What’s your current position at your brewery and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the brewmaster and restaurant manager at Fort Street Brewery in Lincoln Park, Mich. I’ve wanted to own my own brewery since brewpubs were first legalized in Michigan in 1993. I attended the Siebel Institute of Technology and started as an assistant brewer at Boyne River Brewing Co. in Boyne City, Mich. in 1996.
What’s new at Fort Street?
We just celebrated our sixth birthday, which we feel is quite a feat given the rough shape of the local economy.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The people! I love the passion of my fellow brewers and the passion that consumers are increasingly feeling for what we make.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I don’t have much time away from the brewery, but my favorite activity is definitely kayaking.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
It’s hard to pick a favorite! Lately I’ve really gotten into smoking foods, and one of my favorites is a smoked pork loin, cut into chops with an apple glaze. It pairs wonderfully with a beer I make called Snowplowed, which is a caramelly and nutty ale made with juniper berries.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
It’s really hard to name one favorite beer. It changes depending on my mood and the occasion. But most frequently I mention La Roja by Jolly Pumpkin as my favorite. So complex, and yet so quaffable!
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
So many great places to drink beer! Every year that my wife and I attend the CBC, I’ll say that is my favorite beer city. But I think both of us most look forward to going to Madison, Wis. every year for Great Taste of the Midwest. It’s like the greatest hits of beers from the Great Lakes area!