What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I suppose I am the brewmaster—I run the brewery (Mother’s Brewing Co. in Springfield, Mo.). I decided I wanted to make beer in Maine at college while running a pub. This was the early 90s when breweries were popping up everywhere in Maine. After school, I moved to Portland, Ore. to try and make inroads, but my break came back in New England at Boston Beer Works. I worked at Beer Works for seven years, then brewed in Wisconsin for eight years. I followed my wife down to Missouri for her career, and luckily met Jeff Schrag. A year later, we are brewing beer at Mother’s.
What’s new at Mother’s?
We just released Old School Oktoberfest, and we had our Oktoberfest in the Ozarks party on October 15. Our bottling line is up and running, and bottles have just hit stores. We are adding a dedicated whirlpool, increasing our fermentation capacity, putting in a bulk malt system, adding more automation to our bottling line, and starting a cask system. We are also experimenting with several new beers.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The people in the industry are very passionate, have a wide variety of interests, and are almost always willing to help with advice or actions.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
When I have time I like to play ultimate Frisbee, or hit the links and play some golf. Beyond that, I like to hang with my wife and two kids.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I make a Kolsch-brined grilled turkey breast that is rock solid with either the same Kölschbier or a nice crisp Pilsner. Both the beer and the turkey go especially well with grilled asparagus or roasted sunchokes.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I gutted and renovated a kitchen and bathroom and did a good enough job that my house in Wisconsin sold in six hours in the midst of this poor housing market. Not totally unrelated to the job, for one night only, I rocked the House of Blues Cambridge.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Sierra Nevada Celebration. I have walked many times through the cold Wisconsin winter nights for a pint or two of Celebration.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I was in Budapest prior to the Iron Curtain coming down. My memories are: the city was beautiful, there were lots of soldiers with machine guns on the streets, and while the beer wasn’t wonderful, it was served through a garden hose and was very cheap. I would love to go back and sample the beers and see the city today.