What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am head brewer/creative director at Figueroa Mountain’s four breweries in California. I got my start in 2009 at Heavy Seas Beer in Baltimore, Md. (my home). It was a great start to my career.
What’s new at Figueroa Mountain?
A significant expansion at our production facility [in Buellton, Calif.]. We added a 60-bbl BrauKon brewhouse along with a new packaging hall and several tanks/hard piping lines.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
It is just that: community! It’s amazing to see our craft beer community lend a hand when times are tough. I truly feel it is one of the only industries where your competition is your ally. We have so much to learn from one another.
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Wow, this is tough. Buttered pretzel and Helles lager…cheese and IPA…pizza and Vienna lager…I give up!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Graduating from college during a pretty hard time in my life.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Augustiner-Bräu Edelstoff. No doubt.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Germany and Austria. There is a different feeling about the beer there. The history is rich and great beer is an effortless thing. I love visiting any time I can.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I love going to the beach, hiking, cooking, kayaking, making sourdough, checking out other breweries, and hitting the road. I have wanderlust big time.