The bar/restaurant industry has always appealed to me and most of the jobs I had held since being legal age to work, were in bars and restaurants. I had developed a love for cooking food at a young age and I envisioned my career path potentially becoming something like an executive chef or a restauranteur. The ability to make a decent living by possibly creating a business, or crafting products literally with my own two hands seemed more and more attractive as time went on. Those eventually became goals I set for myself and I was determined to reach them.
I ended up getting a job at Breakwater Brewing Co in Oceanside, CA in my early 20's, working my way through the kitchen and into management. During that process I had began homebrewing beer with my dad in our spare time. I was familiar with the general gist of making beer, especially being that I regularly had the ability to watch the company's brewers when I was working, but by no means did I actually know what I was doing. Constantly I bugged the brewers with all sorts of beer related questions, and it became apparent that I was more than just curious, I was hooked. The passion I had for cooking food had quickly transitioned into passion for making beer. I ended up winning bronze medal at a homebrewer contest for a Scotch Ale just a few months after my first homebrew, which still blows my mind to this day. Breakwater's brew team was small and didn't need additional staffing at the time, but I offered to help in the brewery on days/nights/weekends after finishing work in the restaurant, in exchange for continuing my knowledge on the brewing process. It was then, working side by side with the head brewer that I really developed my skills with his help and guidance. To this day he remains one of my closest and dearest friends, and I owe him everything for taking me under his wing.
Several years later an opportunity opened up for me at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido CA and the allure of becoming a paid, full time brewer was too good to pass up. I started out as a Brewery Worker, next as a Cellerperson, and then officially as a Brewer. After working there for quite some time and feeling confident in my abilities, my girlfriend and I moved to Nashville TN. Living and working in San Diego was great, but surviving paycheck to paycheck because of the high cost of living there, was not, and ultimately was the final straw. Over the last few years since relocating, I've worked at both Southern Grist Brewing Company and Tailgate Brewery; both places have their own distinct identities and niches, and as a whole, really solid teams/staff/beer. However, my personal goal of holding the title "head brewer/ brew master" was the next step in my professional career. So when I heard Huckleberry Brewing Co was looking for just that, it was as if the stars aligned and I gladly accepted the position.
Brewing at a place like Huckleberry keeps my passion lit for many reasons. Being that our draft lines are fed directly from the Brite tanks means that the customer gets to enjoy the freshest and least disturbed version of that beer or beverage every single time they walk through the door, which always puts a smile on my face. It's also the kind of establishment where you can bring both your family, or your friends, so no one ever feels out of place. An added bonus in being a smaller brewpub, is I have the ability to get good feedback from the local community that supports us. I want to make great beer for myself to drink of course, but even more so I want to make great beer for them. When a customer makes a suggestion or proposes an idea, I listen....and when a customer tells me I did a great job, nothing feels more rewarding as a brewer. Ultimately, it's the people that drive me to make the best beer that I can.