CJ Novack

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I’m a packaging technician with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. In late 2016, my wife was offered a position at the Milton brewery as a production buyer and, having been major fans of the brewery for over a decade, it was a no brainer. I resigned my IT position of 12 years and we moved to Milton, Del. I was able to secure a seasonal position in packaging a couple of months after my wife started and was subsequently hired full time a few months later.

What’s new at Dogfish Head?

In 2017 we dramatically increased our tank capacity as we have bumped production up with us moving distribution into 43 states. We also added an R&D brewery at the Milton location, which allows for new and experimental brews. Just recently, we added a state-of-the-art kitchen that will allow us to create new and interesting beer infused and inspired cuisine. Also significant was the demolition of our original brewpub located in Rehoboth Beach and the construction and opening of Brewing and Eats 2.0.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

The camaraderie. My wife and I love visiting craft breweries and have made it to 106 and counting. Every time we go, we alert the brewery before we arrive and always make sure to bring beer gifts from Dogfish. The greeting and reciprocity make it feel like a small family in a way. We all have similar interests and goals and the collaboration that can blossom from that is amazing.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Pairing our SeaQuench Ale with a solid fish taco is unmatched in my opinion. The lime and sea salt flavors pair so well with many different foods.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

My marriage. We have a 15th wedding anniversary coming up and proposing to my wife was by far the best decision I ever made.

What’s your favorite beer from another brewery?

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is definitely a go-to when available.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

My wife and I are infatuated with Portland, Maine. The beer scene is booming there. Maine is a very inward-focused state and the beer scene reflects that greatly. There is great pride in using Maine-only ingredients and all of the breweries seem completely open to helping each other out with no questions asked.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

When we’re not doing beer-related things, we love hanging at the beach and pretty much anything that is outdoors.

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