Hopping into the brewery business

Follow Mindy Mozer on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

A. Sue Weisler

Mary Orth, a new media interactive development major, hopes to open her own bistro and brewery one day.

Mary Orth’s happily-ever-after means running a bistro and brewery in Colorado.

That’s why when the owner of a Rochester microbrewery and restaurant visited her Beers of the World class, the fourth-year new media interactive development major jumped at the opportunity to inquire about co-op possibilities.

John Urlaub, owner of Rohrbach Brewing Co., was impressed with Orth’s résumé. He offered her the job during finals week of winter quarter—even though the company doesn’t have a formal co-op program. She accepted and withdrew from spring quarter classes.

Orth worked in all aspects of the business. She redesigned a sales sheet, produced interactive components for the company’s website, worked on marketing copy, went on sales calls and managed the brewery’s tasting room.

“We knew we had a few projects that we didn’t have time to do and thought she could handle them,” Urlaub says, adding that Orth took the initiative to make the co-op her own. “She has done a great job.”

She had communication and marketing experience from her first co-op at Cornell Cooperative Extension in her hometown of Owego, N.Y. This summer, she worked at Vanguard in Philadelphia for her third co-op.

She’ll graduate next May with nonprofit, small business and corporation experience, which she says will give her a perspective of the options available for full-time work.

“Before I take the leap into opening up my own brewery and restaurant, I got to see how he has done it,” she says. “I’ve learned so much—so much more than what I could learn in classes.”