Melissa Rainville Talks Shop with The Growler

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This issue’s Brewer Profile finds Melissa Rainville of Fitger’s Brewhouse hard at work.

By Brian Kaufenberg
Photos by Maxwell McGruder of Dapperman Studios


Name: Melissa Rainville

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Works at: Fitger’s Brewhouse

Turn-Ons: Integrity, authenticity, and beards with a smattering of grey in them.

Turn-Offs: Self-importance, ostentatiousness, folks that don’t use dental floss.


The Growler: What’s in your fridge right now?

Melissa Rainville: I’ve got a couple of growlers from Northbound Smokehouse and Minneapolis Town Hall, some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, and I always have a couple of cases of Coors Banquet.

G: What’s your favorite music to brew to?

MR: Spoon, Father John Misty, Yo La Tengo, Built To Spill, American Analog Set.

G: What is your brewing background?

MR: A number of years of homebrewing gradually morphed into a professional gig, after which I worked in a homebrew supply shop. Then I eventually worked my way into my current professional gig.

G: When did you decide you wanted to brew professionally?

MR: I had about a year left to complete my BS in Horticulture at the University of Minnesota when Jeff Williamson (then Owner/Head Brewer) at Flat Earth Brewing Company offered me a full-time Assistant Brewer position at the brewery. I had been volunteering there for some time when he made that offer. Given the choice between finishing school and brewing beer for a living—well, it simply wasn’t much of a choice for me.