General Manager/Executive Chef, The Appleton Beer Factory
When Leah Fogle’s husband suggested they open a brewery she thought it was a pipe dream. She also thought cooking wasn’t a legitimate career skill. The dream came true when The Appleton Beer Factory opened its doors in 2013 with Leah as the executive chef.
Leah’s first college experience came right after high school when she enrolled at U.W. Fox Valley as a Political Science and Economics major. Motherhood interrupted that plan. Later she found work in sales and marketing for a senior living facility.
“I always had a passion for cooking,” she said. “My maternal grandmother was a huge inspiration.” Leah cooked for fun and did some catering out of her home.
At 40, she met Jeff Fogle who dreamed of owning a brewery. “I didn’t take it seriously,” she recalled. After the couple married, plans for the brewery moved closer to reality. Leah quit her job and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Fox Valley Technical College.
“I finished in five semesters and really dug in, taking part in all the volunteer activities,” Leah said. “As a peer advisor in Student Services, I got to know the culinary instructors better.”
She appreciated the accessibility to her instructors and found them very approachable.
“Fox Valley Tech was an absolutely superior experience,” she stated. “It gives you all the tools you need to be successful.”
A career in the culinary arts is not for the faint of heart. Leah describes it as challenging, exciting and stressful, but rewarding.
“The payback of having people love my food is extraordinary,” she concluded.