Bay area woman makes craft beer her biz

Jennifer Epstein reports

- Lisa Colburn isn't your typical beer drinker.

"I like to really experiment with different styles and different tastes," said Lisa.

She doesn't just drink the sudsy stuff; she brews it too.

"It's fun. It's fun to develop recipes; it's fun to see how it comes out and sometimes they do really well, and sometimes not so much," said explained.

She's one of the many women in Tampa Bay who has made craft beer her business. That's right- there are women in the craft brewing industry and, according to Lisa, female brewers are nothing new.

"Women go back to the very origin of brewing. In ancient times, the priestesses were the brewers and men were not allowed to do it," said Lisa.

Lisa is bringing brewing back to its roots and encouraging fellow females to dabble in the process too. 

"She's so enthusiastic. She has such a passion for craft beer and she brings that everywhere and she glows," said Star Iraklianos.

Lisa is the head of the Bay Area's Barley's Angels, female craft brewing fanatics who share their knowledge and appreciation with each other. She says the craft beer experience is more about conversation than intoxication.

"It's not like going out and drinking just to party and get drunk. It's a social thing to do. You go out you have a beer, you enjoy the beer. You savor it. It’s like fine-dining," she said.

Lisa also co-owns Hi-Fi Home Brew and Barbeque, a one-stop shop for home brewing supplies.

"It’s so much fun to meet all these people, to hear what they're making, to hear their ideas on what they think would be a great beer, and what they're doing with it," said Lisa.

The front store is like a lab where customers can create their own flavors, and there's brewing stations in the back where both men and women can learn how to brew their own batch.

"They let me go wild. Some have been pretty spectacularly bad I've learned that I should listen to Lisa," said Star,

But even if the suds are duds, it's the craft brewing experience that keeps both men and women coming back for another round.

Click here for information on Tampa Bay Beer Week, and here for more information on HiFi Home Brewing. 

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