In Michigan geboren…
As a Michigan native, I was weaned on Bell’s Beer—back before it was cool. Larry Bell, proprietor of the then Kalamazoo Brewing Company, was a fellow alum at the small, liberal arts college I was attending. At that time, I was fortunate enough to have secured a job at the local “Munchie Mart” party store (or “C-Store” for those of you outside of Michigan), where we occasionally sampled some of the funny beers that crossed our coolers, in between the regular college swill that amounted to our sustenance—along with pizza, of course.
Bayern ist mein zweite Heimat
In any event, as a part of my college life, I managed to go to Europe as an exchange student … and liked it so much, that I decided to move over there after undergrad and become a brewer.
Four years later, brewing apprenticeship complete, I came home to attend Siebel Institute in Chicago and found an American brewing world that was catching up (and in some cases, surpassing the “Old World”) … and a Midwest scene that was more exciting and creative than anything the traditional brewing cultures had to offer.
Now back in Michigan, I’ve worked as a brewer, sales guy, wholesaler, consultant and retailer over the past two decades. Although the brewing world is a “labor of love” to me now, with a little over one hundred breweries in the state, and many more throughout the Midwest, it’s tough to sit idly by while there is a world to explore right in my back yard along with my regular sojurns back to Bavaria, my “second home.”
I hope you enjoy a few thoughts that I share here and I hope we can have a long conversation.
Prost – Skål – Saliente – Cheers – Zum Wohl – Salud – Na zdraví – Kippis!
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