What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I am a brewer at Societe Brewing Company [in San Diego, Calif.] Like many professional brewers, I got started brewing when my wife bought me a homebrew kit a few years ago. I knew right away that I wanted to brew beer for a living. I trained locally at Manzanita Brewing in Santee and then at Mission Brewery in San Diego. Then, in 2012, I attended the Siebel Institute of Technology, World Brewing Academy. After I graduated, I started working at Societe. I love it.
What’s new at Societe?
We are expanding, adding an additional 160 barrels of fermentation capacity. This expansion will nearly double our current capacity, meaning that I will be brewing a lot more beer. I cannot wait. We are also returning to GABF this year. After missing out last year, we are excited to be back in Denver with the opportunity to share our beer with nearly 50,000 craft beer lovers. It’s always great to see old friends at the festival, where this country’s craft brewers come together to celebrate craft beer in America.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Just that. It’s a community. We are a close-knit family of friends and fellow brewers. We are willing to help each other out, and we recognize that we are all in this thing together. This sense of community is especially noticeable here in San Diego. There are more than 90 breweries in San Diego County, and when the San Diego Brewers Guild gets together for a meeting, there is a true sense of pride in the room about what it means to brew beer in San Diego. We take things seriously when it comes to beer, but we have fun and celebrate as a community, too.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Disc golf with my buddies. Spending time with my beautiful wife. Enjoying all that San Diego has to offer, from the beaches to the amazing craft beer. Basically, I like to relax so that when I am here at the brewery, I am absolutely focused on brewing flat-out great beer.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Probably tri-tip paired with a nice IPA. Probably anything with a nice IPA. San Diego has a lot of nice IPAs, so it’s pretty easy.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
I think my biggest accomplishment would be to hear the heroes in my life—my dad and my brother—say that they are proud of me for where I am in my life today.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Here’s a pretty random list of what I might consider to be my “favorites”: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, PBR, and Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Aruba. Clean, mass-produced pilsners.