Published on November 17th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
A Look At The Omission Brewing Company & Kona Brewing Company With Ashley Picerno
Founded in 2012, the Omission Brewing Company is reportedly the first craft beer brand in the U.S. focused exclusively on brewing great-tasting beers with traditional beer ingredients — including malted barley — that are specially crafted to remove gluten. Each batch of Omission Beer is tested independently using the R5 competitive ELISA test to ensure that it contains gluten levels below the U.S. FDA gluten-free standard of 20ppm or less. Omission’s lineup of beers is the most awarded within the gluten reduced segment, and includes Omission Ultimate Light and Omission IPA.
Omission Brewing Company recently released its first-ever line of all-natural hard seltzers with 4 delicious varietals — Pomegranate-Blueberry-Acai, Orange Twist, Lime, Grapefruit — rolling out across the country last month. They are naturally gluten-free and made of only 4 natural and recognizable ingredients: carbonated filtered water, alcohol from organic cane sugar, hops, and natural flavors. With zero added sugar, the seltzers boast an unparalleled, refreshingly clean taste that patrons can feel good about choosing as part of their journey to a well-balanced life. At 1 carb, 90 calories, and 4 percent ABV, Omission Brewing Company’s latest is a delicious way to celebrate life’s special moments.
A sister brand to Omission, Kona Brewing Company was started in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii in the spring of 1994 by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa. Today, Kona is Hawaii’s longest-running and favorite craft brewery, known for top-selling flagship beers Big Wave Golden Ale and Longboard Island Lager and innovative small-batch beers. Early next year, Kona Brewing Co. will be opening a 100,000-square foot brewery steps away from its original brewery.
Ashley Picerno is the Brand Manager of both Kona Brewing Company and the Omission Brewing Company, and I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with her on behalf of The Hype Magazine.
I’m aware of you working with both the Kona and Omission teams. Are there a lot of people working on both brands?
Ashley Picerno: Both Kona and Omission Brewing Company are supported by amazing teams that work very closely with each other. I’m surrounded by colleagues who further our brands’ respective missions on a daily basis!
What is a typical work day like as a Brand Manager? Is there a lot of travel involved?
Ashley Picerno: No day is the same as the next, which makes the job that much more exciting. I help manage the team and execute business growth, all while ensuring that everything is running smoothly and brand strategy and vision is coming to life. There is a fair amount of travel involved so we stay connected with our Sales Team and what’s going on in our rapidly evolving market.
To you, what makes Omission stand out from other hard seltzer brands on the market?
Ashley Picerno: Our all-natural and naturally gluten-free Omission Hard Seltzers are the best in the market because they and only use 4 ingredients with no added sugar, and just the right balance of fruit flavors. At 90 calories and 1 carb, they’re a refreshingly clean, low-calorie option that’s an easy choice for people who are mindful about what they consume.
What’s coming up for your brands in 2020?
Ashley Picerno: We have some exciting initiatives and new product launches in the works for 2020 that we can wait to share with everyone. Keep an eye on our social channels, @DrinkOmission, for more!
Is there something you wish more people knew about the Craft Beer Alliance?
Ashley Picerno: Whether you are looking for a great light beer or hard seltzer with Omission, a beer that takes you on a mini-vacation to Hawaii with Kona, or a big craft IPA, CBA has something for everyone. You may be pleasantly surprised and discover a new favorite beverage, just like Justin Bieber did recently with our Omission Pale Ale!
If I’ve done my research correctly, you interned at NASA. How exactly did you wind up working with the Craft Brew Alliance? Were you ever a bartender?
Ashley Picerno: Your research is correct! I studied Environmental Biology and Chemistry as an undergraduate, and spent a summer interning for NASA’s Astrobiology department. To this day it was one of the best experiences of my life. After college, I went to UC Davis’ Master Brewers program, where I earned my Diploma in Brewing. After that, I started at Craft Brew Alliance in Quality Assurance. Eleven years and an MBA later, I’m working on two amazing brands and tapping into my beer experience to develop the next hot beers and seltzers. While I’ve never been a bartender, there is nothing more exciting than talking with consumers over one of our latest innovations.
What is your favorite part about what you do for a living?
Ashley Picerno: By far, it is sharing a new product with our Sales team. Presenting all of the consumer insights and strategy behind the work we’ve done to develop a new product, from the liquid to the packaging, and seeing their excitement is when I know our hard work has created something amazing.
Do you have a favorite Kona or Omission offering on the market?
Ashley Picerno: Kona’s Longboard Lager has always been my go-to. Of course, I also love Omission’s Ultimate Light and Hard Seltzers. Recently I’ve been mixing Ultimate Light and our Grapefruit Hard Seltzer to make a radler!
When not busy with work, where does your free time usually go?
Ashley Picerno: I have two amazing kids — ages 4 and 1 — that keep me busy, so lots of family hikes and building Legos!
What was the last concert you attended?
Ashley Picerno: The Roots!
Finally, Ashley, any last words for the kids?
Ashley Picerno: We’re excited to continue supporting fans on their journey to a well-balanced life! We hope you follow along at DrinkOmission.com.