What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m officially listed as president [of Mustang Brewing Co. in Mustang, Okla.], but I could more accurately be called keg washer, warehouse clerk, bookkeeper, driver, etc. We are a small company and the staff is pretty lean at this time. My wife, Carmen, along with my cousin, Shane, handle 99 percent of the daily duties.
My dad is a homebrewer and taught me. My wife and I had wanted to be involved in the brewing industry for some time. With all the growth Oklahoma City has seen over the past few years—particularly with the revitalization of downtown and the national attention of an NBA team—now seemed like the perfect time to start a craft brewing company. We started Mustang by contracting our recipes out to some highly respected craft breweries in Missouri and Wisconsin. We served our first beer in July 2009 and it’s been crazy ever since. We are extremely humbled by the growth we’ve seen and the support by craft beer drinkers across Oklahoma.
What’s new at Mustang?
We started the company with a three-phased plan. Phase one was to contract out our recipes and test the market. That has gone extremely well. Phase two was to lease a building and transition some of the brewing in-house. On February 18, we announced that we had found a location. We are finalizing the paperwork in March and will then start filing for permits, acquiring equipment, etc. Phase three will be to build our own facility. That is projected to occur some time over the next three to five years
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
It’s a great time for beer in Oklahoma. More and more, people are rallying around the idea of “drinking local.” Choc Beer Company (the oldest craft brewery in Oklahoma) won a gold medal at the GABF last year for their Signature Belgian-Style Dubbel. In 2009, four new craft brewing companies opened across the state. All the craft brewers in Oklahoma know each other and are glad to lend a hand when needed. There is a healthy competitive spirit, but definitely an underlying feeling of camaraderie.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
At this stage in the game, there is no time “away” from the brewery. We are constantly promoting the company, thinking of new ideas or what needs to be done next. When we are not running the business, we’re busy being parents. There really isn’t a lot of free time. Some day—hopefully soon—I’ll pick up a fishing rod again, but I won’t be planning a trip any time soon.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
The great thing about beer is that it goes with almost anything. However, I’m a pretty simple guy. Give me a beer, an Angus burger, some good friends and family, and I couldn’t get much happier.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I am blessed to be a father and a husband of the two best kids and wife a guy could ever want. I try to take some time at the end of each day to reflect on what I have and what I could do better, then pray for the strength to do it all again. Life’s been pretty good to me so far. I certainly can’t complain.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
The only beer I have had other than a Mustang since July 2009 is Choc’s Signature Belgian-Style Dubbel. It was a great and inspiring beer. It would be pretty hard to turn one down if it was offered again.
What’s the most exotic travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
I spent a week in Spain with two of my younger brothers sampling beer up and down the Mediterranean coast. From what I remember, we had a great time.