Female Brewer Defies Pocatello Stereotypes

Do you think being a woman brewer is a challenge? Meet the woman brewer smashing gender norms in the Idaho's Portneuf Valley Brewing. For the owner, long hair is just the beginning of bucking brewing traditions. Follow her inspiring story and learn more about her craft and the brewpub that has been distributing her beer to the four corners of Idaho.

A Closer Look at Portneuf Valley Brewing, a Pioneer in the Distribution Brewpub Industry

In Pocatello, Idaho, Portneuf Valley Brewing is making waves as a distribution brewpub. But, what sets this business apart from its area peers isn’t just the fact that it’s owned and run by a female—it’s the fact that she wears her long hair in a intricate ponytail, not on her chin.

As the industry continues to grow, more and more people are interested in the ins and outs of the beer-making craft. How did the Portneuf Valley Brewing’s journey begin, and how does its brewmaster fashion her iconic hairstyle? Let's delve into the story and find out.

A Woman Making History in the Brewing Industry

Angelia Oliver is the woman behind the curtain at Portneuf Valley Brewing. She’s the one responsible for creating the recipes, ordering supplies, managing the staff, and coordinating the delivery of the beer to their retail establishments. That’s right: in addition to producing beer on-site, Portneuf Valley Brewing is also a distributing-brewpub, meaning it sells its beer through retail markets and pubs.

In Idaho, (and across the United States) Angelia is a rare breed. Women make up only 28% of the craft beer industry, according to the 2017 Brewers Association survey.

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How it All Began

Angelia’s story starts almost two decades ago, when she first became curious about the craft of beer-making. She was fascinated by the complex flavors, the attention to detail, and most of all, the collaborative nature of brewing.

In the years that followed, Angelia traveled throughout the United States and gained valuable experience at some of the most influential breweries. She returned home to Idaho and set her sights on opening her own business.

From Idea to Reality

In 2015, Angelia’s dream became a reality. She opened Portneuf Valley Brewing in a converted warehouse in downtown Pocatello.

Portneuf Valley Brewing specializes in small-batch craft beer, which is made with the finest locally-sourced ingredients. In addition to producing its own beer, Portneuf Valley Brewing also offers a range of craft beer brewed by other local brewers. The selection is constantly changing, giving beer lovers new and exciting flavors to explore.

In order to stay competitive, Portneuf Valley Brewing has been quick to capitalize on the growing popularity of craft beer. Beyond the beer, the goal has been to create a unique and welcoming atmosphere—which is why it was important to turn the warehouse into a community-orientated taproom.

Portneuf Valley Brewing Today

Today, the atmosphere at Portneuf Valley Brewing is as inviting as ever. In addition to beer, weekend live music, yoga classes, open mic nights, and other events. The staff at Portneuf Valley Brewing is passionate about spreading the love for craft beer and creating an enjoyable experience for all.

At the head of this venture is Angelia, the woman whose dream began years ago. In spite of the challenges of breaking into a male-dominated field, she is still going strong. Her iconic ponytail (and lack of beard) has come to symbolize the courageousness of women in the industry, and her success story is an inspiration for all.

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Understanding the Craft of Beer-making

  • The fundamentals of brewing beer include:
  1. Selecting malt, a type of grain that provides the sugar that yeast needs to ferment and create alcohol.
  2. Adding water and boiling it with hops to create a bitter flavor.
  3. Fermenting the mixture with yeast, which creates the alcohol and carbon dioxide.
  4. Chilling the mixture to stop fermentation and clarify the beer.

What is a Distribution Brewpub?

A distribution brewpub is a brewery that produces beer that is delivered off-site, as well as served on-site. For example, Portneuf Valley Brewing delivers Kegs, cans, and bottles. This type of business takes advantage of two

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