What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m currently back in the brewery [Brugge Brasserie in Indianapolis], which is great fun. As an owner/brewer, my time can get chewed up pretty quickly outside of the brewhouse. It’s always a blast to create and innovate. I began at the Broad Ripple Brewpub, which is two blocks from Brugge. John Hill gave me a fantastic opportunity to learn the craft.
What’s new at Brugge Brasserie?
We are in the process of moving our production facility in Terre Haute, Ind. to Indy. With my time being of importance and factoring in my less-than-impressive organizational skills, I really need the brasserie and the production brewery in the same city. When we do get it moved, we are putting another pub on the front. It will not be a Brugge Brasserie. I am well into the beer/food thing and honestly have been a little disappointed at some dinners I’ve been to recently. There is a relationship that goes far deeper than “pairings.” We are teaming up with a very good friend, Greg Hardesty, to explore this relationship. Greg is one of the best chefs in the region and owns Recess here in Indy. The two of us are going to work together from the foundation to build an experience of food and beer. The beer won’t be paired with the dish; it will be part of it.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
We love travel and eating. Our children are also very intrigued by this. I’m big on soccer, love bird-watching, and can often be spotted playing disc golf.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Best I’ve ever had was Torchon with macerated Spider figs, duck terrine, chocolate, sea salt, and blackberry moustarda paired with Brugge Spider (a sour/wild ale). Granted it was my beer, but this thing was AWESOME!
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I played as a goalkeeper in two international soccer matches in 1999 in the Caribbean Nations Cup, but my marriage and children probably trump that. I have been blessed with a fantastic family—maybe not as much of an accomplishment as a gift.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
My career has taken me from Indy to Seattle to Hong Kong to the Turks & Caicos to Taiwan to Sichuan, China and back to Indy with lots of leisure travel in between. So I have an entire catalogue of interesting destinations where I have had a beer or two. The most memorable might be impossible for me to answer. Maybe I’m most fond of an evening in Cheng Du, China outside of a brewery we were building from the ground up. Many of the workers had come in from the countryside and just “camped” onsite so to speak. I took my per-diem and bought several racks of pretty average lager, and the crew and I got to understand each other and our cultures a little bit better.