14 Questions....with Amanda Koeller



Amanda Koeller joined the Big Dog's team in 2015 after graduating the Master Brewer's Program at the University of California, Davis.  Amanda is not only a great brewer but a great Ambassador for the Big Dog's brand.  Also an UNLV graduate (B.S., Hotel Administration), Amanda is a native Las Vegan and a lifetime Rebel fan!  Interestingly enough, Amanda's family have been coming to the Draft House since its earliest days, long before the dream of the Big Dog's brewery had even been dreamt. Amanda is working hard every day to turn her craft brewing dreams into a reality and her passion into a career.  Amanda is among a growing population of women involved in the craft brewing world and we are excited to have her wear the pink brewery work boots that come with that honor.

14 Questions

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Yuma, AZ where my dad was stationed when he was in the marines. My family moved back to Las Vegas when I was nine months old, and this is where I grew up. I love this city! A lot of the happiest times of my life happened here. This is where my family is, my heart is, and my home is.

Where was your first job in the beer world?
My first job in food and beverage was as a bar back at the Fiesta Henderson. This is where I learned to bartend and was my first introduction to beer outside of AB, Coors and Miller.

What's your favorite beer style that you enjoy the most?
I love IPAs. I’ve loved them since the very first sip of my first IPA, Stone IPA. I crave the bitterness.

Do you have an out-of-town brewery or brewpub that you like to visit? What do you like most about it?
Sierra Nevada is the most beautiful brewery I have ever been in. Their copper brew house is mesmerizing, and their resources are a brewer’s dream. Some of my fondest brew pub memories come from Lagunitas. They have an outdoor picnic area with fire pits and live bands; good times are effortless there.

What are your favorite Big Dog's Brews that we make?
My favorite brews are our IPA/pale ale series : Underbite, War Dog, Wag the Dog and Peace Love & Hoppiness. I’m the most excited for our experimentation with sours and our barrel projects; I’m sure those beers will be some of my favorites.

What is your favorite food and beer pairing?
Beer goes good with everything, but I’ll drink IPAs or hoppy lagers with oysters, goat cheese, blue cheese, charcuterie, artisan breads, smoked salmon, and Neapolitan pizza

What craft beers are in your refrigerator right now?
Duchess de Bourgogne, Pizza Port Ponto SIPA and Kook DIPA, Las Vegas Lager, Peace Love & Hoppiness, New Belgium La Folie, Rodenbach Grand Cru. The list is ever changing, the only guarantee is there is never a shortage of beer at my house.

What is your favorite thing to eat at the brewpub?
The Big Dog’s Salad

Who is your favorite musician or band?
Right now it’s the Lumineers, Hozier, Of Monsters and Men. This, However, changes with my mood. Sometimes it’s all about country music, other times it’s classic rock.

What is the farthest from home you've travelled to visit a brewery?
I’m not exciting yet on this answer; Sierra Nevada in Chico. I will one day travel to Belgium to tour the Cantillon Brewery.

What was the last movie you saw?
Finally got to the theater to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I may have been the last person to see it!

What gets you excited about being in the craft beer world?
The comradery of our community, the chance to work and collaborate with passionate and talented people, and the ability to be creative and see our ideas come to fruition.

Anything in particular you are looking forward to doing at Big Dog's in the coming year?
I’m most excited right now to expand our barrel program and experiment with different ways of souring beer; this involves so much patience, but I’m looking forward to the payoff.

Share your thoughts on the local beer scene.
We have so many talented and innovative brewers working in this town making great beer, and we have some amazing fans that support what we do. I think craft beer will continue to increase its presence in casinos and bars across the valley. The Las Vegas beer consumer is becoming savvy, and I find that they are starting to become insistent on quality craft beer choices. The local breweries are leading the charge on a quality beer culture and we’re making Las Vegas a place to drink great beer and spend time with like minded people.