Toad&Co Ambassador Spotlight: Devyn Lopez, Topa Topa Brewing, on Passion and Community

Devyn Lopez, Brewer at Topa Topa Brewing

Toad&Co: We would love to hear more about being a brewer. What’s your daily look like? And what is the best part of your job?

Devyn: My days at Topa start off nice and early. I'm the morning shift brewer so I get the brewhouse up and running every day. I get the necessary raw materials organized for the rest of the day. I also look over what will be happening in the cellar for the day and the following days to make sure we are staying on track and that nothing is being missed.

I would say the best part about my job is tasting a new beer that we had all been working so hard on and finally being able to see how all the decisions we made came together. 

Separately, some of my favorite days at Topa are when we have one of our big events. It's the perfect combination of sharing what we do and make with bringing people out, getting them together, and being able to give back to our community. I'm grateful to work for a company that chooses to give back when we can. 

Toad: Sharing something that you and your team has worked so hard on sounds incredibly gratifying and fun. How did you get into brewing beer?

Devyn: I started in the beer world about two and half years ago. Originally, I was working in wine production up north in Paso Robles. I was looking for an opportunity to be able to move back to Ventura County, be closer to friends and family, and was planning on staying in wine. I came across a listing for Topa Topa and decided to be open to the idea of making a move to the beer industry.

The idea of brewing interested me for multiple reasons, but the biggest being the fact that beer production is constant. With wine, production happens once per year. So, to me, beer production offers a little more room for creativity and fun. 

Toad: We hear that you instigated a weekly friends dinner when you moved back… and that these are the highlight of the week! Can you share more about them?

Devyn: Part of the reason I moved back down to Ventura County was because most of my closest friends lived here. Almost every weekend my friends and I get together for at least one dinner. Or breakfast… or both!

I am very fortunate to have these people in my life and there is almost nothing better to me than gathering with them and eating good food, drinking good drinks, and having a laugh. Getting together is something that we all prioritize because it re-charges us after a busy and tiring week at work. 

Toad: Good friends bring out the best in us! But sometimes it can be so hard to get everyone together, especially on a frequent basis. Any ideas for someone who wants to engage with their own community or friend group more often?

Devyn: Engaging with the community or getting a group of friends together starts with reaching out! Putting in time and effort to get involved and make plans is a sure-fire way to get people together. 

Toad: And speaking of good food and drinks… What’s your current beverage of choice?

Devyn: Currently, my beverage of choice is a $4 bottle of vinho verde from Trader Joe's. It's refreshing and lightly spritzy. So, even though I am happy that I made the switch to beer production, I still love and appreciate wine. 

Toad: Complete the question: “Every day I aspire to…”

Devyn: Every day I aspire to be open minded. Whether it has to do with my job or something random throughout my day I know that going into things with an open mind will help me learn and grow. 

Toad: Relatedly, what does “doing good” mean to you?

Devyn: To me, doing good means being helpful. Lending a hand has always been my go-to way of showing kindness. I take pride in contributing time or effort and being a team player. 

Toad: Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to become a brewer?

Devyn: My advice to anyone – men and women! – wanting to get into brewing is to be patient. It's not always a fast track to the brewhouse. You're most likely going to start off doing the dirty work. Keep showing up, putting in your best effort, and asking questions. 

Learn more about our relationship with Topa Topa Brewing here