Who is Craft Beer College?

Stephanie Coutts

Stephanie Coutts, Certified Cicerone®

Steph has been described as a "well-known beer-drinker-about-town". She sometimes worries about the description but hopes it is an acknowledgement of her dedication for craft beer and the craft beer scene in Wellington. That dedication has led to her desire to share her passion, and her knowledge of craft beer, through Craft Beer College.

Steph has been a consumer beer judge for Wellington in a Pint, The Capital Times and Consumer magazine. She has also judged the Wellington Brewers Conference homebrew competition. Steph has been the Volunteer Coordinator for pretty much every beer event held in Wellington including Beervana, the Pacific Beer Expo and the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) Mid-Winter Ale Festival. She was the Volunteer Coordinator at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular for two years, taking her passion for beer and beer people global – she still attends GABS regularly.

Steph thinks everyone should be a beer person and that Craft Beer College will help.

Jonathan Day

Jonathan Day, Certified Cicerone®

Jonny has been swept up by the New Zealand Craft Beer scene over the past years and is keen to share his appreciation for good beer with others. His appreciation was kicked-started on a trip to Europe in 2004 which included Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic. The trip ruined Jonny's taste for the fizzy, yellow stuff he had been drinking. It opened his eyes to the diversity of great pilsners and ales.

Jonny was the membership officer for the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA). He also has a history of volunteering at beer festivals, including the Pacific Beer Expo and the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in Australia - taking his talent global. He also had a history of attending most every beer tasting held in Wellington. This lead to a beer expertise that has seen him and the All Saaz team be three time winners of the annual Beer Options blind tasting competition run by Regional Wines and Spirits. Jonny also won the inaugural Beer Drinker of the Year competition at Hashigo Zake in a demonstration of beer drinking and sports trivia prowess.

Jonny thinks everyone should learn that there is more to beer than just the fizzy, yellow stuff.

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Mike Conroy

Mike's craft beerstory started, not that surprisingly, at The Malthouse. He was once described as fundamental to its structural integrity! But, the start is not what you might expect…He was drinking Pinot Noir when one of the crew handed him a Pale Ale and said, "try this - if you don't like it, it's on the house, and I’ll replace the Pinot". The beer went down a treat and, as they say, was that.

 Mike's early involvement in the Wellington craft beer scene could best be described as an “enthusiastic amateur” (and this resulted in the concept for short-run of "Enthusiast" Panhead Brewing hoodies). But, he’s moved from amateur to well-practiced, having volunteered at a number of beer events around town including the Pacific Beer Expo and Beervana. Mike’s also helped judge a beer competition and taken beer tasting lessons. All this is part of an ongoing exercise to improve his beer knowledge and appreciation, so he can share with you.

Mike thinks everybody should at least try a good beer before stating "Oh, I'm not a beer person". And, that there’s a beer out there for everyone.