What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am head brewer/president [at SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria, N.Y.]. Like many others in craft brewing, I was a longtime homebrewer. As my abilities for homebrewing increased through countless batches, my satisfaction with my then-profession (advertising) coincidentally lessened greatly. It eventually got to the point that I quit. Not knowing exactly what shape this direction might take, I started taking some of my homebrew samples to local breweries to gauge their reaction and perhaps steer me. It led to a job offer! I went from an executive to the guy who cleans kegs.
What’s new at SingleCut?
Since we’ve only been open for eight months, every day brings something new. We’re beginning to introduce a few sour beers alongside the predominantly hoppy ales and lagers we produce. Our third barrel-aged brew should also be ready within the next month (aged in 20-year-old rum barrels sourced directly from Jamaica).
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Living in an environment where you’re encouraged and rewarded for being creative and innovative.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Because we’re still in “startup” mode, time away from the brewery is scarce. But music will always be a big part of my life, so continuing to play with my band is a mainstay regardless of how busy I tend to be. Our brewery is named for a solid body guitar style that I’ve played for much of my life.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I don’t think it gets any better than my mom’s 100-percent homemade pizza and IPA.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Meeting and marrying my wife, Lynne.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Heady Topper still fascinates me every time I drink it.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Antwerp, Belgium. We discovered a great pub/jazz club and had the most enjoyable afternoon/evening there.