All about the ben
- Majored in Biology while focusing on the microbiology of the Scolytid Beetle Trypodendron rufitarsis and its associated fungal endosymbiont Ambrosiella ferruginea which takes its name from Ambrosia, the “Fruit of the Gods”.
- Majored in plant molecular ecology or ‘sex between plants’. Using PCR and Restriction Enzymes to determine gene flow via fingerprinting in a population of plants, these methods were used to find if a single most fit, siring viable offspring, male existed.
YEAST, MICROBIOLOGY, FERMENTATION AND FINISHED PRODUCT TESTING
- First and most amazing exposure to the beer industry!
- Worked in the Yeast Research and Development laboratory under Jeannie Miller where exposure to lager and lager fermentations (propagation) was vast.
- Assisted in brewing the first batches of Blue Moon products and low IBU products.
- Member of Coors Sensory Panel (1 in 500 pass the test).
- QC technician for microbiological process control with exposure to QA on finished product.
- Spent a lot of time in the best brewing library I’ve ever witnessed.
- Absorbed by South African Brewing and subsequently formed Miller/Coors.
- Installation and maintenance of ultra pure water systems.
- Developed understanding of different types of ionic reactions/relations to be used later in the wine industry and potential for the beer industry.
- Reverse Osmosis, Deionized, Distilled, Ultra Filtered, and Water For Injection were among the processes and products explored.
- Absorbed by US Filter/Vivende USA
- Vast exposure to production from manual cleaning of fermenters and brites, to cleaning and filling kegs, to stocking the cooler.
- Developed QA/QC program.
- Hands on learned the German Style (Ales and Lagers) of Brewing under Eric Warner.
- Absorbed by Left Hand Brewing Company.
BREWER QA/QC TECHNICIAN
- Fully exposed to the Japanese work ethic…work first, family second.
- Milled, steeped, steamed, cooled, fermented and pressed 15,000 lbs. of rice per week.
- Assisted in packaging of finished product.
- Operated 40,000 sq. ft. as an individual.
- Closed their doors.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TECHNICIAN
- Pharma development of ‘fake’ blood. Hemoglobin molecule formation through fermentation.
- Process development and pharma documentation as well as process operation were among the duties in making Porcine hemin into injectable hemoglobin.
- Established QA/QC standards according to standard operating procedures.
- Selected to the product development team for direction of the company.
- Developed existing brands as well as formulated new brands to include cider.
- Stimson Lane’s first Research Enologist.
- First employment in wine that taught vineyard to bottle the making of 90+ point wines.
- Assisted in the making of Wine Spectators first Washington 100 point called Eroica back then. $250 for a split (~12 oz).
- Exposed to 100+ different varietals of wine grape.
- Grants sold and Ste Michelle is well, still Ste Michelle in the form of Altria.
R&D, QA/QC, PROCESS DEVELOPMENT
- Fully bathed in the ins and outs of growing a small regional brewery with the exception of sales, marketing, accounting, and investment.
- Helped grow the brewery from 15,000 barrels to 45,000 barrels through the quality department.
- Dropped production costs 20%, Chemicals 30%, and had the luxury of a new line installation at my departure that helped pay for the future growth.
- Created the existing logo, based upon the old, through a professional graphic artist.
- Remodeled the entire building for suitability for customers.
- Built infrastructure for brewery.
- Too many partners, no sleep at night sold my portion.
- Business sold then building sold.
- Assisted in the making of wines.
- Analysis of wine.
- Vineyard to bottle experience.
- Developed best buys.
- Made 90+ wines.
- Increased sales 30%
- Decreased operating costs 30%
HOP HARVEST ANALYSIS
- Started my second company.
- Analyzed hops using standard method for hop maturity assessment.
- Further exposure to the hop industry with focus and emphasis on farming and hop processing.
- Established mobile laboratory and product flow within a small footprint.
- Established permanent laboratory which stabilized the environment and location in which the hops were/are analyzed.
- 6th Harvest and running!
- Complete Brand Development! No rock unturned.
- Weaknesses quickly realized so then comes the education in marketing, sales, accounting, adult day care, and overall chaos.
- Complete brewery buildout with over a mile of piping, #150,000 lbs of concrete poured, tons of rebar work, 10,000 sq. ft. remodel. Too much to list.
- Tasting room and tap handles recipients of recycled material. Bar is recycled burned down hop kiln and tables are remnants of the same kiln. ¼ bars are high trellis hop poles while the ‘handrails’ going down to the brewery are short trellis hop poles.
- Built into distribution where Hop Nation is now in a large portion of Eastern Washington. Next? Seattle and surrounding areas!
- 3 years and running!