November 7, 2014
What can happen if you put a go-getter together with a careful planner, add hops and let steep?
You might get Urban Growler Brewing Co.
Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak opened Minnesota’s first women-owned and -brewed microbrewery in August. The brewery, tucked into an industrial area of St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood, is the product of six years of dreaming, learning and planning.
Loch is the head brewer. A former engineer and project manager, she’s the practical, calm, let’s-think-this-through partner. Pavlak handles marketing, sales and taproom operations. She’s the partner who’s always driving forward, ready to make the leap.
“Different personalities, different strengths, different things we bring to the table,” Loch notes.
The women complement each other. When they decided six years ago to start a brewery together, Pavlak wanted to move fast – “I just wanted to throw open a garage door somewhere and start selling.”
Loch was more cautious, running numbers – “I was our own worst enemy for quite a while because it took a long time; it took us six years to get open.”