Words & Deeds

Beer notebook: After burn accident in Boise, brewer begins new opportunity in Nampa

Kerry Thomas talks about the brewery accident that almost took her life

In July of 2015, Thomas was tending to a batch of Obligatory Double IPA ale when the bubbling brew spewed out of the the top of the brewing tank and caused second- and third-degree burns on 30 percent of her body.
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In July of 2015, Thomas was tending to a batch of Obligatory Double IPA ale when the bubbling brew spewed out of the the top of the brewing tank and caused second- and third-degree burns on 30 percent of her body.

Kerry Thomas, the brewer who made headlines after surviving a life-threatening accident at Edge Brewing Co. in Boise, started a new job Monday — at Mother Earth Brew Co. in Nampa.

The Vista, California-based brewery recently expanded into Canyon County with a large production facility and tasting room at 1428 Madison Ave.

“I’ll be the lab manager,” Thomas says, “as well as doing some fun projects with the barrel program and a few other things. Sort of a brewery jack of all trades position. I’m excited!”

As head brewer at Edge, 525 N. Steelhead Way, Thomas inspired local beer drinkers not only with her recipes, but her toughness. Thomas was severely burned in a 2015 brewing mishap that resulted in a month-long stay at a Salt Lake City burn unit. After a lengthy, painful recovery, she returned to her post as head brewer at Edge last summer.

Thomas still owns a minority stake in Edge, so her former coworkers are hoping to see her around.

“We’re heartbroken to be losing her,” says Steve Koonce, Edge’s director of sales and marketing, “but she wants to explore other aspects of brewing with our new neighbors at Mother Earth. Bryan Garcia-Brown, our assistant for the last year and a half, will be taking over brewing duties. We’ll be searching for a new assistant in the coming weeks.”

Boise Brewing starts canning

Boise Brewing is the latest local brewery to start offering its beers in 12-ounce cans.

Snowboarder Porter and Syringa Pale Ale will be sold in cans starting at 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at a release party at the brewery, 521 W. Broad St. The cans should be available on store shelves throughout the Treasure Valley by the end of January.

Boise Brewing has expanded its packaging options significantly in the past year. In early 2016, the brewery unveiled five of its beers in 22-ounce bottles: Broad Street Blonde Ale, Down Down Extra Pale Ale, Hip Check IPA, Snowboarder Porter and Black Cliffs American Stout.

Old Raspy celebration

Bittercreek Alehouse, 246 N. 8th St. in Boise, is busting out barrel-aged beasts from North Coast Brewing on Jan. 22 — the birthday of the late Grigori Rasputin.

Bittercreek will host a tasting of three barrel-aged Old Rasputin beers: Old Rasputin XV bourbon barrel-aged ’12, Old Rasputin XVIII rye whiskey barrel-aged ’15 and Old Rasputin XIX bourbon barrel-aged ’16.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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