PALMER – High up on a plain white wall, the skinny hand of a clock ticked away the seconds, counting down the moments competitors had left to enter their creations.
When the time came, the door was shut to the dark and stormy night outside and a small group of 12 judges were assigned to stations around the room. Surrounding them were tables full of cookies, pies, breads, muffins, cakes, fudge, and cupcakes — sometimes dozens of each kind.
At 9:41 p.m., the first bite was taken. Everything would need to be tasted before they could all go home.
How a hobby changed a life
Published on MakeItMissoula.com
See the full story and additional photos by clicking here.
People often find solace in alcohol. For Martha Gergasko, a good beer was the key to her salvation.
Just three years ago everything seemed to be coming together for her. Gergasko had graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in biology. She had a job in Billings as a resident technical assistant and planned to make contacts with Zoo Montana. Her dream to work as a zookeeper was becoming a reality.
Then the mash soured.
Gergasko has a phobia of driving and a condition of her job was driving large vans from office to office. In the middle of a behind-the-wheel-instruction course, she had a panic attack and could not continue. She notified her employer she could not take the position.
“So I moved home, dream crushed,” Gergasko said.
Home is where the brew is
Gergasko’s kitchen features a kegerator and other home brewing equipment.
Her father, Mike Gergasko, had begun home brewing beer at their family home in Santa Fe, N.M. while Martha was attending college.
When Martha returned home from Billings, Mike asked her to help with the latest batch to cheer her up. As they worked on a brew, she said her inner mad scientist kicked in and she was hooked.