Ryan Joy

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

I am the lead brewer at City Star Brewing [in Berthoud, Colo.] I started in the craft brewing industry three years ago. After many years of homebrewing, I began volunteering at City Star by shadowing on brew days and cleaning kegs. As things continued to get busier at City Star, I slowly took over all of the day-to-day production operations. It’s been a great experience.

What’s new at City Star?

Our recent Great American Beer Festival bronze medal win for Night Watchman Stout was very exciting. In addition, we are working on a building expansion that will allow us to grow our barrel program. It will also include more tasting room space and a large outdoor beer garden. Nothing is better than drinking a good beer outside in Colorado!

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

There are so many things, including the continued experimentation, collaboration, and camaraderie. Along with the great people within the industry, the reward that comes from seeing people drink and love our beer makes all of the hard work worth it.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

I love cheese, so pairing it with beer is one of my favorites. Just like beer, there are so many different kinds of cheese and a great pairing can be made with any style of beer from Pilsner to IPA to stout.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Earning my Master’s degree in business was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. Continued learning in all aspects of my life is very important to me.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

There are so many great beers out there, it is hard to just choose one. One beer that never disappoints is The Maharaja Imperial IPA from Avery Brewing Company.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

Spend time with my fianc e, Nikki, and my dog, Lady Mai, along with our friends and family. I am an avid hiker and being in the mountains truly makes me happy.

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

Traveling to the Dominican Republic was such a great experience. While there is virtually no craft beer in the country, sharing a Presidente over a game of dominos in a corner bar with people you don’t know or speak the same language as is a testament to how easy it is to communicate in ways other than speech. That was very memorable for me.

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