What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m one of the co-founders of Topa Topa Brewing Co. in Ventura, Calif. I do a little bit of everything but generally focus on sales/marketing/management duties. I got started in the craft brewing industry when my business partner(s) and I decided we’d had enough of our old jobs and wanted to create something. Topa Topa was the result of a collective desire to make something great and build a community around it.
What’s new at Topa Topa?
We are a toddler brewery (just over three years old) so every day there seems to be something new. We recently opened our third taproom in Ojai, Calif. and are also building a larger production facility. New people, new beers, new equipment, new ideas—it’s an amazing time.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
This is the best industry in the world. Creativity, teamwork, community, hard work—these are all tenants that make being part of the craft beer community great. Oh, and beer. That stuff is pretty good too!
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
I was lucky enough to get some fresh halibut from a buddy who went fishing in Alaska recently and had that fresh off the grill paired with our Flatlands Saison. It was pretty amazing!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Living each day to its fullest with a smile!
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Firestone Walker Pivo Pils.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I love the outdoors. I spend my time away from the brewery surfing, body-surfing, hiking, and sailing. I also love to cook at home on Sundays (usually my one full day off!).
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
This past year I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Belgium. We drank rauchbier in Bamberg and then sampled the best sours in the world in Belgium. Running into friends from the States in Belgium made me realize how closely tied together the craft community is. It was an amazing trip.