What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am the brewmaster and co-founder of Funkwerks [a saison-only brewery in Fort Collins, Colo]. Like most homebrewers, I dreamed of starting my own brewery. When my saison won a gold medal in the National Homebrew Competition in 2007, I decided to seriously pursue that dream.
What’s new at Funkwerks?
What’s not? In the last year Funkwerks has grown from a vague inkling of an idea, between my business partner Brad Lincoln and me, to a nanobrewery and now to a microbrewery. We’ve just moved in to a 5,000-square-foot brewery that’s formerly the home of Fort Collins Brewery and we will have our 15-barrel system online in a couple months.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The best part is the people. Everyone is in this industry for the right reasons and will go out of their way to help each other to grow the craft beer industry. We’ve gotten so much help from the local brewing community. It’s great to be a part of that.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I spent the previous 14 years as a titanium bicycle frame builder at Moots in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Needless to say, I am an avid cyclist. Fort Collins has a lot of great road and mountain biking close by.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Carbonnade Flamande [Flemish beef stew] with a Belgian oud bruin.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Not crying when I go to the dentist, or when the TTB rejects our label.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
That’s tough, just one? I had The Bruery’s Oude Tart at CBC in Chicago and it blew me away. I really like Boulevard’s Saison Brett, a very well balanced brett beer. New Belgium’s Eric’s Ale has been my recent go-to beer locally. Oh yeah, Russian River Consecration, big fan.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
My girlfriend and I bike toured through France and Belgium in 2004 and visited De Dolle Brouwers near Esen, Belgium on our way to Bruges. We drank beer in their tasting room with a group of local cyclists that were out for a Saturday bike ride to the brewery and two very inebriated Spanish beer importers. We never did make it to Bruges.