What’s your current position at your brewpub, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am an owner and “director of fermentation” of Haymarket Pub and Brewery [in Chicago.] I got started in 1994 when I walked into the Flying Dog brewpub in Aspen, Colo. with no knowledge of craft beer. I was blown away by the dry-hopped pale and was instantly hooked on good beer. I was planning on staying a week in Aspen and ended up spending three years there! For the love of beer!
What’s new at Haymarket?
Since we opened, we’ve run an all-scratch kitchen including handmade sausages, pastrami, corned beef, etc. We are now beginning to dry-cure our own meats and sausages! I’m looking forward to our first house-made charcuterie board.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The camaraderie. Everyone is willing to help each other out, share knowledge, and work together to make this the coolest and most successful industry around.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I love traveling with my wife to other beery places, trying new beers, meeting new beery people. And golfing and baseball. With my wife.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Our Mathias Imperial IPA with our Riot sandwich—house-made Italian sausage patty and provolone cheese topped with house smoked pulled pork and giardiniera on a brioche bun.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Honestly, getting my brewpub open and having it be successful was the most difficult thing I have ever done. But if it must be unrelated, I would say—with the amount of beer I drank—graduating college!
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Tough question. I have always been a sucker for Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, but most influential would be Rogue Shakespeare. Love that beer.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Drie Fonteinen in Beersel, Belgium. Armand gave me a personal tour and we drank kriek out of the tank. Pretty awesome.