What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
Currently my position at Grist Brewing Company [in Highlands Ranch, Colo.] is, well, I don’t know. As my business card says, founder’and occasionally I still get to brew. I think that sums it up. I do a lot of the sales, marketing, packaging, cat herding, etc. I still love brewing and cellaring but I also love to talk to the people that put our beer on tap or on the shelves or drink it in the tap room and get their honest feedback about our beer compared to other beer on the market.
What’s new at Grist Brewing?
We just launched our first bottle release, Grist Berliner Weisse. We have received a lot of positive feedback on the flavor and aroma. I’d like to take credit for it, but really? C’mon, it’s a Berliner Weisse. We all know if it weren’t for a couple trillion properly taken care of bacteria followed by a couple trillion happy yeast cells, the flavor and aroma wouldn’t be there on that beer. We’ve also released our Staple English IPA in bottles. We are adding a small bottling line in September and likely a small canning line at the beginning of 2015.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The best part about the craft brewing community is just that, the community. I’ve worked in other industries (semiconductor and chemical industries) where there was little to no camaraderie and certainly no technical discussions with folks from competing companies. The craft community is great. We all talk about recipes and processes, share ideas, collaborate, and we all benefit from each other’s knowledge. It truly is a community.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I enjoy running the trails around my house and playing soccer. Some of our regulars at the tap room picked me up on their soccer team so I’ve been having a lot of fun pretending to be an agile youth again. And my kids are never afraid to let me know what I did wrong on the field.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Jalape o and bacon on a New York style pizza with a Belgian Strong. That’s umami at its finest. The spicy-salty from the pizza works great with the residual sweetness and ester of a good Belgian.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Probably my Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Now I just use my science knowledge when I want.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Elevation Beer Company’s Senorita. All the great flavors of horchata on a porter backbone. That’s an excellent beer.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Rio De Janeiro. I’m not going to say the beer was my favorite. No. What was really memorable was that I traveled all the way to Rio and had a beer named ‘Colorado.’ It was an IPA made by a brewery in Sao Paulo. It was just funny having a beer on Copacabana Beach named after the state where I live and yet there is no beer in America named after the greatest craft brewing state.