For Carol Stoudt, making high-quality beer is simply "cooking with some science."
Stoudt, the first female brewmaster in the U.S., oversees what many beer enthusiasts would consider a beer theme park in the bucolic setting of Adamstown, Pa., about an hour from Philadelphia.
Stoudt's Brewing Company's sprawling complex includes an indoor antique mall, a beer garden, a bakery, a restaurant and a pub. Looming above it all is the tiny faux-European pre-fab village of Stoudtburg with a cobblestone-laden square, forests and storefront homes.
Though she started her career as a teacher, Stoudt and her husband, Ed, were always passionate about their German heritage and beer. After her children were grown, Stoudt took classes in brewing and "learned by doing."
The couple's brewery opened in 1987, and it is now a family-run enterprise. At least three of their children and a son-in-law are involved in the business.
Stoudt frequently travels to Germany and Belgium for business, which gives her time to read. This summer, her books picks range from light travel fare to tried-and-true classics.