What do you do at Rhinegeist?
I am in charge of all draft packaging and specialty one-off kegs; also one of the four-people on the barrel aging team.
Tell me more about these specialty kegs:
We have a system where we can put together really unique beers like a honey and ginger Cougar, or a Juicy Truth, which is Truth with grapefruit and oranges. Juicy Truth is actually my creation and it’s in its 9th incarnation…almost like a cat.
What keeps you busy these days?
The meat of my work is getting kegs filled quickly and efficiently. We also play a few games in Kegland.
Kegland is where we fill all of our kegs. I came up with it sometime ago, put it on a whiteboard and it stuck. We play a lot of games, like Hero of the Week. One week it was Mark, our freight truck driver. He caught a robber trying to steal stuff from the brewery. He tracked him down, put him in a headlock and then called the cops, total hero that week.
What’s a kickass beer you’ve had lately?
I’m pretty intrigued by our Penguin (Blonde Stout). There are a lot of remarkable things about it especially its light appearance, medium-heavy body and coffee and cacao. Watching it become a reality was so awesome because collaborations (this was with Three Weavers Brewing Company out of LA) are always so distinctive.
What did you have for breakfast?
Two pieces of toast, half a bowl of oats, a hash brown patty and a cup of French pressed coffee.
Woh, that’s the real deal. You must be a big breakfast guy…
Most important meal of the day. Three meals a day, always, and I’m a big snacker—huge fan of pretzels and Goldfish are definitely a runner up. While I’m at it do you know Cheddar Rockets?
I don’t, unfortunately.
Oh man! They’re from Trader Joe's and they’re like a Goldfish only if Goldfish went to heaven and became a delicious rocket ship. Also, mini off-brand frozen Oreo cookie sandwiches, shouts again to Trader Joe's.
Who is your favorite person on the team?
Luke. Everyone knows I love Luke. He was the only person at the brewery the first day I started, which was December 2nd, 2013, and I had to get in through the fire escape.
That was your first day?
And I’ve been doing it ever since…But seriously, I was his apprentice, like in Star Wars, and not much has changed. I’ve learned so much from him and we also work together on the barrel aging. The only thing different is that I go through the front door now— I guess they trust me enough to give me keys.
What do you sing in the shower?
Another thing people probably don’t know about me is that I’ll drop a few lines in the shower. It’s the perfect place to freestyle.
What do you do when you’re not 'Geisting?
I’m a long time skateboarder, a comic book creator —drawer and writer— and I’m always looking to further my beer education.
An ox. So my ancestors allegedly drove ox carts in England years ago. Ox’s aren’t always the fastest but have great endurance and stamina, and hopefully more intelligence than other animals. They’ve also got horns so you know what happens when you mess with the ox.
If you were a Rhinegeist beer what would you be?
Equinox! Because it’s the first beer I brewed on the brew deck and it’s made with Equinox hops. It’s got my name in it! I worked on the beer every step of the way from brewing it, to bottling and kegging. Seeing it from recipe to going out the door was a really special process.
Piece of apparel you wear the most?
It was my blue work shirt and now it’s going to be this beautiful Carhartt stitched team jacket that Luis came up with. If I was allowed to pick two it’d be followed by my 5 panel hat.
Where does the beauty of the brewery lie for you?
Well, the first time I walked in the door, I drank the kool-aid and fell in love with all the beers and the quality was completely outstanding. I was only in town for a wedding but I noticed how much they cared about the place. The level of quality has always been paramount here and the people are such high quality, certainly a key word. Rhinegeist is a wonderful mix of history to state of the art brewing progression.
What’s the best part of your personality?
I’d like to say my sense of humor, but if I was being really honest I’d say it is resilience. We’re never as funny as we want to be but I try…
What’s something about you most people don’t know?
At my last job I got 5 FEMA certifications, that’s including emergency earthquake response. I also have an advanced homebrewing certificate and was former zoo train driver.
Oh yeah, I wore aviators everyday. It was in Santa Barbara when I was a senior at UCSB.
So what was your favorite zoo animal?
Crooked-neck giraffe. People would always ask ‘why is its neck crooked, is it healthy?’ And I’d say, ‘You betcha, just a little mutation.’
So what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found on a keg?
Pepperoni —and I hate pepperoni pizza.