Matt Gacioch

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

In late April I wrapped up my Craft Beer Program internship at the Brewers Association. I got my start in the wide (and widening) world of craft beer as the Sustainability Intern at Left Hand Brewing Co. in Longmont, Colo.

What’s new at the Brewers Association?

The first quarter of the year is exciting with the planning of the Craft Brewers Conference, American Craft Beer Week (May 16-22), and SAVOR. Now that we have had a successful CBC, we’re looking forward to ensuring nationwide participation in ACBW and preparing for the first SAVOR event to span two nights!

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

For me, the fact that we call it a “community” rather than an “industry” speaks volumes to the reasons we love being a part of it. In this community, we find support, common ground, and general mirth among fun-loving individuals who are following their passions. Additionally, to be around a group receptive to sustainability improvement suggestions is encouraging and inspiring for myself as a newbie in the “real world.”

What do you do in your free time?

As an avid backpacker, marathoner, and traveler I like to maintain locomotion. I find it’s easier to experience more of the world when I’m up and out of my apartment. Of course, part of that exploration is the continual investigation of regionally and locally esoteric beer. I also like to spend my time reading, shooting pool, and preparing/enjoying delicious food.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

I feel like I should say being a husband and father, but the trouble is that I don’t fill either of those roles as of yet. So, I suppose one of my biggest actual accomplishments has been my ability to follow my passions professionally, geographically, and personally.

What’s your favorite beer?

Very difficult question to answer since the perfect beer is that which pairs perfectly with the mood I’m in, the weather outside, the season it is, the food I’m eating, the people I’m with, the music I’m listening to, etc.

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

I’m not sure if it counts as a travel destination since I used to live there, but now going back to visit Ann Arbor, Mich. is absolutely one of my favorite places in the country for craft beer. I love the local brewers like Arbor Brewing Co., Jolly Pumpkin, and Grizzly Peak and it is wonderful to have other Michigan brews available like Bell’s, Shorts, and Founders. Ashley’s on State Street is my craft beer nirvana.

What’s next for you after the Brewers Association?

I am going to be spending the majority of the next year abroad, but on my return I plan on reentering the craft beer world and developing myself as a resource and authority on sustainability. My ultimate vision is for this community to become worldwide examples of a business model that can work and be wildly successful because of (not in spite of) responsible practices. With the strides that have already been made, I see nothing but potential for the craft beer community to distinguish itself as a leader in environmental and social responsibility.

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