This week I am excited to chat with a former student and co-worker of mine, Aleyna Porreca, the assistant brewer at Storm Peak Brewing Company in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
I met Aleyna when she was a high school freshman, passionate about the environment, education, and the outdoors, even at that young age. She inspired me then and continues to do so now. With her tales of outdoor adventures, world travels, and love of the unknown, not only will she also inspire you to follow your dreams, but she will make you feel like it’s the easiest thing in the world to do so.
Video Notes to Highlighted Topics
0:59 Old Friends
Meet Aleyna Porreca, Assistant Brewer at Storm Peak Brewing. Aleyna and I first met when she was 14 years old, and I was her teacher. Turns out we inspired each other, and we continue to do so today.
1:54 Outdoor Education Inspiration
As a freshman at New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado, Aleyna enrolled in an elective class hosted by Cottonwood Institute, an outdoor education nonprofit, where April worked as an educator, and well, the rest is history.
4:16 The Student Inspires the Teacher
As a new educator, I was inspired by Aleyna’s spirit and adventures. Even though she was 14, and I was 37, I learned a lot from her passions and confidence.
5:37 Tipi Woman
As a senior in high school, Aleyna spent a few months living in a tipi near Crestone, Colorado at Earth Knack, a primitive skills school. This woman is a beast! I mean that in a very loving way. See why she inspires me?
6:04 Falling Out of the Galaxy
Aleyna shares a heartwarming moment at Mission:Wolf, where she connected with a student on one of the first outdoor ed courses she taught as an instructor.
Leaving college and traveling the country gave Aleyna a chance to enjoy the outdoors personally and just be in the moment. Transitioning from this to moving back to her hometown of Boulder was difficult.
10:49 Storm Peak Beginnings
On a whim, Aleyna moved to Steamboat Springs and basically pestered her way into Storm Peak Brewing, realizing that once she sets a goal, it happens.
11:30 College Stories
Thinking she would get a degree in mechanical engineering, she ended up enrolled in an entirely different genre, learning more about the American West and graduating with a degree in Environmental Writing and Geology.
13:16 Turning Rocks into Wine
Geology is what inadvertently turned Aleyna onto brewing beer. That and realizing that beer is better than wine.
14:51 First Brews
Aleyna received a grant to learn brewing and distilling. Plans didn’t go as originally thought, but Aleyna’s unwillingness to fail made it work.
17:45 A Trip Around the World
After graduating high school, Aleyna’s parents took her and her brother on a seven month trip around the world, stopping first in Chili with no plans of where to go next. She talks about gaining perspective, building relationships, and the many aha moments that come naturally with traveling.
22:27 Affecting Good in the World
As a previous educator and now brewer, Aleyna asks an important question, “Am I still creating good? Am I still affecting that energy and environment in the world?”
24:09 The Stout Life
Aleyna works hard at unabashedly fulfilling her possible potential.
26:26 Beyond the Taproom – Raw Footage
Aleyna talks briefly about recycling and expansion.
We’d love to hear from you.
Aleyna loves the unknown and is perfectly comfortable being uncomfortable. What is something that challenges you, but makes you giddy with excitement at the same time? Let us know in the comments below.
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