To continue the Q&A sessions with our staff, meet Nicole Smith. Nicole is the co-founder and taproom manager of South Lake Brewing Company. 

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What's your favorite brewery?

Modern Times is a big favorite of mine. Their beer and branding truly stick out to me. 

What is your favorite type of beer?

My go-to beer is usually a double IPA. I really like Golden Road's Wolf Among Weeds and Track 7's Northeast Double IPA Mo'suka

What interested you in craft beer?

Craft beer enthusiasts really appreciate beer for its flavors and drinkability. When it comes to the craft beer industry, I love how collaborative it is. These enthusiasts have created a huge community that is very non-competitive - it seems like people are always willing to help. When you go to a craft brewery you're really experiencing everything about it, from the brewers, the taproom, and the bartenders. The vibe of craft beer is truly enticing.

When did you move to Tahoe?

I moved to Tahoe in 2002 and went to high school here, where I met Christopher. We came back to Tahoe about a year and a half ago, so I've probably lived here almost six years in total. I definitely consider Tahoe home. 

What's an extreme sport you like watching or participating in?

I really enjoy snowboarding. When we moved here, snowboarding was one of the first things we did as soon as the resorts opened that winter. My family and I would ride at Heavenly almost every weekend. 

Powder days are my favorite, as a snowboarder it feels like you're surfing, yet you're in the mountains and riding between trees. I'm also a big fan of riding the halfpipe, so if the resort I'm at for the day has one you can find me there!

When you're not working, how do you typically take advantage of a nice day in Tahoe?

Well that depends what type of weather there is. During the summer we like to go hiking, or at least taking our dog, Barley, to the Truckee River behind our house. The beach is also a go-to of ours.

In the winter, we'll be walking around in the snow or shredding the slopes.

Do you have a favorite lake around Tahoe and why?

I'd probably have to say Angora Lakes for several reasons. The hike is fairly mellow and once you're there, it's nice to relax at the beach while drinking their delicious lemonade and watching dare devils jump off the 50 foot cliffs. Both lakes are beautiful all-around.

What excites you the most about South Lake Brewing Company?

I'm really excited, first-of-all, to be able to finally have a craft beer that's made, produced, and distributed throughout South Lake Tahoe. I'm more excited, however, about making the tasting room a third place for most people. Your first place is your home, your second place is your work, and I'd really love the tasting room to be a third place for most of the locals and community of South Lake Tahoe. I want the brewery to be a place where people can meet up with their friends. I want this to be their go-to place to hang out, maybe after a bike ride or a day on the slopes. I want the brewery to be a place where anyone can relax, have a community here, and feel like they belong.  

Next week we'll be interviewing Ethan Lennox, our Operations and Sales Manager.

Comment below with any further questions you'd like to see in these interviews. If any questions are for Chris or Nicole, we'll try our best to respond to your comment below :)