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Future of brewing in New Mexico is female

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    ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KOAT) — The brewing scene in New Mexico is booming, but it is lacking in one area. An industry dominated by men is becoming, once again, more diverse. It wasn’t always a male dominated industry. From ancient civilization, through the Dark Ages, and well into the 16th century, women were the ones brewing beer. Female brewers were suddenly accused of witchcraft, the Industrial Revolution turned beer into big business and women were nearly erased from the brewing industry’s history.

There’s no denying that women are interested in beer, so much, that they aren’t just enjoying it. They’re making it.

“There are so many beer styles out there, so I just started brewing everything. There’s nothing I have not brewed,” said head brewer at 377 Brewery Lyna Waggoner.

Waggoner is also called a brew master by many of her colleagues. She’s one of two female brew masters in the state. She started out brewing at home in five gallon buckets.

“There’s always cleaning, kegging, moving, grinding and then brewing,” Waggoner said.

Now, she’s making beer in 155 gallon tanks. The brewhouse is where she works her magic and just steps away is where customers can enjoy all of her hard work. The owner of 377 Brewery, Cliff Sandoval, said Waggoner was his first choice.

“I called, her up went to her house and went down and she had like 15 taps and I was like ‘Wow'” Sandoval said.

Waggoner said her favorite part of the job is actually being hands on.

“I like micromanaging these things. I come in here, I call on my kids, I go, ‘Come on man, get that gravity down,’ I talk to these guys,” Wagganer said.

She has dozens of awards to show for all that hard work including her most recent win from Denver for her Oktoberfest.

“You consider what bigger breweries do with a lot bigger systems, with five brewers. They are not doing what she does,” Sandoval said.

In a male-dominated industry, Waggoner doesn’t want to be known as a “female” lead, she said brew master is just fine.

Waggoner is currently working on a new sour beer to add to her roster and to the breweries menu. The owners of 377 Brewery expect their new location in Los Lunas be open at the end of November or the beginning of December.

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