What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the head brewer at Eagle Rock Brewery in Los Angeles, Calif. I started helping out here in January 2010 doing volunteer tasks such as shoveling spent grain and cleaning kegs. In 2011, I attended the American Brewers Guild brewing program and was fortunate to land a full-time job at ERB.
What’s new at Eagle Rock?
The beardless brewhouse staff. In support of the Movember foundation that promotes men’s health initiatives, we collected donations with the promise that our staff would put their beards and ‘staches on the chopping block. In other news, we doubled production in 2012 and we’re looking forward to reaching capacity in the coming year. The past year was exciting in that we began bottling our flagship brands as well as expanding distribution to the California Central Coast down to San Diego. We also released a few new beers including Unionist (a Belgian pale ale), Imperialist (a double IPA), and Umlaut (a Kölsch).
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Beer has been bringing people together for millennia and it’s awesome to be part of that continuum. No matter where you are in the world, you see people enjoying beer. Perhaps the best part of all is introducing new people to craft beer.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I just got back into golf. Golf is a very humbling game but it’s incredibly addictive! I also like to cook and make new dishes. Recently I’ve been dabbling in bread baking.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I enjoy a porter with a well-prepared steak. A tripel with moules frites is also pretty good.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I have backpacked across Europe a couple times. My first trip in 2007 inspired me to make the jump from financial analyst to a career in brewing.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I’ve been drinking a lot of Daytime IPA from Lagunitas as of late. It’s pretty impressive how much juicy, tropical hop flavor and aroma they managed to pack into a beer that is only 4.65 percent ABV. My favorite beer of all time is still Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Prague, Czech Republic. It’s really tough to beat the flavor and aroma of fresh Pilsner Urquell or Budvar.