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Title: Quality manager

Industry veteran Rebecca Newman is working to support consistency and innovation as the new quality manager at Summit Brewing Co. in St. Paul.

Newman, who has worked in brewing quality for three decades, met Summit founder Mark Stutrud in 1998 while she was attending a national brewers convention in the Twin Cities.

"The beer brought me, and Mark," Newman said. "Both are honest. There's tremendous integrity, of ingredients and process as well as ownership. Very few breweries have quality departments that are this fully integrated."

Newman previously worked for Anheuser-Busch and the Boston Beer Company, where she helped develop the Samuel Adams lager glass. Newman, who also has worked at Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head Brewery and Hakusan Sake, also has been a brewing consultant.

At Summit, Newman is developing the sensory department to identify food pairings for its brews and to train tour staff in describing beer styles, flavors and pairings to visitors. The brewery is creating a quality internship and hopes to promote brewing and brewing science with the University of Minnesota.

Newman also is bringing in more instrumentation to analyze beer quality more closely.

"For us, consistency is quality," Newman said. "They're synonymous."

Newman has a degree in food science and technology from the University of California-Davis.

Q: What's new at Summit for 2016?

A: We'll have new beers coming out every quarter to honor and celebrate the 30th year of Summit Brewing. The first will be a double IPA in late winter. It will be juicy and malty and incredibly inviting. You will want to drink a lot of this beer. It's the pretty girl you want to dance with.

Q: What are your thoughts on retailers and companies that offer beer to shoppers or employees?

A: There's no stress around beer. There's always fun around beer. You can solve the day's issues over a beer. On the retail side, say it's a clothing store or a hardware store, the person who is supporting the significant other who is shopping would have a place to hang out and commiserate with others who may not want that shopping experience.

Q: How would you pair beer and food for a New Year's Eve celebration?

A: I suggest having a bottle share. Invite four of your favorite friends over and have each person bring a six-pack of different beer and have them make a food item they think would pair well with the beer they would bring. You get to taste four different beers with four different dishes. You can imagine what pairings might work and then be surprised at what really works.

Todd Nelson