She was the first brewmaster in America since Prohibition. Along with her husband, she was a pioneer in the craft brewing industry. She was seen at industry events for decades, always willing to chat and to help other brewers.
Thirty-three years after opening, Carol Stoudt has announced that Stoudt Brew will cease operations.
“I did my part. Now it is up to the new generation to continue the tradition of innovation that defines craft beer,” she said in a press release.
Full press release
Adamstown, PA. February 3, 2020 — As the first female brewmaster since prohibition, Carol Stoudt helped to pioneer the Craft Brewing movement in the late eighties and early nineties by personally providing support and encouragement to fledgling breweries. Stoudt’s Microfests provided fruitful networking opportunities for brewers and members of the burgeoning craft beer industry.
As Carol prepares for retirement, she has made the difficult decision to close the brewery that helped to inspire a generation of craft beer drinkers. “I did my part. Now it is up to the new generation to continue the tradition of innovation that defines craft beer.”
In 1987, with her husband Ed’s support, Carol added a 30 barrel brewhouse to an already thriving business which included a 70,000 square foot Antiques Mall, Restaurant & Pub, and Indoor/Outdoor Bier Garden. An on-premise bakery and cheesemaking facility would follow.
Under Carol’s leadership, Stoudts Brewing became synonymous with quality and is one of the most awarded Craft Breweries in the industry. Carol’s legacy is built on authentic German beers brewed in the time-tested Reinheitsgebot tradition.
“This was a difficult decision to make,” says Carol, “but we’re not moving enough volume to justify the expense of keeping the brewery open. However, we’re not closing the doors to any business opportunities that could help the Stoudts brand live on.”
Production will scale down immediately and brewery operations will cease by early Spring in order to prepare the Brewery for sale.
Operations will continue as normal for all other divisions of the Stoudts enterprise. The Restaurant & Pub is adding a trivia night and Sunday brunch menus, the Bier Garden will continue to host weddings and events, and the Bakery and Antiques Mall continue to support the local community.
When asked about the future of Stoudts, Carol says “Stoudts is more than a brand or a location. We’ll just have to see what the future surprises us with.”