What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am in charge of brewing operations for Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse [in Berkeley, Calif.] as well as Drake’s Brewing Company [in San Leandro, Calif.]. Like most brewers, my love of great beer drove me to start brewing at home. From there things snowballed, and after finally realizing that dispatching bike messengers was not my calling in life, I enrolled at the Siebel Institute in the summer of ’97. I haven’t looked back since.
What’s new at your brewery?
All kinds of things. Triple Rock is having its 25th anniversary in March, so we’ve been inviting many past brewers to come back and brew again. We also have some barrel-aged and sour beers on the horizon. At Drake’s we are expanding fermentation capacity at an alarming rate as we are gearing up to brew more and more beer. In addition to our regular lineup, we have a bunch of barrel-aged beers we will be releasing starting in 2011. It is an exciting time to be a part of the big wave that is craft beer.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Camaraderie. It’s nice to see all the brewers and brewery owners all geared toward one overall goal: success. At the end of the day we all can sit down with each other and talk openly about how we can achieve that, whether about how to brew a certain beer, where to source certain raw materials or anything else. It is really refreshing that we are so adamant about our finished product that goes into consumers’ hands.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
My wife is a beer lover too and most our vacations revolve around beer and breweries. When we’re not at other breweries, I like to (try and) play golf, watch Seinfeld reruns, visit the coast, bike rides, camping, etc.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
A nice Imperial stout and a dark chocolate.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Being the best dad I can possibly be to my wife and my two cats. But seriously, my life revolves around beer and work so much (in a good way) that I can’t think of anything else right now!
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Way too many to name. It would be impossible to narrow it down to any one beer. I do, however, order anything from an establishment that has a beer from Marin Brewing or Russian River. So, not one beer, but two great breweries and tons of great beer.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
The last few trips to Belgium we have had the great opportunity to make it out to West Flanders and drink some of De Struise’s great beer. The last time was at their relatively new place at the old school grounds. When we walked in, the guys from Alvinne were hanging out. We sat there for quite awhile and drank great beer after great beer. Two days later we did the same thing with Kris Herteleer from De Dolle. We didn’t want to ever leave.