Meet Paula Anderson, the Graphic Designer here at Victory Brewing Company.
Q: How long have you worked for Victory?
A: I have been here for a year and a month.
Q: Describe for us what you really do here at Victory.
A: I work on everything from keychains to labels to T-shirts to boxes to posters, just about anything you can think of.
Q: So you are the one who creates all of those awesome T-shirts in the retail shop and online?
A: A lot of them, I would say it’s close to half now.
Q: What would you say is your favorite T-shirt design that you have created?
A: I think that my favorite one is probably the fourth of July shirt, since that was a product of all three ladies in the marketing department. I like that kind of collaboration work.
Q: What non-T-shirt design are you most proud of?
A: Headwaters is an obvious choice. I designed the concept of the overall graphic design of the beer, and worked with Bill to refine it. I earned myself the title the “Queen of Curlicues.” I also worked on the Root Beer label, and I love the Root Beer case carton. I think that looks so cool.
Q: What is the coolest thing about your job?
A: The variety of projects, but in particular learning all the different methods of printing, that’s been fascinating to learn. I think my trip to Weber (the folks who print our case boxes) was the best. I got to go through their factory floor and watch the entire process, from making our cardboard to when they print and cut it. It was like being part of a Discovery Channel show. I think the coolest thing is seeing your artwork produced like that, it adds a whole other dimension to the job.
Q: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
A: I would say working in the dining commons in college.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that no one would know just by looking at you.
A: Even before I started at Victory I was interested in baking with beer, and for the past couple of years I’ve been baking beer cupcakes. One of my first (and favorite) ones was a Guinness cupcake. I think the next one I tried was a Saison du Buff. My favorite Victory cupcake is a cupcake made with Scarlet Fire. (Recipe is below.)
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: For the longest time I wanted to be an animator for Disney. I think I went through the marine biology phase like every other girl, wanted to be a dolphin trainer, and then I got into computers and did repair for several years.
Q: Now that you’re an adult, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A kid. I wanna live like a kid and hopefully when I have a family of my own I’ll be able to share that desire and do fun stuff with them.
Q: Finish this sentence. Beer is . . .
A: A meal in a glass.
Q: What’s your favorite candy?
A: Do Oreos count?
Q: What is your all-time favorite movie?
A: “Star Wars: A New Hope.” That would be Episode Four, so it’s the first Star Wars movie.
Q: And now, a seasonal question. What is your favorite Christmas song?
A: The non-traditional one would be Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards of Winter.” I like Christmas music you can rock out to. It was probably coincidence, but “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” always used to be playing when we were decorating the Christmas tree, so that would be my classical one.
Q: What is your favorite Victory beer and food pairing?
A: The one that was the best for me was before I worked here, there was a Scarlet Fire that I had with, I think it was acorn squash soup. That pairing made me just notice things in that soup which I never would have picked up unless I tried it with the Scarlet Fire.
Q: They’re making a movie about your life, and it starts filming tomorrow. Who is cast as you, and who is cast as your love interest?
A: Jennifer Aniston as me, because she is quirky, beautiful and I love her sense of humor. And my love interest would be Jamie Bamber. A lot of people don’t know him but he was one of the main characters in “Battlestar Galactica” and he is gorgeous.
Q: What genre would the movie about your life be?
A: Sitcom, because my husband and I are full of banter.
Paula’s Scarlet Fire Cupcakes
This recipe is an adaptation of the Guinness and Whiskey cupcakes from sassydish.com
1 cup Victory Scarlet Fire or Smokin’ Oats
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
Basic buttercream frosting (homemade or store bought)
4 Tbsp. real maple syrup
½ lb. thin-sliced bacon
Cook the bacon until well done and crispy. Cool completely. Crumble and set one half-cup aside for the frosting. The remaining bacon will go in the cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring 1 cup beer and 2 sticks butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl until well-blended. Add the slightly cooled beer mixture, and beat just until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, until just combined. Fold in the bacon crumbles. Divide the batter among lined cupcake pans, filling them 2/3 of the way.
Bake for about 17 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. (If your oven bakes unevenly, you’ll want to rotate them midway through the cooking process.)
For the frosting, start with a basic buttercream, either homemade or store bought. Mix in 4 Tbsp. of maple syrup. If the frosting starts to become too thin, add powdered sugar, a teaspoon at a time, until it thickens. (Note: If you can find maple sugar or maple candy, crush that and add to the frosting instead of the syrup. It’s easier than using syrup, though can be difficult to find.)
Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost and garnish with the reserved bacon crumbles. If you’re feeling really fancy, drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle maple sugar on top.