Jen Treu, a badass brewster from Long Beach, California, has been brewing at our Austin, Texas, facility for six months now. Jen laid down some real talk about what it’s like to be a brewer, her favorite beers and big plans for small batches.
What inspired you to become a brewer?
I started in beer by working in the tasting room, getting to interact with the patrons about how the beer is made, and what makes each batch different or special. That experience got me more and more emotionally invested in the product as I got to know the clientele and how they reacted to it. I then got the opportunity to work on the production side, started washing kegs and eventually worked up to brewing.
What’s your all-time favorite Oskar Blues beer?
I love drinking and making Mama’s Little Yella Pils.
What projects are you currently working on or looking forward to?
Currently, not working on too many projects, just getting to know the brewhouse better. Every system is different and has idiosyncrasies that need to be identified, especially as a new brewer on the system. I’m looking forward to a pilot system that will be installed sometime this year. The 3bbl system will allow us to do more creative recipes that we want to test before brewing at the 30bbl scale.
When the pilot system arrives – what’s a funky recipe or style you want to create? The sky is the limit
Pilot beer: I’d like to test out making a nice citrusy, dry-hopped, clean saison. I think it’d be nice for the summer months, to change it up between our hoppy IPAs. I’ve also been enjoying different Schwarzbiers (dark lagers) and it would be fun to make a variation of that.
What’s the best part of your job?
I really love all aspects of being a brewer, hard to pick just one. It’s really special to be able to see the recipe in raw material form, and then work as a team with everyone from the deck to the tap room to have the beer enjoyed and appreciated.
Have you faced any unique challenges as a woman in the craft beer industry?
Unique challenges as a woman in beer…. I’ve had pretty good experiences being a woman brewer, and women are the original brewers (according to history) so I like to share that bit of knowledge. Making beer is a laborious passion, you have to enjoy working hard, and have a positive mental attitude, because things will go wrong and batches will be dumped. Just so long as you handle yourself with grace and positivity (man or women) it makes the work environment for everyone that more enjoyable. Plus we get to make beer for a living – that’s pretty cool, and I appreciate it every day.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m enjoying getting to explore the city of Austin. I also enjoy doing yoga, reading, and cooking. The great thing about beer is there’s always something to learn, you’ll never know it all.
If you had to describe yourself as a beer what would you say?
Myself as a beer: a farmhouse saison.
Try fresh AF beers brewed by Jen and the rest of the kickass Oskar Blues Austin team at our ATX taproom. Click here to see what’s on tap, plus upcoming live music, events and more!