How did you get involved in brewing as a career instead of just a hobby?
My past is deeply rooted in brewing. As a teenager, I worked in the kitchens of Birkenbeiner Brewery as well as Boundary Bay. I began homebrewing in college because I was too young to buy beer. This sparked a passion for beer, which became an obsession. I graduated from EWU with a BS in biology and decided to continue my education and earned a Brewmaster’s Certification at one of the world’s premier brewing schools; The VLB of Berlin, Germany.
Why did you choose to go to Germany instead of something more local?
I was doing a master’s at Oregon State and hated my program. I decided to withdraw from my program and researched brewing programs around the world. I had been to Germany before and always wanted to go back. The VLB of Berlin afforded me this opportunity and provided me with the best brewing science education available.
What is your favorite beer that you’ve made?
Oddly enough, a German pilsner. I made it before I went to Germany and it was my first lager. It is a lot harder to make lighter beers because the flavors are so much more delicate. But when they are done right they are so delicious.
So what do you like to do when you are not at the brewery?
I just try to get outside as much as possible. I have a HUGE garden that keeps me busy when it’s warmer and when things cool off, I head to the mountain to stay sane.
What is your favorite non-brewing aspect part of the job?
Definitely talking to people. I could talk about beer all day. It just helps when there is someone there to listen to you.
What else do you like about the beer business?
As much hard work as it is and as seriously as the government takes things, everyone in the industry tends to have a lot of fun. I mean it’s beer, it’s supposed to be fun.