UPDATE: Jenn Tadder is the canning lead at Kulshan Brewing as of March, 2016.
When Jenn Tadder started homebrewing, she never imagined it could be anything more than a hobby. A year and half later, Jenn is now a medaled homebrewer, collaborating with owner and head brewer of Aslan Brewing Co., Frank Trosset. Together, Jenn and Frank brewed one of Jenn’s recipes, a Vienna Lager, which will be the first Pro-Am (Professional-Amateur) Beer in Bellingham’s history.
Originally from Colorado, Jenn really grew an interest in craft beer. She knew she wanted to try homebrewing, but didn’t exactly know where to start. Once she moved to Kendall, Jenn was inspired by her boss’ son to finally put her homebrewing plans to action. With no experience whatsoever, Jenn and her boyfriend Matt bought a $400 homebrewing kit off of craigslist and decided to jump straight into it.
With most people, there’s generally a learning curve when it comes to homebrewing. You follow a recipe, hope for the best, and develop the craft over time. This was not the case with Jenn. There was no recipe, no trial and error, just a few YouTube tutorials and an unbelievable amount of success. According to Jenn, if she was going to homebrew, she REALLY was going to homebrew. No shortcuts. Her own recipes, her own all-grain, her own brew.
“I love hobbies,” Jenn noted. “I love finding a new hobby and putting in the hard work.”
What’s even crazier? Her “all in” method completely paid off. While Jenn finds her beer to “never be good enough,” judges and patrons seem to differ. In fact, the 31 year-old has received several Beer Judge Certification Program medals, including a couple gold and bronze, in her very first year of brewing!
Jenn first started attending the Bellingham Homebrewer’s Guild meetings March 2015, and hasn’t missed a single meeting since. The only consistent female member, Jenn beat out every other Homebrewer’s Guild member in earning the most points in the 2015 competition year. This earned Jenn the title of “HomeBOY” champ, in other words, Jenn was named the 2015 Homebrewer of the Year. Much to her surprise, this also meant that Jenn got to brew a recipe of her own with Frank Trosset on Aslan’s commercial line.
When asking Jenn what that brewing experience was like, a big smile grew on her face and her eyes lit right up. “Oh, it was awesome,” Jenn remarked. “I couldn’t sleep the night before; I was so excited.”
I’ve come across a lot of people in the craft beer industry, but I haven’t met anyone quite as excited about brewing as Jenn in a VERY long time. Normally very quiet and shy, Jenn can’t help but come alive when she talks about homebrewing. She loves everything about it, down to the nitty gritty cleaning. In fact, when I asked her what her favorite part about the experience was, Jenn replied that it was lifting all those heavy bags and starting the all-grain.
Until this experience working with Frank at Aslan, Jenn never thought of brewing as anything more than a hobby. However, now that she’s got a taste for commercial brewing, a whole new world has opened up for her.
“Everything feels much easier,” Jenn explained about working on a commercial system. “I want to keep improving all my beers, and maybe I can be a brewer someday.”
One thing that wasn’t easy about working on a larger scale: choosing a recipe. Whatever Jenn used would not only be sold to patrons at Aslan, but it would also go down in history as Bellingham’s first Pro-Am Beer. It was a lot of pressure. Ultimately, Jenn chose to brew her Vienna Lager, a recipe you can expect to see on tap at Aslan sometime at the end of March or early April.
“From my end, Jenn was a lot of fun to brew with. She is a student of the craft and has an interest in the science as well as the art of brewing. She will go far in the industry if she chooses to do so.” – Frank Trosset, Owner/Head Brewer of Aslan Brewing
While this may be Jenn’s first time selling her beer to the public, I have a strong feeling it won’t be the last. Jenn is incredibly passionate about brewing, and this experience has only fanned the flame growing inside her. Things are only just getting started for Jenn Tadder; expect to see a lot more from this talented, young homebrewer in the future.