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Cindy Nagamura Chen

Episode 156

Crafting Beer with Passion and Precision

Cindy Nagamura Chen is the creative force behind BRAMS Beer. Inspired by a chance encounter with a French pilsner, Cindy and her partner Carl embarked on a brewing journey that would soon become their passion.

From mastering brewing techniques to sourcing ingredients from local farms, Cindy’s dedication and determination have fueled the success of BRAMS Beer. With Carl’s support, they’ve transformed their dream into a reality, launching BRAMS Beer to the public in 2021. After countless trials (and a few mishaps), BRAMS Beer emerged, inviting beer enthusiasts to savor European-style delights crafted with care.

Cindy shares the story behind BRAMS Beer, where tradition meets innovation in every carefully crafted brew. From the refreshing BRAMS French Pilsner to the rich BRAMS Coffee Cacao Stout, each sip reflects Cindy’s commitment to quality and authenticity.

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Cindy Nagamura Chen Quotes

“I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I wanted something to grasp on to.”

“It’s extremely challenging and rewarding to start your own thing.”

“There’s something that sang to me and it was just a just a I mean I can’t tell you how much fun I had brewing beer that summer.”

“I feel like I’m an imposter every single day, and I’m just barely, barely making it.”

“Being an entrepreneur I don’t think is for everyone and I didn’t know that I could do this until I started to do it.”

“I’ve always been a fan of Freddie Mercury, but it wasn’t really until I read more about him… that I realized just how much joy he had in everything he did.”

“I think most Taiwanese people do, I mean we have boba, we have all sorts of tea, we have, you know, fruit drinks, we have just everything, anything can be made into a delicious beverage.”

Embracing the Unknown:
Cindy started her journey into brewing with a scientific approach, embracing the fact that she had a lot to learn. She collected data with each batch she made, using the science of brewing to guide her adjustments and trusting her senses, even when they picked up on nuances not mentioned in brewing books.

Diversity of SGV:
The podcast celebrates the diversity of the San Gabriel Valley (SGV), which is a core value for Cindy as well. She appreciates the area’s cultural richness and variety, which has played a significant role in her upbringing and influences her work.

Personal and Professional Growth:
Cindy’s experience in New York and Europe significantly shaped her palate and her understanding of beer. Her journey from finance to entrepreneurship was driven by a desire for flexibility and the opportunity to raise her children on her terms.

The Art and Science of Brewing:
Cindy views brewing as a blend of art and science. Her process involves a strong reliance on sensory evaluation—particularly smell—and a systematic approach to documenting and adjusting brewing variables.

Community and Family Support:
Cindy credits her husband’s encouragement and support as a driving force behind her decision to start a brewery. She also values the community she found in a homebrewers club and the broader brewing community.


Music Credits

Like it Loud, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Scarlet Fire (Sting), Otis McDonald, YouTube Audio Library

Indecision, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Picture of Cindy Nagamura Chen

Cindy Nagamura Chen

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