What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the brewmaster at Beaver Island Brewing Company [in St. Cloud, Minn.]. I started homebrewing in the late 80s. In 1996, frustrated with my job, I inquired at a startup brewpub about a possible assistant brewer position and was lucky enough to land the job. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to lead brewer. Twenty-one years later, with a few more breweries under my belt, I’m still loving every minute of it.
What’s new at Beaver Island?
At three years old, we are finally in a good rhythm. We opened a new production facility in June 2017 as a complement to our taproom/brewery at our original location. We are now canning and rolling out some fun barrel-aged product.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The community itself is awesome. I really enjoy the sharing of knowledge and getting together with other brewers to share a pint or two.
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Rauch beer and smoked pork shank.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I am also a part-time musician/songwriter. Sharing my songs with an audience is a great joy.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Fresh Schlenkerla at the brewery in Bamberg with the beers of our sister city brewery (in Spalt, Germany) a close second.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Spalt or Bamberg, Germany. They are so passionate about their beers, and the Old World setting makes a beautiful place to enjoy a beer. The food is great also.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Play music. My sons are also getting into it now, which makes me really proud.