Jonathan Martens

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the owner/brewmaster (and by default janitor, handyman, pizza maker, barista, or whatever the day calls for) at Copper State Brewing Co. in Green Bay, Wis. I was a mechanical engineer by trade. We bought the brewery before I ever brewed a single batch of beer because the opportunity came along and we like a challenge. We were flexible with the timing of the previous brewery’s move into their newly built space; in return, their brewmasters gave me an apprenticeship on the brewing equipment, so I learned by doing. My engineer training comes in handy every day because the craft is also a repeatable, science-driven process.

What’s new at Copper State?
I’ve been experimenting with more fruited kettle sours.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
We have a great relationship with all the local craft brewers. We even do a “Locals Only” beer each year where we come together to create, craft, and can the beer for all the thirsty folks in Green Bay. It’s a fun group of brewers and we help each other out all the time.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
After a long brew day, I love my Pomegranate Pucker sour with any of our wood-fired pizzas.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Raising and homeschooling our four kids, often in the brewery. They’re learning a great work ethic and turning into some pretty great and unique human beings.

What’s your favorite beer from another brewery?
Currently I enjoy Raspberry Tart from New Glarus.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I love traveling and camping with my family. I also love long distance running, especially with my kids. So far I can still keep up with them, but probably not for too much longer.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Moab, Utah, while on an epic month-long camping trip right before we opened the brewery. It was a great time to enjoy some beer as we looked forward to our adventure.

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