What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
As is typical with small, growing companies, I wear 100 hats [at Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, N.C.] The best way to describe my day-to-day responsibilities is that I’m working on the company’s future, while my business partner concentrates more on the day-to-day aspects of sales, logistics, and events. I moved to Asheville full-time in fall 2012 for my dream job at the time—developing affordable housing. Over the course of several nights of craft beer pints with my college roommate, Chris Frosaker, we both decided it was time to start our own business, as we had always talked about. So when a local brewery was selling its old equipment, we didn’t have to think twice. Good friends, homebrewers, and avid fans of craft beer, we jumped on the opportunity and Hi-Wire Brewing was born.
What’s new at Hi-Wire?
Hi-Wire’s been growing like crazy since we started selling our beer in June 2013. We produced 1,850 barrels in our first year, and will be on pace for 6,000 to 7,000 barrels by the end of 2014. We’re really excited about our new Ringmaster’s Reserve series of barrel-aged and other off-the-wall brews.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The people and the beer. While it’s certainly a competitive landscape, amongst each other there’s really no sense of animosity or disdain. Everyone knows how to play nice in the sandbox. And if I’ve had a bad day? Well, the beer’s always good!
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I really enjoy watching soccer, which I often do at our tasting room’s Saturday Morning English Breakfasts. OK, so that doesn’t really count, since I’m not quite away from the brewery for it. Aside from that, when I have the time, I love mountain biking when it’s warm, skiing when it’s cold, playing ultimate frisbee, as well as reading and traveling.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Pizza and our Hi-Wire Lager. Keep it simple.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
That’s hard to answer, as starting a craft brewery was probably the biggest thing I’ve ever accomplished.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Probably CBC in Denver. There are just so many breweries making really top notch products out there. Plus we visited just about all of them in three days, which made it even more memorable (or maybe less memorable…I don’t exactly recall).