A Tribute To A Mentor & Friend

JoAnne Goss Market Cross Pub

It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since my very first craft beer. My first ‘good beer’ experiences happened at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA where they serve a wide selection of international beers as well as craft beers from all over the U.S. While I worked there, I learned a great deal about the process of making beer as well as becoming knowledgeable about the many craft beer styles. A big part of my job was educating our patrons and helping them to select something they would enjoy. To really know what to suggest, I had to know what the beers tasted like for myself – from hefeweizens, kolschs to pale ales, IPAs, stouts, bocks lambics and more! This began my quest to explore every style from east to west coast…”

It’s been the start of my bio here on StoutsandStilettos.com since I began craft beer writing in 2014 – 2.5 years ago. My introduction to the craft beer world being at Market Cross Pub.

Market Cross Pub & Brewery
Photo Courtesy: Market Cross Pub & Brewery

Ironically, my very first post as a full-fledged member of the team was about a beer and ice cream pairing event held at Market Cross Pub & Brewery featuring Deschutes brew and ice cream made by Twin Kiss Creamery with Deschutes beer in it. Beer and Ice Cream? Yum! No one around here was doing pairing events like that. Still one of my favs to this day. But I digress.

Ice Cream & Beer Pairing Event at Market Cross Pub

Working at Market Cross Pub was a pivoting point in my life.
One of those fateful experiences that shapes the rest of your future and guides you down a destined path. I started working there about a week after they opened the doors for business in 1994. You see. I had just moved in two doors down from The Pub in an apartment with my future husband, Derek. He had just graduated college and was starting a computer programming career with a company in Mechanicsburg. And, I was still attending college for a Fine Arts degree at Shippensburg University. Carlisle, PA was the mid-point for both of our travels. While carrying moving boxes to our new place, I saw a “help wanted” sign in the window of The Pub. I went in, filled out an application and was hired on the spot. Little did I know that day was the start of my journey in craft beer.

The Pub is where I first learned that beer wasn’t just Budweiser, Coors Lite and Lager.
Yeah. I know Yuengling Lager is considered craft beer now. Back then it wasn’t. It’s what all the locals drank if you wanted just a little more flavor than the “yellow” beers. What I discovered waitressing at a beer-focused restaurant/bar was that there was all sorts of types and flavors to explore. My new findings ignited a drive in me to know everything I could about the delicious beverage. I have owners Jeff and JoAnne Goss to thank for that. They created a place that was like no other in the area. Pretty much if you wanted fantastic beer, you went to Klingers (no longer open) or Market Cross Pub. If you wanted an experience like Cheers where everyone knows your name and felt like home, you went to Market Cross Pub. If you wanted to work with people who became life-long friends and had your back, you worked at Market Cross Pub. Heck! Many of the original supporting customers are life-long friends of mine. It is just that kind of special place.

Lots of fond memories there.
It’s the place where I celebrated my 21st birthday – if I remember correctly it was steamed mussels, their famous crab dip, NY style cheesecake and a bottle of Lindemans Framboise poured into that super fancy flute glass with gold rim. I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth!

It’s also the place where my bachelorette party was thrown by fellow waitress and friend, Connie with JoAnne’s help. Food, drinks, friends and good fun! There definitely was a male stripper involved. Ha ha ha. I still remember the girls telling me to “just put the $1 bills in his waistband” and me shouting back “but he’s soooooo oily!” I’m not a fan of oiled up, cologne drenched, male strippers, – plus I’m somewhat of a germaphobe – but the gals meant well.

JoAnne attended my wedding reception along with my fellow co-workers to share my special day. Her and her husband Jeff had generously supplied a keg of Blue Moon for our wedding gift since we weren’t able to have an open bar at the reception (an open bar just wasn’t in the budget). Blue Moon was my go-to brew at the time. Back when Blue Moon WAS considered craft beer… I mean a “microbrewery.” When did we switch from saying “microbrewery” to “craft brewery anyway?” I don’t even know. But it was quite some time ago!

JoAnne Goss 1996
That’s me in the wedding gown (pre-back tattoo) and JoAnne to my right.

Employee Christmas parties were held in her beautiful home where we were pampered with food, brews and appreciation for the hard work that we all did to make The Pub a success.

I looked up to JoAnne as a strong female figure in the craft beer and brewpub industry.
She juggled a busy workload of being a wife, mother, business owner and Pub Mom to all of her employees… even to some of the patrons! That’s why it hit me particularly hard on Monday when I learned of her passing. Although, I only worked at The Pub for 3 years during college, Derek and I popped in regularly as customers in the years to follow. If she was working or enjoying a brew at the bar when we stopped by, she would always give me a big hug.

I will always remember her strength, tenacity, giving spirit and deep caring for others. Oh. And, the laughter. The big smile and infectious laughter. Traits she most definitely passed down to her daughter Ashleigh Goss Corby who is both lovely inside and out. Ash has been actively running the Market Cross Pub for a few years now and I’ve had the pleasure to work with her through Harrisburg Beer Week. It’s hard to believe that little girl that I used to make Shirley Temples for at the bar while her Mom did the weekly Sunday office work is now a grown up woman taking on the family business while juggling the roles of Mom and wife – just as her mother did all those years. To these two ladies I raise a glass in “Cheers!” Both great inspiration for us craft beer ladies. I hope that someday when I’m gone that folks will look back and say, “There’s a woman that helped shape and propel the local craft beer scene!” #CraftBeerGirlsRule

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

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