Kevin Kozak

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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 brewer at Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, N.C. I got started in brewing eight years ago at Capitol City Brewing Company in Arlington, Va. I took a job cleaning kegs for them after graduating with my Political Science degree. I had plans for law school, but they were thrown out pretty quickly after I started brewing. I took to it instantly and still enjoy coming to work every day.

What’s new at Front Street?

We always have some fun seasonals coming out and we also do an oak-aged project. We also recently hosted a homebrew competition that included many of the local churches in the area. The winning entry will be brewed here at FSB.

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

The camaraderie. I’ve met so many great people over the years who truly believe in what we’re trying to accomplish. Being a brewer also means I get to do a lot of great things. A lot of the travel to beer festivals and conferences is an added plus as well.

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

I love to cook and enjoy fishing or hanging out at the beach.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

I make a nice Belgian beef carbonnade that uses a bottle of Ommegang Three Philosophers in the stew. I usually pair it with any of the Ommegang beers to keep it in the family.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Finishing the Virginia Tough Mudder with my buddy Tommy at the Wintergreen resort in Virginia with a 50-pound rucksack on my back. Painful, but it was great to cross that finish line with him.

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

I’m a big fan of so many beers, but anything Sierra Nevada produces is always a great beer. They helped start it all, so I have to give credit where credit is due. Without them we might not be where we are today.

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

Although I lived in D.C. for five years, I still love to go back to sample the abundance of great beer being produced there. It’s a great beer town. I also spent eight days in Portugal and got to sample some of their lesser-known beers, which was a nice surprise. The wine was great too!

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