter at @katibeer, and my Untapped username is the same!

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