What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
My current position can be described as head brewer [at Mother Road Brewing Co. in Flagstaff, Ariz]. I much prefer Head Yeast Whisperer, though. My first entrance in to the world of craft beer came from homebrewing. I still have a strong connection to that history, as well as the local homebrewing scene. The progression into professional brewing was made easier by volunteering at the local brewpub. UC Davis really prepared me to operate a brewery.
What’s new at Mother Road?
The newest part of the brewery is the brewery! We are in our second month of operation, and everything is still very new (both to us and our customers). I am brewing on a 15-barrel system and some nano batches on a pilot system, so we have new beers on tap almost every other week.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing industry?
The people involved in the craft beer world make it such a wonderful place to be. Everybody from the sales people and customers to the brewers and owners are really a rich, diverse group who all have a common vision and drive—to see more craft beer.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
In what little free time I do get, I enjoy spending it with my family, biking, and gardening.
What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?
An aggressive IPA and homemade tamales. The alcohol and hop bitterness really cut through the spice. The hops play with the tomato and corn so well. A perfect meal on a cold winter night.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Aside from the brewery, my daughter is really my biggest single achievement. I’m more and more proud of her every day.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I am completely enamored with Brewery de Ranke’s Cuvee. On a more domestic note, I have really been enjoying Snow Day from New Belgium.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
The most memorable beer destination has been Munich (in the summer, not for Oktoberfest). Munich has an incredible selection of beers that still have active influences on what the craft brewing community produces. Not many places in the world have affected the history of beer as much as southern Germany.