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Laura Lodge

Laura Lodge Named Mentor of the Year

Each year, the Brewers Association Mentor of the Year Award acknowledges a volunteer mentor who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to guiding program participants and championing inclusivity within the industry. This year, Laura Lodge has been honored as the Mentor of the Year for her outstanding contributions. Laura’s journey in the craft beer realm traces back to the late 1990s when she embarked on her career with a small, independent distribution company in Colorado. Since then, she has carved a notable path, eventually establishing her consulting business, Customized Craft Beer Programs, which offers comprehensive assistance and insights into the craft beer landscape.

Laura’s expertise spans all aspects of the industry, including consulting for breweries and distributors, crafting retail programs for destination resorts, and organizing educational and experiential craft beer events nationwide. Notably, she serves as the executive director of the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival.

Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Laura co-founded Start A Brewery, LLC, a venture aimed at supporting aspiring brewery owners and growing breweries by providing access to industry professionals and valuable resources. This initiative has not only benefited the broader community but has also enhanced Laura’s involvement in the Brewers Association Mentorship Program.

Reflecting on Laura’s mentorship, one mentee expressed profound gratitude, stating, “Laura was by far my best mentor. She went above and beyond the scope of our planned subject and gave me amazing guidance.” The mentee further highlighted the transformative impact of Laura’s support, citing a newfound sense of direction and confidence in pursuing their brewing aspirations.