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KNOXVILLE, Iowa — When Ashley Hynick started working at Peace Tree Brewing in Knoxville, she worked as a bartender. She served a variety of brews to her customers and she wanted to know more about what she was serving. So, when Peace Tree had an opening for someone to work with the actual brewing of beer, she jumped at the opportunity.

“For me it wasn’t super hard because I wanted to learn,” said Hynick. “I feel like when you want to learn something it’s kind of easier to pick up.”

It wasn’t long before she was able to run the process of brewing beer, with someone’s help, and later with a cheat sheet. Now, she is planning to create her own recipe and become the first Black female brewer in Iowa. Something she’s not afraid to tackle.

“Not like a heavy pressure,” said Hynick. “More like that’s exciting, like, I’m glad that I can be that person.”

As to brewing her own recipe of beer, that’s still a work in progress.

“I’m kind of just starting it, but I’m just trying to figure out what kind of yeast I want to add into it,” said Hynick. “Also thinking on what kind of hops, what kind of flavor I want it to be.”

At Peace Tree, owner Megan McKay is glad this has worked out, both for Ashley, and the company.

“Ashley started with us part-time as a bartender,” said McKay. “We had an opening in production so we always like to look within to see who could grow with us.”

So Ashley took the job, and has run with it. For McKay, it was a natural fit.

“There’s a profile that you’re trying to fit for certain types of jobs and I try to keep a really open mind about that,” said McKay. “All of the sudden we’ve got Ashley who’s brewing great beer and getting ready to make her own recipes.”

Now Hynick is working to try to be the best brewer she can be. She’s attending workshops and seminars to learn the best methods. She hopes to have her first brew recipe out in a couple of months.