Meet Your Maker
Thompson Brewery & Public House
Jen Kent has been a member of McMenamins Breweries production staff since September 2006. Currently she creates delicious malted (and oftentimes spiced, seasoned or otherwise fruit-infused) concoctions for one of our Salem locations, the Thompson Brewery & Public House. Before picking up the mash paddle, Jen was already part of the team at Thompson; she worked as both a pub server and prep cook before focusing her creative energies on beer-making.
Jen finds inspiration in friends, food, places, and life as it unfolds around her, always looking for interesting ideas from unorthodox locations. One of Thompson's former brewers, Gary Nance, was an early influence for her eventual move into the brewing field. Jen found her own passion for Zymurgy as she assisted Gary with some odds and ends at Thompson's storied brewing facility. Jen finds the physical efforts of brewing worth it for creating the finished product. There is no particular style she enjoys making most; her favorite recipe is a new recipe. She adores the art and spirit involved in brewing. The ability to experiment with new creations and the variants applied to common themes provide powerful motivation.
Jen is proudest of her part in creating a McMenamins seasonal: Red Riser IRA. In a job where she often works by herself, she enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with a group of brewers. The styles and techniques of the various brewers involved in creating the Red Riser meshed to create an inspired seasonal that Jen proudly stands behind. Though her location and brewery size sometimes isolate Jen a bit from the rest of the regional beer scene, it is through various collaborations and participation in brew festivals that Jen has found an increasingly rewarding social angle to her job. Her participation in the Oregon Garden Brew Festival and the Yamhill Lavender Festival has allowed her brewing creativity to shine outside of the Brewery itself. When she is not creating amazing brews, she finds joy in learning upright bass, photography, and running her fusion belly dance troupe, Zephyr.
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