Brenda began exploring craft and imported beer with her husband, Larry, in the early eighties. The two would travel around the region tasting beers and visiting local breweries. Brenda remembers the first Portland Beer Festival they attended: nowhere as big as it is today! Around the same time, Brenda’s husband also began experimenting with his own home-brews, where she would help in the bottling process.
In 1985, the couple joined a home-brew club, “Seattle Brews Brothers,” and Brenda would have a great time trying everyone’s various beers. Brenda still has fun getting to see some of their old crew from time to time. Brenda leans more towards the maltier ales-- she has always loved Stouts, Porters and the darker Belgian Styles. She says designing a beer of her own would be a dream.
In 1991, Larry Rock started working at Hale’s and continued working with the brewery until 2002. After giving birth to their first child, Preston, in 1989, she went back to work in 1990, working temporary for a few months, and finally landing a job at Mt Zion Baptist Church. Brenda worked there for a little over three years, and gave birth to their second son, Galen. Upon returning to work, she was starting to feel like she wanted to do something a little different… the brewery had an opening and Larry thought it would be a good fit! Brenda was open to the move, and although it was probably about as different a field as she could imagine, she decided to apply. Mike Hale was happy to have her on board and she started working at Hales in 1994.
After taking a break from the beer festival scene due to raising their two boys, Preston and Galen, Brenda is now getting back out there touring Northwest breweries and brew pubs outside work.
Brenda’s favorite recreational activities include gardening, cooking, golf on occasion, and playing a good game of corn hole or washers. Brenda just loves the support of the beer family and the fun they have when they get together—she says, “Cheers!” to all her fellow Haliens.