Black Cloister Brewing Company Hires Local Homebrewer as Assistant Brewer

1940014_10202582760283665_8458408034747688136_nBlack Cloister Brewing Company has hired Shannon Speight to act as its Assistant Brewer. Speight is a member of the Glass City Mashers homebrew club and has won numerous awards for her beer. In 2013, Speight entered her first competition, the respected Ohio Brew Week homebrew competition. Each of the three beers she entered won a medal. Since she has been on a tear, winning 18 awards for her homebrew.

Among the highlights are her first place for her Belgian Specialty at The Humpback Homebrew Competition in Mississippi, her Saison took first place at the Bay de Noc Brew Off in Michigan, and she also took two firsts, an Irish Red and Belgian Wit, at the Door County Homebrewing Championship in Wisconsin. At the Door County event, both beers also went to the best of show round where her Irish Red won third best of show. “Shannon is, hands down, one of the best homebrewers in the area,” said Tom Schaeffer, the CEO of Black Cloister Brewing Company, “and we are excited to have her as part of the Black Cloister family.”

Beyond her homebrewing accomplishments, Speight has also been accepted into the American Brewers’ Guild (ABG) Craftbrewer’s Apprenticeship Program which she will complete in 2015. The ABG Craftbrewer’s Apprenticeship Program is intended for working brewers. It is a 22-week course with an additional five-week apprenticeship at a course certified production brewery. “We know we will lose Shannon for five weeks in 2015, but the experience she will gain will be invaluable to the ongoing success of our brewery,” said Schaeffer.

10015128_10202288391004617_874326268_oThis is a career that Speight has wanted to break into for some time. “I am so excited to be given this opportunity to join the Black Cloister family! This is a dream come true! I passionately fell in love with brewing three years ago and knew that someday this is what I would do.”

Speight will join the select ranks of female production brewers, estimated to be around 10 percent of the professional brewers at the 2,000 plus craft breweries in the U. S. Though clearly hired for her qualifications, Speight also fits into the backstory of Black Cloister Brewing Company. The brewery gets its name from the monastery and, later, home of Martin Luther, the 15th Century monk who led the reformation. But the real hero of the story, for Black Cloister Brewing Company, is Martin’s wife, Kate. Kate was an accomplished brewer who not only brewed the beer for her household, but for much of Wittenberg, Germany.

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