James’ role of cellarman requires diligence over fermentation, transfers, packaging of quality control. On any given day, he can be seen taking readings, cleaning tanks, scrubbing floors, or tweaking the canning line. Sometimes, all in one day. Although much of the time in the cellar is spent on cleaning, organization, and data collection, James finds time to be curious and creative. Sometimes that means experimenting with new ingredients in our pilot program. Other times, it’s developing new procedures, processes, and equipment.
James worked in the banking world for 13 years. He left his position as AVP/Branch Manager in February of 2016. Having worked as a part-time bartender at Alter Brewing Company since it opened, James was asked to join Alter as a full-time employee. From there he tackled operations, marketing, sales, and distribution while managing the bar at night and festivals on the weekends. As new employees came on, James’ focus narrowed on directing sales and representing the brand. In late 2018, he joined the production team where he had always envisioned himself. In addition to his work in the cellar, James enjoys helping in the taproom and events. He is a Certified Cicerone® and teaches Business of Craft Beer at the College of DuPage.
James spent his childhood in Georgia before moving back to Illinois. Now, he is a happy resident of Wheaton and “enjoying” homeownership. Outside of work, James tries to spend his time reading sci-fi novels, going to new restaurants, and sipping whiskey at dimly lit bars. In actuality, he spends most of it feeding a toddler and singing songs from Frozen. He loves to cook almost every meal and experiment with home fermentations. But, James’ omnivorous appetite extends beyond the kitchen. He is a voracious reader with an affection for science and nature.
“Milk is for babies. When you grow up, you have to drink beer.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger