Meet the woman behind the beer, turning her passion into a career

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Here at Payette Brewing Company, we have an incredible team that continually makes great beer and has fun while doing it. We’d like to introduce you to one of our badass brewers, Nina Schoofs.

Nina is a passionate creator, beer lover, and doer of many things. Five days a week and sometimes more you can find Nina brewing beer, assessing quality, cleaning and making sure our beers and the brewery are in tip-top shape.

Nina is originally from Minnesota, where her passion for beer originated. She grew up with her mother, Mary, home brewing. This taught Nina a lot about beer, what it takes to brew it and how innovative you must be, which she found particularly interesting! When Nina got to college and decided she didn’t want to drink the “crappy” beer all her peers were drinking, she began to home brew.

Home brewing lead Nina to Falling Sky Brewing in Eugene, Oregon. She began as a server and a bartender then eventually worked herself into management. Nina is a jack of many trades and loves to keep moving forward, learning, growing and pursuing endeavors. With that being said, Nina’s heart was not in the management role so she “weaseled” her way into a more behind-the-scenes position at Falling Sky’s home brew shop.

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The passion for beer continued as well as Nina’s compulsion to take her knowledge to the next step. She applied for the Falconers Foundation Scholarship and when it was granted to her, she went to the Siebel Institute of Technology. There she took a brewing technology course. Soon after, she began to work in the brewery cellar back at Falling Sky but it was time for a change of scenery. She knew she wanted to stay in the Pacific Northwest and we are grateful her job search led to us.

After a phone interview, Nina set out to visit Payette Brewing Company and see Boise for the first time. After her visit, Nina was sold. Not only because Boise fit her criteria of being by mountains and having access to all of her favorite hobbies but because of Payette’s vision. She loved the idea that she could do what she loved for a company that values balance and respects her many passions and will give her the time to pursue them.

When Nina is at the brewery she is doing all things beer. On brew days she is milling, making sure all of her vessels are clean, making sure she has fermentation vessels to send the beer into all while preparing hops and yeast! On a brew day she can be brewing multiple beers at the same time. When this is the case she has beers overlapping on the brew deck but always keeps a vessel open because her rule of thumb is, “you always expect something will go wrong”. This may seem like a lot but Nina loves to multitask and have “twenty things going on at once.” Brewing beer is a constant learning experience and Nina loves the challenge. She can't be complacent and loves to think. There are so many independent variables that must be watched in an industry that constantly relies on agriculture and has ever changing ingredients.

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A lot of what Nina does revolves around beer but she has many hobbies and passions outside of the brewery. Nina loves to backpack, run, downhill ski, dabble on the mandolin, play cribbage, and cook or bake in the kitchen. She is not only a beer pioneer but loves to constantly try new cuisines and recipes. She is always bringing cookies to the office to share.

Our German beer loving, incredibly passionate, talented and sweet brew babe Nina is an essential part of the Payette brew crew. We couldn’t produce our amazing beer without the work she does. Nina, thank you for your hard work and the time you put into this company!