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Lou Collichio came to Metro Wines with twenty eight years of experience in the spirits industry. He started his career in New Jersey first managing a small wine shop and then working for a chain of discount beer, wine, and liquor stores as a beer buyer and assistant store manager. After moving to Asheville in 2006, Lou worked for both Greenlife Grocery, and Whole Foods as a beer and wine buyer. His passion for all things craft beer started at the dawn of the American craft beer movement and has continued unabated to this day.

Lou says he is a "recovering musician." We haven't heard his music yet but what we do know is that Lou has stories! He plans to share some of his greatest hits with us and you on "Brewing UP a Storm" our beer blog. did you know that Lou was in a 7th grade play with James Gandolfini and lou stole the show? Stay tuned!


Anita Riley is the cellarman at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough, NC and continues to blog for "Brewing Up a Storm." She holds the title of Certified Beer Server through Cicerone, USA, and is a native of WNC.

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Women in Brewing: A Few Fun Facts

Women in Brewing:  A Few Fun Facts

What images come to mind when you hear the word "Brewster"? If you're like most of the population, the immediate response has something to do with a beard and overalls. This couldn't be further from the truth! "Brewster" is the technical term for a woman brewer! In fact, making beer, until recent history was always done my women, never by men. Need to know more? Me too! So, I did a little research, and here are five fun facts that I can't keep to myself:


5. The history of women making beer goes back as far as the first written records! Yes, really! Cuniform tablets discovered in Sumeria that contain the story of Gilgamesh also contain stories of women brewers, recipes for various styles of beers, and prayers of thanks for the miracle of fermentation.


4. Women have more taste buds than men, giving us an unfair advantage when it comes to detecting the subtle characters of a finely crafted beverage or picking up on off flavors. Any brewery would be lucky to have (and many do have) at least one woman in their quality control department.


3. Beer is probably the reason civilization began, and women did the brewing! The cultivation of grains for baking and brewing was the catalyst for ancient people to settle down in one spot. Women took sole responsibility for making sure there was enough sweet elixir for everyone.


2. Even in today in remote areas of Africa and some parts of the Amazon, a brow would be raised if men even attempted to brew. Making beer is still very much a woman's job in these regions. So if you're a guy, the best advice is to sit back, relax, and enjoy a homebrew.


1. During the historical witch hunts, many Brewsters were accused of being a witch. Picture it, a boiling kettle, a broom, a cat, a pointed hat – all were used in the making of beer, and all are used in our cartoon representations of witches! The cat protected the grains from would-be attackers like mice and beetles. The ale stake, which doubled as a broom, was a marker of a brewery before reading and writing were common place. When beer was ready to be sold, the Brewster would hang foliage on the ale stake. It was the predecessor of Krispy Kreme's Hot Now neon light. But what about the pointy hats? Those were used in the market to stand out in the crowd! Amazing, right?! Who knew?!

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