What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am co-brewmaster and co-owner/founder of Draught Works [in Missoula, Mont.] along with my partner Paul Marshall. I was born and raised in Miles City, Mont. where my parents started and owned Montana's third craft brewery, Milestown Brewing Company in 1992. All of our family vacations revolved around visiting and touring many of North America’s newly emerging craft breweries. My father gave me my first homebrewing kit for my 21st birthday, and the brewing began. After graduating from the University of Montana in 2005, I worked in the oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska to save money (I called it my brewery school financial aid) to attend the Siebel Institute. I attended courses in Chicago as well as at Doemens Academy of Munich, Germany. I worked for Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe for about five years and learned an incredible amount. After a couple years of production experience, my current partner and I began to really get serious about the business plan and financing for our brewery in Missoula. On October 7, 2011, Draught Works opened its doors!
What’s new at Draught Works?
Having been open for seven months now...everything! We currently have five flagship/mainstays and just released our second seasonal. We serve cask ale from our beer engine every Wednesday. We recently completed an addition to our patio so we now have 1,600 square feet of outside seating (can't wait for summer!).
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I really enjoy the camaraderie amongst other breweries and brewers. Being the new guys on the block in Missoula, we've really been accepted with open arms by the other local breweries and many have become quick friends.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
My wife and I enjoy hiking and spending time with our close friends and family. I recently started whitewater kayaking.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Scepter Head IPA and Cambozola cheese.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Being happily married to my wife Renee.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Firestone Walker Union Jack.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I was very blown away by the beer culture and tradition of both Cologne and Dusseldorf. I thought the beers of both locations were incredible and was very interested by the history.