Someday is now. The story of the First Woman-Owned Microbrewery in Minnesota.
Urban Growler® Brewing Company was opened in July 2014 by Master Brewer Deb Loch and co-head honcho Jill Pavlak. These two combined their complementary skills and passions to create great beer, food and space for everyone.
Deb and Jill traded their successful, steady income careers in corporate America and sales to pursue their passion in brewing and business. Call it crazy (at least their parents did) but somehow, with a lot of help – from a lot of just-as-crazy people – they turned their dream into a brewery.
So how did it all happen? Well, we’ve all had those thoughts, “There’s got to be something better…” and the old adage, “Someday I want to …..[fill in the blank].” In 2008 Deb and Jill decided, “Someday is NOW” and the idea of Urban Growler® brewery was conceived. Jump ahead 6 years, thousands of miles traveled visiting taprooms all over the country, jobs in the industry, brew school, over a year raising funds via t-shirts sales, founding memberships, tours of an empty brick shell and beer tastings...finally, enough money was raised (12 banks denied them funding) and Urban Growler® Brewing Company became a reality. When Urban Growler® Brewing Company opened in July 2014, it was the first women owned brewery in the state of Minnesota. It was an emotional day surrounded with family, friends, and 100’s of complete strangers that had been pulling for these two.
Urban Growler’s mission is to bring people together through beer. The brewery, taproom, beer garden and outside retail sales help establish community among all beer drinkers. Deb brews traditional beers like CowBell Cream Ale® but also gets creative with the Plow to Pint® series, where local ingredients and the farmers that produce them are featured.
Visit the taproom or try Urban Growler® beer at a local bar or restaurant! Remember… We’re beer for you.™
Deb Loch is the Master Brewer at Urban Growler. Deb started out her career as a biomedical engineer and professional project manager in the medical device industry. Deb began home brewing in the early 90s and became more and more passionate about it. So much so, that she left her corporate job to turn pro. Deb became the Assistant Brewer at Minocqua Brewing Company in Minocqua, WI. She completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis and then became an apprentice brewer at Summit brewing.
Deb grew up in restaurant industry in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her parents owned Mary’s Place restaurants where Deb started washing dishes in the family restaurant early on. Deb is all things Wisconsin – Packers, cheese, and fish frys. You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the desire for a fish fry out of the girl. Hence, our Friday night fish frys. Deb is great with numbers. She considered being a financial planner, but beer was more fun. Deb is the master brewer, master planner, master visionary. Her nickname at the brewery is Papa Smurf.
Jill Pavlak is Co-Head Honcho at Urban Growler. Jill graduated with a degree in Speech Communications and Psychology – talk about perfect training for this industry. Prior to Urban Growler she owned two other successful businesses. Jill is as personable as they come. She’s warm and funny with an engaging personality. For her it’s all about relationships – people really are her passion, she is forever making connections. It would be hard to say in a few words what Jill does at the brewery – she’s the voice behind our social media, she’s our customer service guru, she’s the human side of business, she’s the saddle on our horse, she’s the carbonation in our beer and the hair plug in our toupee. She’s here for you.