What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the brewer at Cisco Brewers [in Nantucket, Mass]. Sixteen years ago I experienced Bavarian beer culture in the beer gardens of Munich and wanted to see that family-oriented beer culture in America. I immediately taught myself to brew at home and a couple years later was brewing professionally as my “college job” while studying physics, food, and wine.
What’s new at Cisco Brewers?
We just released a new beer from our “Woods” series, Pechish Woods. It’s light, bright, tart, wheaty, and peachy, 100-percent oak barrel fermented for 18 months and finished with 1 metric ton of local peaches for nine months. Non-beer drinkers and beer geeks alike love the stuff, and it’s a great summer refresher at 4.5-percent abv. We just installed a Cool-Fit ABS glycol system that the hardware geek in me loves, and a new wastewater system.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I love being a part of a burgeoning movement that embraces history while innovating and looking to the future.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I spend a massive amount of time in the kitchen cooking, especially Indian food. Lately a lot of Mexican too, inspired by a stellar bottle of single village Mezcal I picked up in San Francisco at the CBC. Non-brewing exercise is critical to my mental health. Swimming, biking, and running around on the beach help keep me semi-sane.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
I have two favorites: A fresh Belgian wit with spicy Indian coconut curries, and the sharp salty zip of a ripe blue cheese balanced by the red fruit and acidity of a Kriek.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
This question ought to read, “If you are a parent, admit as much here.” How can I answer anything other than my perfect one-year-old daughter? She amazes and inspires me daily.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Favorite is impossible. Anything that is well crafted, that first sip of something new. New flavors unite neurons that have never connected before; these are new thoughts! This industry will always provide these new thoughts through inspired brewers creating new and exciting fermentations.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Sharing a 30-year-old bottle of Gueuze at Cantillon with Tomme Arthur and Jean Van Roy. Needless to say the Gueuze was singular, but enjoying and discussing it with others who share a common passion and craft was an amazing experience.