Name: Katy Watts
Name of Blog: Sheltered Girl Meets World
Location: Ottawa, ON
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 32 years old and was born in Lahr, Germany on a Canadian military base. My family returned to Canada shortly after I was born so I have no memories of Germany. I studied business and marketing in college, but use very little of it in my current employment as a Commissionaire (security guard) for Natural Resources Canada.
How did you get into craft beer?
I drank beer for several years before getting into craft beer – mostly Guinness and Keith’s. I was at a pub where they didn’t have either, but they did have this new locally brewed beer so I tried it and was hooked, but I still didn’t know very much about beer.
My Mom, who is always collecting newspaper clippings for me to read, snipped something out of a local paper advertising brewery tours at an up and coming local brewery in Vankleek Hill. I organized a convoy of cars to make the hour long journey to the (at the time) small Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. We got a tour of the facilities, learned how beer was made and even got to sample beer straight from the tanks! I left with a few growlers of Lugtread and an appreciation of how beer is made.
How long have you been writing your blog? What made you start to write?
I’ve been writing for three years now. I started because I wasn’t happy with my everyday routine of work, eat, sleep, repeat. Sheltered Girl Meets World keeps my mind running, challenges me to do more and learn new things – it’s kept me from having a very dull life.
Why did you choose the name?
Sheltered Girl Meets World was originally supposed to be a blog about me travelling around the world and becoming progressively unsheltered. Soon after my first trip I realized how expensive travelling was and how unrealistic it was for me to keep an entire blog devoted to it. I kept the name because in a way I still think I’m a little sheltered when it comes to the beer world.
Favourite beer style(s)?
The one in front of me at the time! Usually I go for IPA, APA, saison, lambic.. but I don’t limit myself.
Beau’s, Beyond the Pale, Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, Bellwoods ..I could go on for a while I think.
Are you a home brewer? If yes, what is your favourite creation?
No, but I enjoy helping other home brewers for a small fee of a brew or two.
Favourite beer & food pairing?
Beer and cupcakes. To be specific, Kichesippi 1855 and Little Cakes brownie cupcakes.
If you could work with or for any brewery which one would it be, and why?
Dogfish Head. I love how they aren’t afraid to try something and keep trying until they get it right.
If you had to recommend one craft beer to someone who has never had a beer before… what would it be & why?
Pink Fuzz from Beyond the Pale, it’s a great example of a flavourful brew with a good amount of malt/hop balance and a grapefruit bitterness kick at the end. For someone who isn’t used to drinking craft beer or beer the different flavours may get them hooked.
Favourite beer festival?
Beau’s Oktoberfest! Where else can you grip a stein in one hand, a turkey leg in the other and cheer at a keg toss?
And last but not least…
Everyone says they’ve had a ‘life changing’ epiphany on how they discovered or truly fell in love with craft beer. What was that moment for you?
I have those moments every time I visit a craft brewery or attend a festival and talk with people who are passionate about what they brew. Most recently I was at Brooklyn Brewery listening to Steve Hindy, President of Brooklyn Brewery, speak about the challenges they had in starting a brewery in Brooklyn. From setting up distribution channels, going from contract brewing to opening a brewery to dealing with such high crime the beer trucks wouldn’t come to the brewery at night – it takes a lot of dedication and passion to stick it out with those challenges!
I guess you can say I like craft beer, but it’s the people behind craft beer that makes me love it.