Head Brewer Matt McCowan

Matt McCowan

Head Brewer

Matt McCowan is the head brewer and oversees the day-to-day processes of our Downers Grove brewery. This includes running the brewhouse, barrel-aging, cellar management, and overall development of Alter’s beers (present and future). Matt also considers himself a janitor of sorts, and spends much of his time cleaning the brewhouse and fixing equipment. The rest of his time is spent researching latest industry trends and collecting copious amounts of data. Brewing is all about taking notes.

Matt most recently spent five years with Lagunitas Brewing Company as a lead brewer, helping start their Chicago production facility as well as other brew-pubs across the nation. This is where Matt developed the skills to run a large brewhouse, pumping out at least 1,000,000 barrels in his tenure. Before Lagunitas, he spent time as a brewer with Central Waters in Amherst, Wisconsin. He picked up a lot of his barrel-aging chops during his time and brings that experience to Alter’s repertoire.

When not brewing beer, Matt spends much of his time with his wife Carla and his two baby boys – Ben and Beau. Before children, Matt enjoyed long-distance running, playing guitar, and camping. With children, he enjoys watching Sesame Street while enjoying the thought of sleeping, long-distance running, playing guitar, and camping. He still is able to find time to spin a few records from his acclaimed collection of vinyl while drinking his favorite cocktail – a margarita.

Brew Team

“Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.”

– Unknown sailor

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Alter Careers Info

Downers Grove

2300 Wisconsin Ave • Downers Grove, IL 60515
Mon-Thu 3-10 • Fri + Sat 12-11 • Sun 12-7

Get Directions  •  (630) 541-9558  •  Full Details

Oak Brook

1170 22nd St. • Oak Brook, IL 60523
MSun-Thu 11-11 • Fri + Sat 11-1

Get Directions  •  (630) 819-8411  •  Full Details


St. Charles

12 S. First St • St. Charles, IL 60174
Mon-Thu 4-11 • Fri+Sat 11-12 • Sun 11-11

Get Directions  •  (331) 901-5949  •  Full Details