What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am one of four owners in a small 1.5-barrel brewery [Craft Brewing Company in Lake Elsinore, Calif.]. The three partners and I have been part of the same brew club for many years. We all seem to just jive well. So we started helping each other out with projects, etc. That turned into some family and friends sitting around after a barbecue one night. It was brought up that we could do something small and fun: take our love for the hobby and turn it into something we could share with a larger audience. Approximately eight months later Craft Brewing Company was born. We have been open since March 20, so we are very new. Things are going well and the feedback from the public is very positive.
What’s new at Craft Brewing Company?
We have a signature series of beers that we keep on tap and then bring on a seasonal or two. Our summer beer is a very easy drinking German style hefe. It seems to be doing very well with our customers.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
I would say the camaraderie between all the small breweries. It’s nice to see how willing others are to share their experiences and how interested in yours they are. There is competition in the industry, but it’s done with such respect for each other.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I spend what little time away with my family, but when I am not with them I am riding motorcycles, SCUBA diving, or shooting paper targets.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
With some of the partners being avid barbecuers, I have grown to love good smoked meat and a nice porter. There is just nothing better.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
My family. I have been very fortunate to have an understanding and supporting family. I have received nothing but support from my wife and parents.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
When it comes to vacations or trips, I spend my time researching and finding the local breweries. The most memorable to me was a trip we took about three years back to Yellowstone National Park. In West Yellowstone was Wolf Pack Brewing Company. They are about three blocks from the west park entrance. They had some really good beers and the bartenders were great to chat with. They loved to hear about the homebrews that had been done and all the crazy stuff that went with it. It was a very nice way to end a day of hiking.