'Something magical about beer': Meet four women at work in Tallahassee's craft breweries
by Danny Aller
It's no secret that the craft beer industry is a male-dominated business. However, this week, it's all about the ladies — of craft beer, that is!
Women play a crucial role in the Tallahassee craft beer industry. From canning the beer, to overseeing the tap rooms, to marketing, to sales, these women will do whatever needs to be done to help their brands succeed.
These important women in the Tallahassee craft beer community have created a high standard for hard work and dedication producing award-winning beer.
And while we would be remiss to not mention the impact of Tallahassee's dedicated female craft beer group —The TLH Ladies That Beer, who will be the focus of an entirely different column soon — this week's story is taking a closer look at some of the women both in front and behind the scenes of Tallahassee beer.
Marsha LaPete keeps distribution wheels turning at Deep Brewing
Marsha LaPete: Head of Greater Depths Distribution atDeep Brewing
Time in role:3 years.
How did you get into craft beer? When we lived in Miami, (my husband and Deep Brewing owner) Ryan (LaPete) had come off of commercial diving in the keys, at the time craft beer was exploding down there. Ryan won some early awards on beers he had brewed at home, so we made the decision that that would be his next career step.
When we moved to Tallahassee we felt that this area would be supportive of that endeavor. When we started, I was playing a support role for him while he was starting the brewery itself. I was always doing the back of house things with keg logistics and accounting, which is my background.
So while he was brewing, I was doing all the other things to make sure we were compliant. Then we started looking at distribution companies. We thought it wasn’t a good idea to get on a truck from a marketing perspective because those distributors weren’t actively promoting certain brands and they were having product go bad in their warehouse. So, we decided to open the distributorship where me and Ryan’s brother (Blair) are partners.
Describe your duties at Deep: I do whatever is needed at the distribution company. At first it was just Blair and I, so we split the roles. In the beginning both of us were doing deliveries, accounting, keg logistics, marketing the beer really anything that needed to be done to get the beer into the market.
Over time as we grew we added folks onto our team that could do the day to day deliveries. Then Blair and I stepped more into the marketing role. While I have also always maintained the back of house, keg logistics, and accounting to make sure we were in compliance.
How many women does Deep employ?There is about a 50/50 mix of males and females employed.
What is it like being a woman in a male-dominated industry? I’m a civil engineer by training, I went to Georgia Tech, which is kind of a male-dominated college. I was going into construction, which is a male-dominated industry and then when I got out of college, I was recruited into the big 4 accounting world, which again is a male-dominated industry.
My background has been significantly one-sided in that respect — the industries I chose to go into for my career had that component. I was comfortable working in that environment. Then moving into the craft beer industry, it is significantly less cumbersome to operate in as a woman than it was in other industries.
I know traditionally craft beer has been pitched as this male-dominated industry, but I think there’s a misconception in this industry: that women don’t have a vital role, which is simply not true. We have significant roles in this industry, you’ll find with myself and Angela (Burroughs, co-owner at Proof Brewing) that we are leaders in this community.