Woman Crush Wednesday: Theresa Schirner
When the awards are announced at Great American Beer Fest, it often feels frustratingly slow. Brewers enraptured with the screens, deaf to the cacophony of the auditorium as they wait for the category their submitted beers are in to slowly show up. Many will never see their beer up on that projection screen, but the hope is palpable every year to bite that medal and fist bump Charlie Papazian.
Category announced: “Irish-Style Red Ale.”
Theresa Schirner waited, staring at the screen. 2019 had started off hectic with becoming managing partner, co-owner, and head brewer of Mirror Image Brewing Company, formerly Echo Brewing owned by Dennis and Daniel Richards. Her husband and co-owner, Steve, had also joined her on the entrepreneurial and brewing journey. Both had a plethora of experience in hospitality, but Theresa had been in breweries for years. Elk Mountain Brewing, Downhill Brewing, Echo Brewing, she had worked her way from beertender to taproom manager and now to head brewer with the assistance of the former owners. Amidst rebranding Echo to Mirror Image, redesigning the taproom, training staff, being a superstar mom, she had managed to submit a couple of beers to GABF. Now was the moment of truth.
“Silver-Balefire Irish Red”
It sounded so simple and perfunctory, but it wasn’t viewed that way in the Colorado section. Cheers erupted of course, but on Theresa’s face there was a look of pure shock. Was this even real? She had won! Her first year in business, and she had won one of the most sought-after proofs of brewing mastery in the country.
And she didn’t stop at one medal. In 2020, even though it was virtual, she cinched a gold medal for the same beer! Two years, two medals, one excellent brewer in Frederick, CO. If you aren’t keeping an eye on her, you are missing a rising star in this industry and an ultimate badass.