Women Who Beertend: Emily Nortz, Roc Brewing Co.

Emily Nortz slings beer at Roc Brewing Co. on the weekends and during the summer months when she’s off from teaching. Her positive energy behind the bar is palpable and we like her perspective on craft beer. Read on for her story.

Beer Gals (BG): What drew you to beertending? What do you love about it?

EN: I started going to Roc Brewing when I first moved to Rochester four years ago and it was a great way to meet people in a new city.  This was really the first time I paid attention to craft beer and the brewery was a very welcoming and fun place to be. As a teacher, I was thrilled when Chris offered me a job last summer during my time off. I ended up liking the job so much that I decided to continue working throughout the school year.  I enjoy working with the staff because we all love craft beer so it’s great to work in an industry that we’re all passionate about.  A cool thing about craft breweries is the guests that come in.  People genuinely enjoy trying craft beer and are interested in what we have to offer.  There’s always great conversation and interesting people to talk too.

BG: What’s it like to be a woman bartender in the craft beer world? 

I never expected to be a bartender especially in a brewery; however, the craft beer world is one that both women and men really do enjoy.  I don’t think it’s uncommon or strange to have a girl behind the bar not only serving beer but being able to have a conversation about beer.

BG: Thoughts on the craft beer industry today?

It’s definitely a growing industry and one that I’m excited to be a part of.  I’ve always enjoyed beer but being a beertender has given me the opportunity to enjoy beer to the next level.  People really enjoy being able to drink unique beer that isn’t found anywhere else and craft breweries consistently offer that.  I feel like the craft beer industry puts forth a great deal of effort to get to know their audience.  There’s always some sort of event going on that revolves around craft beer, such as, the beer festivals, food pairings with local restaurants and then the events put on by the individual breweries like live music, art shows, yoga and paint nights.

I also love how collaborative and supportive the breweries are of each other, especially in Rochester. They collaborate on beers and often visit each other’s breweries when a new beer is released.  I think that’s a huge reason the craft beer industry is so popular and prosperous because of the relationships among the breweries.

BG: Tell me, do you have a spirit beer?

It really depends on the season! Right now I’m into the fruity beers and sours.  Overall, Pale Ales are my favorite but this summer I’m looking forward to trying as many of the fruity beers as possible.

BG: Your recommendations for being a good customer?

The best part about working in a brewery is the customers.  As beer tenders we work hard to ensure the customers are having an enjoyable experience and are getting the drinks they want.  My recommendation for being a good customer is just being open and willing to try new beers. We will always take the time to get to know the customers and their taste preferences so being open to try anything is all we ask!

BG: What’s next for craft beer?

It’s an energetic movement for sure.  The breweries are all willing to take risks in creating new and unique beer options and their customers are willing to try anything.  I attended Tap NY in April and was thrilled with all the new and different types and flavors of beers I tasted that weekend.  Just when you think you think they can’t possibly come up with anything else new different they do it and it’s amazing!  Expect the unexpected!

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