Todd Ashman

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

I’m the operations manager at FiftyFifty Brewing Co. [in Truckee, Calif.] I’m consulting remotely at the moment. There is so much going on in our industry and so many new players, it is hard to remain focused! I got started homebrewing, as I was part of the Sonoma County Beerocrats way back when. Byron Burch was a great inspiration along with Paddy Giffen, Grant Johnson, and others. Brewing fulfills my need to create and be creative.

What’s new at FiftyFifty?

We’re growing. We have new faces in the brewing staff, new beers in development…all very exciting stuff!

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

2015 was a rather difficult year for me and I was unable to work from May 1 due to medical issues. The folks at FiftyFifty helped, and there were incredible donations to my fundraising campaign. Many stepped up out of principle and others paid it forward. I was taken aback by their generosity.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Raspberry fudge brownie and a rich imperial stout. Heaven!

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

I’ve been a pyrotechnic display operator, as well as a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force. I worked on B-52Ds with engines on them older than I was!

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

Lagers and German-style kellerbier.

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

Brussels and the Zenne Valley in Belgium. I’ve been so fortunate to visit Cantillon, Belle-Vue, and Drei Fonteinen. Of course I love Germany as well…Dusseldorf, K ln, Munich. The area that surrounds Bamberg, Frankish Switzerland, is to die for! So many great breweries to discover.

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

My pursuit of brewing knowledge is never ending. I love to research. I also love to visit beautiful places and learn all that I can with the time that I have been given on this earth!

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