What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m currently the taproom manager and marketing/communications coordinator at Iowa Brewing Company [in Cedar Rapids]. This is the third brewery I’ve had the pleasure of working for and at each one I’ve been able to work my way up to get more involved. I worked as a cashier at Binny’s Beverage Depot in Chicago and befriended the beer buyer. I got a glimpse of the beer industry there and ever since I’ve done my best to learn as much as I can at every position along the way: cashier, server, bartender, shift manager, taproom manager, event coordinator, sales rep, and now at my current positions. Mixed in there I’ve been able to write a few articles for CraftBeer.com.
What’s new at Iowa Brewing?
We opened our doors on May 4 so everything is relatively new. Our beer garden opened in early July so we’re trying to prepare ourselves for the assumed number of cyclists that will be stopping by. The taproom is located right on the bike path and there’s something about cyclists and beer that intertwine quite nicely so we expect the addition to be a huge hit.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I share the same sentiments as many others when I say that the best parts of the industry are the others within the community. No other industry out there is so helpful to one another and want to collaborate to spread the branches across states and regions. Can you imagine if Pepsi and Coke or Pizza Hut and Papa John’s combined forces and showed as much camaraderie?
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
The best pairing I’ve had was a Belgian dubbel with an oatmeal raisin cookie. Dessert pairings are usually dominated with lambics and chocolate stouts, but the first time I had these two side by side it was something wonderful.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Quitting my corporate desk job and moving to Chicago with my college friend without any kind of job set up. We were both still young and had no attachments, and we were bored with our current positions so we thought ‘it’s now or never.’
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Stone Xocoveza. Delicious at any time of the day. I introduced this beer to a buddy of mine and we would go to stores and buy them out of it.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I may be physically away but I’m never truly completely disconnected. However, I do enjoy watching any kind of ball game, writing, running, and biking.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
New Glarus Brewing with my girlfriend. The atmosphere was picturesque, basically something out of a Disney cartoon. I half expected a deer to approach us and eat out of my hand.