Meet Farryn Guarino

    Interview by Carla Minsky

    Meet Farryn Guarino, director of quality for the Stevens Point Brewery. The brewery is a local landmark, dating back to 1857, which earns it the rank of the third-oldest continually operating privately owned brewery in the country. Farryn was born and raised in Stevens Point and earned her degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, so it’s accurate to say she never left home.

    She started as an analytical lab technician, testing all the beers “from wort to packaging,” before moving up to take on the “micro” part, tending to the core microbiology of the beers. Now she heads up quality assurance. Yet, even with those noteworthy promotions, she has a confession to make. 

    “When I first started, beer wasn’t my passion, but I’m 100 percent a beer drinker now.”

    She added to the confession, noting that crafting a career around beer was never on her radar. “I thought I’d end up in the medical field, perhaps getting my clinical laboratory science degree,” she said. But she had the backing of her parents to join the brewery. “My dad was super excited because he’s a Point beer drinker,” she laughed, “and my mom is proud I’m able to apply my education.”

    A Day in the Life

    A typical day for Farryn starts early in the morning with a walk-through of the brewery, checking set points for the pasteurizer, passing the packaging line, and conferring with the three others on the quality team who report to her. In other words, she’s a multi-tasker who keeps things running smoothly.

    Farryn explains the workings of beermaking is all about perfecting the time, temperature, and balance of ingredients - malt, water, hops, and yeast - that make up every recipe. She knows you’re wondering and the answer is “yes,” tasting the beers is part of her job description. “You need a good palate,” she said. 

    What's Farryn Drinking?

    Her favorite beer at the moment is Pistachio Nut Brown. She’d also like to see the brewery bring back St. Benedict’s, a winter ale-style beer brewed and bottled several years ago. “I hope I have some sway in that,” she chuckled. She’s also a fan of their British Dry hard cider bottled under the Ciderboys label. “It has a subtle sweetness, almost like champagne, it’s very drinkable.”

    Farryn likes the ever-changing nature of the industry and enjoys working as a team with the brewmaster to come up with the next big thing, as she puts it. While the beer recipes may be top secret, Farryn’s enthusiasm for the brewery, the area, and the people is so genuine there’s no chance of keeping that under wraps. 

    Wisconsin’s brewing heritage is legendary. What puts Point on the must-see list?

    Farryn paired the attributes of longevity and quality. “There is a lot of history here and people come to see the original structures that are still part of our functioning brewery,” she began. “They also return because we’re putting out a quality product with regular new offerings to bring them back.”

    Want more?

    Explore more features of the Stevens Point Area Local Makers Series, which aims to share the stories of local makers. Through behind the scene access and interviews, each story highlights the Stevens Point Area makers through their personal journey of inspiration, creativity, and community.

    Expand your inspiration:

    • After you put Point Brewery on your list explore more craft beverage makers, known as the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective, that call the region home. These spots include beer, wine, and spirits - worth a tour (and a taste)!

    • Looking for where you can find Point Brewery products? Check out the product locator here.

    • The beer recipes may be top secret, but these #CocktailsinPlace recipes aren't. 

    Find more local makers!

    Then, join the fun! Send your photo, by including @stevenspointarea on Instagram, or using hashtag #StevensPointArea.