What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m co-founder and head brewer of Flat 12 Bierwerks [in Indianapolis, Ind.] I was a fanatical homebrewer for 15 years. I began a journey about four years ago of visiting brewers in the Midwest region, especially Michigan where I grew up, talking to them, learning from their successes and what they would have done differently, and putting my plans together. The brewers were incredibly candid and open, so I feel like I had a clear view of what was ahead. I’m very grateful.
What’s new at Flat 12?
We just got another 40-bbl fermenter installed, which is exciting to me. And we’re distributing to a growing number of draft accounts, which our fans like. Also for our fans, we’ve embarked on a schedule of adding at least one new specialty within a minimum of two weeks. We’re going to share and sell those at our taproom and take some of them to a wider market.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Great beer. That’s an easy answer, but I think about it like this: even on my worst day here at the brewery, I still love what I’m doing—brewing beer. And I think other brewers feel that way and people who come in as customers feed off of that energy.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I try to get away at least once a week for a tennis match. Music is a love. And I have a fine arts educational background, so I still enjoy painting on those rare occasions that I’m not in my rubber boots.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
That’s a tough one. I love food. I love beer. But, I’ll drink a porter with anything.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
The friends I’ve made. Even that is somewhat related, I think. This brewery has been a dream for so long that I’ve incorporated it into so many of the other things I do.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Bell’s Porter or Founders Breakfast Stout.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Tampa. The beers at Cigar City Brewing are some of the most unique that I’ve ever had.