Chris McCombs has been named the new chair of the Brewers Association’s (BA) Engineering Subcommittee. Former chair, Brandon Smith, led the effort to form the subcommittee and will continue to serve as a member, but is excited to hand over the reins for Chris to build on his foundation. Chris’s experience in production and as head brewer at a brewpub, will ensure that the subcommittee continues to focus on the needs of all BA members.
Chris McCombs is the head brewer for Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing, located in Fort Collins, Colo. With over 22 years of experience in the craft brewing industry, he has worked as cellar operations and plant engineer at New Belgium Brewing, and brewer at both Red Rock Brewing and KettleHouse Brewing Co. Chris was the lead on numerous capacity and process improvement projects for New Belgium. He has also helped develop several award-winning brews, judged at the Great American Beer Festival, and presented at the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference. When he’s not brewing, Chris enjoys mountain biking, visiting local breweries, playing guitar, and hanging out with his wife Nora and son Danny.
“Craft breweries present unique engineering challenges, which require careful planning and execution,” said McCombs.
“It is my goal as chair of the Brewers Association’s Engineering subcommittee to work closely with other subcommittee members and BA membership to produce practical engineering guidance for daily issues and long-term goals.” – Chris McCombs
Three additional members have also joined the subcommittee recently. Chris Labbe, owner and head brewer at Periodic Brewing; Kyle Moore, brewery engineer at MadTree Brewing; and Eric Ritchson, facilities manager at Pizza Port Brewing Company have all agreed to volunteer their time and expertise to the subcommittee.
The Engineering Subcommittee has published guidance on the design and construction of brewery labs, presented at the Craft Brewers Conference on site selection, and are active on the new Engineering thread on the BA forum. With Chris as the new chair and the contributions of three new members, expect to see more from the BA’s newest technical subcommittee in the future.