I brewed my first batch of home brewed beer on Labor Day Weekend, 1989. I had been given a homebrew kit for my birthday the previous month, and I decided to give it a whirl. I would like to say everything went great and that the beer tasted fantastic but neither was true. I was on a very steep learning curve and struggled with brewing and bottling. Despite all the problems encountered, I learned a lot and decided to not give-up this newly-discovered hobby.
Long story made short, I was soon making some pretty tasty brews and found myself brewing a batch a month. This kept a decent amount of good beer in the pipeline, and the brew days became very soothing and relaxing. Five years later, I volunteered at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Looking around, I knew that I wanted to be part of the brewing industry, but knew I did want not want own a brewery. Instead, I wanted to sell Birko cleaning, sanitizing, and process aids to the brewing industry. Luckily, Birko agreed to allow me to call on microbreweries (as they were then known) in early 1995.
I started attending Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) Rocky Mountain District (RMD) meetings in 1999. The people in the organization were an amazing wealth of knowledge; most worked at the larger macro breweries. Membership was stagnate and they wanted more craft brewers to join. They asked me to be the RMD Membership Chair in the Fall of 2004. I did so without hesitation. Two years ago, I was voted in as MBAA RMD Vice President, and was elected to President of MBAA RMD for a two-year term on November 10th, 2015 at MillerCoors in Golden, CO.
Looking back, little did I know how that first batch of beer I brewed in 1989 would lead to such an amazing journey. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the turn my career would take, that I would join MBAA, and end up on the “e-board” of one of the biggest, most active districts in the U.S. What a ride! I would like to take this opportunity to say, “Thank you!” to everyone who has helped me along the way, and purchased Birko fine products over the years. You are the best!