What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the hoptologist, brewmaster, founder, and co-owner at Knee Deep Brewing Company [in Auburn, Calif.]. I got my start in the craft brewing industry in 2010 when I founded Knee Deep out of my garage in Reno, Nev. We’ve moved to an 18,000-square-foot production facility in Auburn.
What’s new at Knee Deep?
We are working on a new line of barrel-aged beers as well as developing new ways to create excellent beers by blending our humulus lupulus friends together. We are also adding more 120 bbl tanks and a new KHS filler to be installed this summer.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Enjoying and sharing our craft beers with others. Craft beer has such a positive effect on our community and we love being part of that. What other products out there bring so many people together in positive ways?
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
I’m going to have to say our Tanilla (vanilla bean porter) slow cooked with pork roast with added vanilla beans, brown sugar, red onions, and garlic. The slow cooked pork is served on a Hawaiian sweet roll with Swiss cheese. Need I say more?
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Being the first person in my family to not only attend college, but graduate with two degrees. I lived in a hotel for over a year in Reno while attending the University of Nevada. I had everything working against me, but I never gave up.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Russian River Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder. These two beers inspired me many years ago. I was sitting in a craft beer tavern in San Ramon, Calif. with my dad drinking Blind Pig while he was enjoying Pliny the Elder. My dad said, ‘Do you know why these beers are so good?” He went on to tell me that when the glass is empty, it still smells full. I now always evaluate IPAs by smelling the empty glass.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
San Diego, hands down. Love the fact that I can try so many amazing beers from some of the most talented brewers in the country in one place. Nothing beats fresh, hoppy craft beer.