What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the public affairs officer at Beer Army [in New Bern, N.C.], which basically means I’m the marketing guy among many other things. I graduated from NC State University with a major in Communication: Media and was hired straight out of college as a television producer for WCTI-12 in New Bern. I stuck with it for about a year until finding the Beer Army. I decided the beer industry seemed to party a little harder than television, so I jumped on board the Beer Army train!
What’s new at Beer Army?
We’re working on getting our first line of 22 oz. bomber bottles out to the public and are adding a canning line, just in time for summer! We are also looking forward to the 2014 Brew Bern Beer Festival in New Bern, N.C. on June 28. Beer Army puts on the festival for about 3,000 people, with more than 60 breweries and 180 different beers!
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The craft beer community here in North Carolina is like one big family! We see each other throughout the year at festivals and craft beer events and it’s always a friendly handshake. Each brewery genuinely cares how the next is doing, which makes the entire craft beer community better as a whole and helps promote North Carolina craft beer!
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I am the head coach of the New Bern High School JV baseball team, which takes up all of the other “free time” I would normally have. Helping young kids grow up and learn the game of baseball is one of the most rewarding hobbies I can think of.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Grilled cheese with any beer. Seriously, I love cheese.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
When I was seven years old I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Battling diabetes hasn’t been easy, but overcoming all the hardships that come with it has made me a better person. More importantly it has taught me that no matter what life throws at you, it could always be worse…so smile, laugh, and enjoy every minute.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I’m a double IPA fan. I love high gravity beers with a hop profile that will kick your teeth in. We are working on producing a DIPA or imperial IPA soon.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I am a huge Boston Red Sox fan and finally made the trip to Fenway Park in June 2012. My father and I stumbled into Boston Beer Works and had a few pints that they brewed onsite. I’m not sure if it was the beer that I enjoyed or the view of Fenway while drinking the beer! Either way, it was an awesome experience and one that will stick with me as long as I live.