Good Beer Hunting

EP-157 Kate Lee of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

EP-157 Kate Lee of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

When it comes to beer, there is plenty on which we can disagree. Tastes, smells, brands, breweries—these are all things beer lovers embrace and debate on a regular basis. But one thing we can all agree on? We just want good beer.

But even on that, there's plenty of subjectivity. Or is there? What makes a beer "good" or "bad" is often put into the context of our taste buds, not always with analysis through a literal and figurative microscope.

This is where Kate Lee excels. She's a trained scientist who spent more than a decade working for Anheuser-Busch, a business famously known for its focus on consistency and quality from batch to batch. Since 2014, she's helped lead a quality program for Richmond, Virginia's Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, building on an existing foundation to take Hardywood's focus on quality to the next level.

As director of quality assurance and director of operations, her job at the brewery has consistently evolved as production levels and brewer ambitions have grown. It's not just about running tests, but collaborating with staff to ensure the right ingredients are producing the right beer every step of the way. And as you'll hear, that's not always an easy decision.