What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am co-owner and the business side of Roc Brewing Co., LLC [in Rochester, N.Y.]. I got involved in the craft beer industry thanks to my mother and business partner, Patty. Jon Mervine and I were sitting around her house one weekend and she offered to buy us a homebrew kit and we went wild from there. Two-and-a-half years later, we were opening the door to Roc Brewing.
What’s new at Roc Brewing?
The biggest news at the brewery is our connection to the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream® program. It is so exciting to be a part of their “experienceship” program and work with them to improve and build our company. We are also working hard to launch new beers and are working with a local coffee roaster, Joe Bean, to create our coffee IPA.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The community itself. I love the way everyone works together to improve and build the industry. GABF was life-changing, because of everyone coming together to promote and enjoy the culture. I have always loved the social aspect of beer making. It brings people together in a way that few other things in this world can.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Spend time with friends and family. I like to take time to relax and enjoy the people in my life who make the business successful. If I am not at the brewery or out selling, I like to enjoy the world around me.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I love a great pale ale and s’mores. I bring some out at the bar at the brewery every so often and they never last more than a minute. The mix of sweets and beer just pairs so well to me. It makes for fun, great taste, and something to talk about.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to brewing?
Finishing college at RIT with my BA and MBA in five years. It was such an achievement to be able to finish school and see all my hard work pay off.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I would say my favorite beer at this point is Southern Tier Pale Ale, but it is always changing, really depending on the time of year. Sam Adams Octoberfest is always a seasonal favorite.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
The Great American Beer Festival in Denver was just an amazing experience, with the local beer culture and the festival itself. It was just amazing to wander around trying some of the great local beers and then going back to the festival and trying other great beers.