What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the tap room manager at Upslope Brewing Company in Boulder, Colo. (Upslope Brewing Co.). I have always had a strong passion for the craft brewing industry sparked by Charlie Papazian’s book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, that I picked up while in university. After my first batch of homebrew, I immediately knew that brewing was in my future. I attended several beer tastings at the Brickskeller in Washington, D.C. which further fueled the fire. After attending the 2008 GABF, I quit my desk job in D.C., rented a U-Haul, bought a map, and moved out to Boulder.
What’s new at Upslope?
Upslope is such a young brewery that everything is new! We recently started our “Single Batch Series” which allows everyone here to become involved in the recipe formulation process. Nine months ago we had two beers in our lineup, now we have nine beers and that continues to grow. A used wine barrel has allowed us to play around a little with oak aging, which has had great results.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The love. Apart from doing what is my life’s passion, it is great to be around others who also following their dreams. It’s amazing how quickly other breweries are willing to lend a hand to their fellow brewers. I heard about that camaraderie before I joined a brewery and was really impressed to see it firsthand.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Boulder is such a great place for that. My goal is to go backpacking and get my turns in every month for 2010.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Pizza with some spice and an IPA. I am also a big fan of cheese with barleywines and stouts.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
It’s hard to think of something that isn’t craft beer related. After university, I bought a ticket to Spain without any real plans; it took me several days to find a place to live and I am proud that I moved out there knowing very little about what I was getting myself into.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I am on a huge sour kick right now and lambics are my drink of choice. There is something magical about lambics that is hard to describe. In order to fully appreciate a beer like that, you first need to have a profound respect for the time and patience it takes to create.
What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I don’t think I have ever been to a place I would label “exotic” but there is something special about sitting at 14,259 feet on top of Longs Peak enjoying an Upslope IPA.