We are so proud to introduce one of our newest partners to the Go Blue Ridge Travel Community, Escutcheon Brewing Company! We had the opportunity to sit down with their Taproom and Social Media Manager, Lori de Pedro. She fills us in on who she is and what makes Escutcheon Brewery a “must-visit” here in the Valley. Enjoy!
1. Are you originally from this area? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Western Maryland, but have lived in Virginia for the last 18 years. I am a part-time artist, a baker, an animal lover and a hiker as well as a beer enthusiast. Stouts and sours are my faves, but give me a well crafted Vienna style lager and I am a happy girl.
2. How long have you worked for Escutcheon Brewery?
I have been at Escutcheon since January.
3. What is your favorite part about working in a brewery?
My favorite part about working at a brewery is the enthusiasm and passion on both sides of the taproom. Those visiting Escutcheon are so supportive and excited by our beers-our loyal regulars as well as out-of-towners and casual visitors. Our Head Brewer, Brewer and Owner are among the most educated and intense beer aficionados I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
4. When did you first become interested in the food and beverage industry? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I first became interested in the food and beverage industry in 2004 when I took a job at a local winery. I was really interested in the potential to take advantage of Virginia’s soil and climate to grow and produce wines that could stand up to any Old World or West Coast product. The thing that really sealed the deal was exploring food pairings! Holy Cow! That opened up a whole new world. Exploring smell and taste is the best way expand your palate and is just as easily applied to beer as it is to wine.
5. What do you think helps set Escutcheon Brewery apart from other breweries in Winchester and the greater area?
What sets Escutcheon apart from other breweries in the area is meticulous attention to detail, focus on classic style and huge amounts of passion. Also, I may be kind of partial, but the people of Escutcheon make all the difference. I am still a relative newbie, but even after my first week, I felt like I found my tribe. It’s the most amazing work environment. Everyone works together and each part compliments the other.
6. Can you tell us something most people wouldn’t know about what happens behind the scenes in a brewery?
Ping Pong. It’s the key to a happy, stress-free work environment. These people take their game very seriously. Any break in the action, any need to blow off steam, any chance for a friendly challenge there is always a behind the scenes ping pong game.
7. Breweries are a lot of fun and usually set the stage for some exciting nights. Do you have any fun stories to share with us?
I am still fairly new, so I don’t have any epic stories yet, but I can tell you that everyday I get to spend with the Escutcheon crew is without any hint of sarcasm, an adventure. The people that support us become family. Lots of love and laughter make this the best job on earth. I have no doubt that the amount of epic-ness that is about to come my way will be staggering…
8. Do you offer tours of your brewery?
We do offer tours, preferably with advance notice so that we have someone on hand to lead it.
9. What types of customers come to your brewery? Is there are certain niche market of people you reach, or is it a wide range?
One of the things I love the most about my time behind the bar is the variety of visitors. Beer Geeks. Casual fans. Old and young. Hard-core regulars. Other food and beverage industry folks. We are all community and seeing so much love and support for the local craft brew industry is really heartwarming. Cheesy, but true.
10. What is your role at Escutcheon?
I am the taproom and social media manager. I wanted to go with ‘Chief Purveyor of the Realm of Tasty Drafts and Keeper of the Interactive Multimedia’, but that would have been awkward to print on cards.
Thank you, Lori, for answering our questions. We enjoyed getting to know you and Escutcheon Brewing Company better! If you are interested in checking out Escutcheon, visit this link to learn more.