The man behind the mash tun
I can remember hoarding glass carboys of homebrew in my college apartment thinking, “man, it would be so cool to do this for a living.” I would go to all my classes, daydreaming about the beer fermenting in my closet. Eventually, I would graduate and not use my degree at all – like most people my age. Instead, I started working for free at a small brewery in Chicago so I could learn what it takes to brew professionally. It takes a lot, but because my passion outweighed my desire to sit behind a desk – I soldiered on.
After a while, I was able to learn enough to be an actual brewer at Central Waters in Amherst, WI. When you are willing to live long distance from your wife (then girlfriend) in a small apartment without internet, you know that you love your work. While working at Central Waters I was able to absorb a lot of great brewing and barrel-aging knowledge. Eventually, the long distance became too much and I moved back to Chicago where another great opportunity was waiting for me.
I began working for Lagunitas in 2013 before they even had a brewhouse installed. It was really intimidating setting up a 250 barrel brewhouse, but what I learned in the process was invaluable. Over a span of five years I learned so much I could fill an entire book. It was time to take that knowledge and start using it in my own way.
I met with Mark and David in the summer of 2018 and was immediately drawn to their laid-back approach to beer amidst having a really slick taproom and great reputation for quality brews. They were looking for some outside creativity and experience to elevate their already successful portfolio, and it just so happened I just moved from the city to Downers Grove in need of some change myself. I am extremely excited to get started and work with all these wonderful people. I feel like I am finally where I want to be, and where I want to brew. The beer in my old closet would be proud.