What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the owner and brewer of JailHouse Brewing Company in Hampton, Ga. We are one of only four production breweries in the state (not including contract brewers) and are happy to be a part of a budding industry here in Georgia. We built our brewery in the old city jail of Hampton and believe in small-town character. I started in craft brewing without prior experience in professional brewing but I am a graduate of the American Brewers Guild apprenticeship program. I spent five weeks at Yazoo Brewing Co. in Nashville learning production brewing under Linus Hall and his great staff of brewers. Of course no brewer would be here without extensive homebrewing experience and influence. To me beer is an extension of cooking and my wife and I spend much time in the kitchen exploring flavors and pairings.
What’s new at JailHouse?
We are working hard to get our three year-round beers (Slammer Wheat, Mugshot IPA and Breakout Stout) into bottles as well as a fourth beer called Misdemeanor Ale. I’m also working on some interesting seasonal releases to be available later this year.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The community itself is such a close knit group from my perspective so far. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help each other out and to promote craft beer as a whole. It’s as if we are all one big brewery learning and exploring the possibilities together. It is what attracted me to the industry in the first place and I hope it stays this way.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
You mean there is time away from the brewery? As I mentioned before I spend time with my wife Melissa exploring the culinary world. When time is quiet you can’t beat a good book but with a 15-month-old son there isn’t too much of that so I happily give him all my spare time. I keep thinking I might like to fish but that remains to be seen.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I don’t know about favorite but I love dill pickles and IPA. It is such an interesting combination that you would never consider. It’s also a great way to get people to explore IPAs if they aren’t already a fan.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Well, all the beer we make to this point falls into the American style category so I would say saison. I love the style and I love the history behind it. It is in the plan to produce a saison next year.
What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Fiji, but I don’t recall the brand. It was pretty good though.