What do you do at Joyride?
As Joyride’s assistant brewer, I tend to assist the Chief Yeast Sherpa in our pursuit of great beer. Whenever I’m around, there’s a lot to be done whether we are making new beer, moving beer from vessel to vessel, or most commonly, both. The most stressful part of any given day comes when its time to pick new music for the brewhouse. The exception to this comes first thing in the morning on a brew day. It’s like I always say: “Mash it in and mash it up”! All in all, its not a bad way to make a few dollars.
Where are you from, and when did you move to Colorado?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington with a year spent in Canberra, Australia mixed in as well. I moved to Denver in the fall of 2005 looking for an education. The transition from Denver to Seattle was very smooth. I couldn’t live anywhere too far from mountains, and I’ve noticed that the people are very similar in both cities. The one thing I can say is that I do miss the rain and all the life it brings to the great northwest.
Why did you move to Colorado?
While in high school I had no idea where I wanted to go for my higher education or what I wanted to study. All I knew was that I needed small class sizes if I wanted to succeed. With that in mind, I applied to many smaller schools all over the country. The only one I really wanted to go to was also the only one to turn me down. It’s all good though because I wouldn’t be here if I went there. After weighing all my options, I ended up at the University of Denver where I got my BA in environmental science.
What did you do before Joyride?
After I graduated, I spent some time working seasonal jobs with the Colorado State Forest Service up in Fort Collins. Most of my time there was spent tracking invasive species of insects that were moving in from the midwest and northeast (gypsy moth and emerald ash borer). If you’re traveling across the nation don’t bring fire wood from one environment to another. As we always say in the forest service, “burn it where you buy it”! There weren’t many full time positions open due to funding problems, so I decided to spend a winter working in a hotel in Breckenridge doing room service. That was a lot of fun, but I really needed to get out of seasonal work. After a long and unsuccessful job hunt, I threw my degree out and got a job moving furniture. That lasted way longer than expected, so I started studying brewing and here I am.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Joyride?
When I’m around, no HR Fridays are my favorite day of the week. I get to tell my bosses how I feel about them and they return the favor. It creates a wonderful working relationship. It is because of things like this that make Joyride a great place to work. The mixture of light hearted fun and professionalism that has been cultivated here is hard to find. I also think its rare to have a job where I can honestly say that I enjoy the company of all my coworkers.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
I like to be outdoors. Regardless of the weather or season, the mountains are the place for me. However, when I’m in the city, I like to have cookouts, throw dominos, play cards, really anything you can do while drinking a beer with some friends. I wish I golfed and played basketball more but there’s only so much time in a day. I also love puzzles.
What’s your favorite type of music/band?
I like a wide variety of music. I don’t know too much music from at least the last decade. It’s not that I’m against new music in any way, I just like what I know. I listen to a lot of Pandora stations based off of Bill Withers, The Band, Curtis Mayfield, Nate Dogg, Hall and Oats, Beastie Boys, James Brown, Redman, Outkast, Bob Dylan, The Temptations, Nirvana, The Supremes, NOFX, The Grateful Dead, Mannie Fresh, Beck…. I’m all over the board – it’s probably easier to say what I don’t like: U2, Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ACDC, Journey, Prettylights and some others I’m sure I’m forgetting
Favorite beer section:
What’s your all time favorite beer?
Thats a tough one… Different situations call for different beers. I love a good mixed culture beer, but can’t narrow it down to a single favorite. For less expensive drinking or when I’m at a bar with less selection, I find Dales Pale Ale to be a solid choice.
Favorite beer Joyride has ever made?
When I first started as an intern at Joyride they had a beer on tap called Revolver. It was a brett farmhouse ale with wonderful complexity while remaining light enough to enjoy on the hottest days of summer. Revolver is also one of my favorite Beatles albums, so I was biased from the get go.
Favorite Joyride beer currently on tap?
I really like the newly tapped Czech the Rhime. It’s a great pilsner: clean, crisp, perfectly balanced malt and hop presence. It’s a beer you can drink over and over again without getting tired of it.
You’re stuck on a desert island and can only drink one style of beer for the rest of your life. What is it?
I’d have to go with Saison. The Belgians don’t really believe in rigid beer styles, so this one give me a huge variety of beers to enjoy on my island. They can be low to high in ABV, light in color to red, to dark, purely brewers yeast or mixed cultures, steel fermented or put in oak. There are just so many ways to make a great Saison.
Favorite place you’ve ever visited?
When I was in college, four friends and myself decided to save up some money, sell everything we owned, and move to Chile during summer break. We didn’t really have a plan outside of working at a ski resort and snowboarding as much as we could. Just getting into Chile proved incredibly difficult, but we eventually ended up catching a bus from the city of Chillán towards the resort Termas de Chillán. We got off at the last stop, in a tiny town 5 km from the mountain. There was a hostel there with some cottages that had seen some damage from an electric fire in the walls.
We fixed one of them up for cheap rent and crammed 5 guys into a basically one room cottage. From there we created a sushi business (Sushi Ruca) as one of my friends and myself had worked at a sushi restaurant in Denver before the trip. We sold sushi out of the cafeteria at the resort on the weekends, skied Monday through Thursday and took the bus to Chillán and back every Thursday to pick up fresh fish from the market. It is easily one of my favorite times of my life.
When can people normally find you at Joyride?
Pretty much every Thursday with the occasional Wednesday or Friday thrown in. In the next few months I believe I will be around a lot more. As I always say: “If you’ve read this much about me… thanks”.