What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I’m the owner of Miami Creek Brewing Co. [in Drexel, Mo.] My first batch of homebrew was a simple wheat beer, but it turned my opinion of beer upside down and a passion was born. In my younger years, my dad and I brewed a variety of beer and wine. The wine was made from fruit grown on his property. Later in life, my wife and I purchased a 10-acre farm just south of Drexel, Mo. We established a small orchard with peach, apple, and plum trees. We planted blackberries, rhubarb, asparagus, and a variety of vegetables. Additionally, we began selling roasted coffee at the farmers market in Paola, Kansas. We soon had our small farm paid off and started to desire a space that would allow us more room for our hobbies. The property across the street came up for sale and it was a perfect fit. This added 11 acres, a house, and two large outbuildings to our homestead. I began renovation on one of the metal outbuildings and soon after, test batches of beer started filling kegs for friends and family. With the help of our friend Carl, Miami Creek Brewing Co. was born.
What’s new at Miami Creek?
We’re continuing to expand our orchard plantings and are propagating the wild hops discovered on our property. This year will be full of festivals and getting our name out into the public. We hope to pick up a distributor in 2016 as well.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The community itself. Everyone seems to get along and it reminds me of one big family.
Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Isn’t this like asking what your favorite flavor of ice cream is? I’m particularly fond of heavy and full-flavor beer. Imperial IPA paired with cheese and charcuterie is a favorite, along with imperial stout and chocolate cake.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
I enjoy many of the local beers here in Kansas City. Big Rip, Torn Label, and Martin City always have something great on tap. If I had to pick one, it would be Mr. Vacation from Martin City Brewing Company.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
I’ve always had a passion for road trips, whether in an automobile or on a motorcycle.