Jul 26, 2023
People in the beer industry often tout the aspiration of using the drink as a way to “build community.” What they typically mean is that interacting over a beer is meant to be some kind of equalizer, allowing humans to connect in a better way. In this episode we meet someone who has taken this idea to heart, acting as one of the most prominent community builders in the Arizona beer scene for several years.
Ayla Kapahi is the director of brewing operations for Tuscon’s Borderlands Brewing, but is so much more. She’s started professional development organizations, including co-founding the Southern Arizona chapter of the Pink Boots Society, which focuses on developing talent and skills among women and non-binary individuals. Ayla also helped launch Las Hermanas, an annual collaboration beer made with female brewers from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. On the brewing side of things, she’s focused on using ingredients and flavor experiences unique to the Southwest as a way to give Borderlands beer a truer sense of home.
All these effomjmjrts are part of an ongoing desire to connect people. And as you’ll hear from Ayla, while she’s had a hard time defining what success means for her career so far, it’s these examples that help her stop and realize the impact she’s able to have, relationships she’s created, and how much more she can do in the future. We all work to find the “why” in our lives—what drives us and inspires us—and you’re about to learn how finding a career in beer helped Ayla find hers, and is encouraging others to do the same.