Meet the Brew Master

Sonja Nelson joins Long Valley Pub and Brewery with the idea to pay homage to the beers that started the brewery but with a fresh, new look and taste. Her background to complete this vision comes from 3 years brewing experience having been most recently an Assistant Brewer at Czig Meister Brewing. Coming from a rapidly growing production brewing facility has given Sonja a lot of experience and knowledge on both classic and newer styles of brewing. The passion for brewing started in 2016 when Sonja bought a homebrew kit as a gift for her husband as a Christmas present. After their first brew together, she linked her knowledge and passion for baking to this newfound hobby which would soon drive a career path. As she likes to say, baking and brewing are very similar, both are creative and chemistry driven. In between working a desk job, taking online classes toward an interior design license, and taking care of her 2 cats and one dog, Sonja started to read many books that sparked her interest in things such as yeast, classic style brewing, barrel aging, hop usage, sour and lambic style brewing, and so much more.

Once she saw an opportunity in the brewing industry, she started by bartending at a few breweries before landing as a full-time bartender at Czig Meister Brewing Company of Hackettstown, NJ. Having expressed an interest in brewing, she started to help out in the back while taking on her bartending schedule, and shortly after was asked to assist full time in the brewhouse. Since then, Sonja has found one of her biggest passions in brewing is working with botanicals to be able to express natural flavors in everyday beers. This passion for nature comes along with one of her favorite hobbies – hiking! In her spare time, Sonja loves summiting mountains to get the best views.

Sonja comes to Long Valley with an A.S. in Music Production and uses the focus and creativity that this degree demands and applies it to brewing the many different styles of craft beer she has brewed over the years. Her favorite style to brew is low ABV, pale beers ranging from Lagers to Saisons and is excited to bring this style to Long Valley Pub and Brewery as she thinks it will be a great fit for the atmosphere.