Brewing Up Love: The Couples of Craft Beer

By Tiffany Lutke

Many cynical—I mean, realistic—people stand by the idea that you shouldn’t mix love with business. But what if you love your business? These craft beer couples have made it work, and actually excelled by supporting one another in their businesses. They’re proof that at the end of the day, when you work hard to create something you love, it’s incredible to be able to enjoy the rewards with someone you love.

So maybe owning a craft brewery isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but for these couples, they had each other from the moment they said, “I brew.”

John and Jen Kimmich | The Alchemist | Waterbury, VT

John wrote of his wife: “One day, I was standing at the top of the brewery stairs right by the kitchen doors. As the door swung open, I noticed an amazingly beautiful woman standing just inside by the coffee machines. The door swung closed, I turned to the person I was talking to and said, ‘Who was that?’ When I got up the courage to ask her out, she said no. A month later she asked me out, and a month after that, we were engaged. After a short stint in Jackson, Wy., and moving back to the east coast to Boston, we decided our hearts were in Vermont.” They have been following their hearts in Vermont ever since.

Jeremy and Sarah Meyers | BadWolf Brewing Company | Manassas, VA

Lucky for us, some couples find joy in sharing their love of brewing with craft beer enthusiasts. Jeremy and Sarah Meyers grew up in Northern Virginia. Jeremy was inspired to brew beer after a trip to Germany, while his other half Sarah sharpened her skills in the business world—making for quite the dynamic duo at the brewery.

Bryon and Karen Tonnis & Colin and Laura Mullen | Bent Paddle Brewing Co. | St. Duluth, MN

These two couples found a mutual love for craft beer at a charity event in 2010. The families even seem to have parallel lives. They were married nine days apart in 2008, and their first children were born three days apart in 2012! Together, they began their craft brewery in May 2013.

Sam and Mariah Calagione | Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales | Milton, DE

President and Vice-President of the Dogfish dynasty, Sam and Mariah were high school sweethearts. They’ve been following their off-centered dreams ever since they met. Together, they’ve taught the craft beer fans to follow their dreams even if—no, especially if—they are different.

Todd and Suzie Ford | NoDa Brewing Company | Charlotte, N.C.

This craft beer couple poured nearly all of their retirement savings into opening their brewery in the NoDa neighborhood of Charlotte. After three expansions in two relationship-strengthening years, they feel right at home with each other in their corner of the craft beer world.

Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo | Russian River Brewing Company | Santa Rosa, CA

When this couple acquired the rights to Russian River in 2003, they began their long journey in craft beer production. Despite high demand, Russian River continues to passionately make better beer rather than more beer. When it comes to love and craft beer, a good thing takes a lot of dedication.

There are couples across the U.S. proving time and time again that it is possible to have success in business and love. If you’re passionate about craft beer, share a pint with someone you love this Valentine’s Day, and don’t forget to say those three little words: American craft beer.

These are just a a few of the awesome couples of the craft beer world, if you know of one, give them a shout out in a comment below!


tiffanyTiffany Lutke is the current Craft Beer Program intern at the Brewers Association. She spent her days as a kid in the small craft brewery her father owned on the east coast, which led to her love for small and independent breweries. When she’s not pouring beer at Upslope Brewing Company taproom in Boulder, she’s sharing pints with old friends at her favorite beer bars like The Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colo.

Tiffany Lutke is a former Craft Beer Program intern at the Brewers Association. She spent her days as a kid in the small craft brewery her father owned on the east coast, which led to her love for small and independent breweries. When she’s not pouring beer at Upslope Brewing Company taproom in Boulder, she’s sharing pints with old friends at her favorite beer bars like The Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colo.

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