What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the co-founder and brewmaster of Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. in St. Louis. I started my brewing career as apprentice of a small brewery in my Bavarian hometown. It was a great way to get started—I learned everything from operating a malt house to running a bottle filler.
What’s new at Urban Chestnut?
We just opened our doors several months ago so everything is pretty much still very new. We have brewed about a dozen different beers and it’s great to finally see people enjoying themselves in our tasting room.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
To me, the camaraderie is what is so great about the craft brewing community. If I ever need anything, I call up one of the brewers at the other local breweries and help is on its way shortly.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy cooking, photography, and traveling (although I haven’t had much time away in the last few months).
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Weisswurst with sweet Bavarian mustard, brezen (pretzels), and hefeweizen.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I am very proud of my role as father to my two children, Katie and Lukas. I hope that my passion for brewing and the decision to start my own business inspires them to follow their passion in their lives.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Despite having grown up in Bavaria, I have to pick a Belgian beer: Orval. To me this is the perfect beer—very sessionable, but it also has extremely complex flavors and aromas and it is amazing how these flavors develop over time.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Visits to Bamberg are always very memorable. Being able to sample the local Rauchbier at the various breweries is a great way to experience the city and the local beer culture.