Brew day with Ladyface Ale's Cyrena Nouzille and David Griffiths

Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie sits at the bottom of the Ladyface Mountain in Agoura Hills, CA about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Co-owner Cyrena Nouzille and brewmaster Dave Griffiths have been producing beers at this location since November of 2009.

Besides the Agoura Hills restaurant, craft beer lovers can try their brews at Southern California bars like Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank and Far Bar in Little Tokyo to name a few. As the Ladyface team is getting ready to plan their 2nd anniversary in January, we visited brewmaster Dave and Cyrena during one of their brew days to chat about expanding the brewery, homebrewing and women in the beer industry.


Homebrewing beginnings

When Cyrena's husband bought her a homebrew kit for her birthday, little did he know that he just influenced a big part of her future. The same story applied for Dave with his girlfriend getting him his own kit. Cyrena and Dave met while they both homebrewed. Eventually after years crafting, Dave went to work as a brewer at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Woodland Hills, CA. During this whole time, Cyrena and Dave stayed brewing buddies, and now business partners.

Running the business

While Dave is busy producing beer, Cyrena is consumed by the business and running the restaurant. She tells us her job is to keep everything from going out of control so Dave can concentrate on making great beers.

She didn't always dream of doing this for a living. She tells us, “running a restaurant and brewery was the furthest away from my mind when I was younger. Running a restaurant is everything people say it is. It's a lot of work.”

Cyrena's pre-beer career involved working at the National History Museum, managing groups of people and creating an enjoyable learning environment. She feels like there's a lot of similarities between that and the restaurant and brewery. [quote align=right]

One of her main roles is to constantly expand the brewery. “Anytime we get more cash flow, we put it right back into buying more equipment just so we can grow the beer production,” she explains. When we brought up the question of expansion she told us “Never say never,” adding “We'll need to find an additional place for a production facility.” They are currently maxed out at their 160 seat location.

Women in craft beer

Cyrena believes the craft beer market is a renaissance for woman consumers. “I think it has to do with the marketing. Budweiser were marketing to men,” she says. Not only on the consumer side, she also expressed her admiration for New Belgium's CEO Kim Jordan and multiple-time, Great American Beer Festival medal winner Teri Fahrendorf. “They are both fascinating women.”

To fight the stereotype of marketing, Cyrena started “Ladies at Ladyface” night at the restaurant and brewery, a group of women she calls ” The Ladyface Women’s Fermentables & Comestibles Education & Tippling Society.” Similar to the Women's Forum, Ting Su runs over at Eagle Rock Brewery in Los Angeles.

[quote2]During Ladies at Ladyface night, beer curious women can come in for a tasting, and learn about different beer styles. Cyrena is on a mission to educate, “when you think about the number of years the beer industry has been in existence in this country, and you’ve only allowed half of your society to enjoy a product.”

Her goal is to reach out to the female community and educate them. “I hear women say 'I don't like beer, but I like your beer.' I think it's just because they've never been exposed to craft beer and they are thinking that most beers out there are bland. Making it not appealing to someone that's interested in complex flavors like a wine drinker.”

Beer education is key

Cyrena and Dave require all their servers and bartenders to be Bar Server Certified Cicerones. She stressed the importance of understanding what you are selling in her Ladyface Ale Companies' business plan. “It's one of my pet peeves, when you would walk into a brewpub and none of the servers would know what they were talking about.” She wants her servers and bartenders to constantly learn about the products they are selling. “Just because they have a certificate on the wall doesn’t mean they should stop learning.”

Brew day with David Griffiths

Check out our video with brewmaster David Griffiths answering some of our inquiries.

Ladyface updates

Besides beers brewed by Dave, you can find guest taps on rotation from breweries like Firestone Walker Brewing Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. You can also purchase Ladyface ales to-go with 64 oz. growler fills. The restaurant launched a new fall/winter menu and the team is planning their 2nd anniversary week celebrations to kick off in January 2012.

Places to find Ladyface Ale Companie beers in Southern California:

  • City Tavern in Culver City
  • Library Alehouse in Santa Monica
  • Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach
  • Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido
  • Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank
  • Mohawk Bend in Echo Park Los Angeles
  • Far Bar in Los Angeles

Video produced by Stan Lee