Chris McCombs

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’ve been head brewer at Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. since 2018. I got my start in craft brewing by homebrewing and reading every book I could get my hands on. In 1996 I got my first commercial brewing job at Kettlehouse Brewing Co. in Missoula, Mont. and have been working in the industry ever since.

What’s new at Coopersmith’s?
We’re coming up with some new recipes such as our Key Lime Pucker and Blackberry Milkshake Pale Ale, as well as staying true to our English-style roots with Punjabi Pale and Cask ESB. We’re also working with Old Elk Distillery on some bourbon-barrel aged stouts. In the future, we’re looking to brew some low ABV beers.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Camaraderie and innovation both stand out as the best parts of the craft brewing community. I can count on my fellow brewers to answer the call for help when troubleshooting a problem, or even picking up a spare bag of grain when we’re short. New beer styles and processes also keep me interested and excited for what the future of craft holds for us.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Fish tacos and our Lemon Rye Hefeweizen. The spiciness and citrus of the tacos are complemented quite nicely by the phenolic esters and tangy rye of this beer.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Being a husband and dad.

What’s your favorite beer from another brewery?
So many excellent beers to choose from, but if I had to pick it would be Westmalle Tripel.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Getting outside with my wife and son, biking, hiking, or paddle boarding. Also playing guitar, riding mountain bikes, cooking, and pickling.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Belgium, for its huge variety of beautiful beers.

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