What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am co-owner and responsible for operations, food service, and accounting at Sweet Mullets Brewing Co. in Oconomowoc, Wis. After retiring from my position as senior engineer in NASA’s manned space program, I was traveling the country in my RV and was asked by my business partner to join him as an assistant brewer during a busy time at his previous employ in order to allow him to focus on brewing tasks. Subsequently, while on sabbatical, we purchased a brewery in Texas, had it shipped to Wisconsin, and found our current home.
What’s new at Sweet Mullets?
Everything! Sweet Mullets Brewing Co. has only been open for business for six months and we have had our federal brewer’s permit four months. We are constantly offering new beer selections and pairing our fresh, baked, and steamed small plate fare with the beer menu.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I am extremely impressed with the level of cooperation, support, and collaboration within the Wisconsin brewing community. There is a large number of fabulous brewmasters in this state and they often lend a hand to new breweries to help them get started or in everyday operations.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Hike, bike, climb, and kayak. I love being outdoors enjoying the many state and national parks and wildlife areas. I also enjoy fishing, reading a good book, or riding one of my motorcycles.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Pepper-seared ahi tuni with our Sweet Mullets Jorge Jalapeño Ale.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I authored the Operational Concept for NASA’s Constellation Program (Lunar/Mars Program). This involved coordination of inputs from engineers representing all 10 NASA centers. I baselined this document and led the development of the Program-level lunar requirements that were approved at NASA’s first System Readiness Review since the 1970s when the shuttle program was created.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I enjoy many of the exotic creations of Scott Manning at Madison’s Vintage Brewing Co. and always enjoy the Blonde Doppelbock produced by Kirby Nelson at Capital Brewing located in Middleton, Wis. just outside Madison.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I had a terrific doppelbock in the Andechs Monastery near Munich, Germany. The climb and view was tremendous, only to be matched by the rich flavor of the beer.