Joe Kesteloot

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I am head brewmaster [at Peace Tree Brewing Co. in Knoxville, Iowa]. I homebrewed for three years, then went to school at the American Brewers Guild, did my apprenticeship in Chicago, and brewed in Minnesota for five years before coming to Peace Tree, where I’ve been for three years now.

What’s new at Peace Tree?

We just added three 40-bbl fermenters, bringing capacity to 280 bbls, and recently started a barrel-aging program doing a wide range of experimental beers.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

Meeting all the interesting brewers, owners, and beer enthusiasts. I’m always learning something new; it’s a never-ending learning process that I enjoy.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

Spend time with my family entertaining as a circus sideshow. We do an age-old high wire act that has been passed down from generation to generation.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

My favorite combinations are beer and dessert pairings. I enjoy a good brownie with a stout or porter.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Raising my two boys Joey (11) and Raymond (5) and finding a wife willing to put up with me.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

Cantillon Iris or anything barrel-aged from Eric Sorensen at Rock Bottom Des Moines.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

Chicago, for the first Craft Brewers Conference as Peace Tree Brewing Co.

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