How long have you been working for Pizza Port Brewing Company?
I joined the Pizza Port family about 4 years ago. Beginning at the Carlsbad Village location assisting in the brewhouse and cellar. I stayed at that location for 9 months before moving over to the Bressi Ranch where I stayed for 2 1/2 years as the lead brewer. Now I am a little over 10 months into my job as head brewer at the Solana Beach location.
How did you first get your foot in the door?
My family owns a farm out in Valley Center called Schaner Farms. I use to make the trips over to Pizza Port Carlsbad to pick up spent grain to feed our various farm animals. Through this mutual partnership, I quickly became friends with owners Gina & Vince Marsaglia. Being a home brewer myself I consistently begged for a job every time I went in for a pickup, after a few years I was finally accepted into the family.
If you could have your choice of breweries to collaborate with who would it be?
I would love to start learning about wild ales and get a sour program going. With that said, Beachwood Blendery would definitely be on my list for a possible collaboration. In addition, we also have a collaboration planned with Indian Joes Brewing and hopefully one in the works with Pure Project Brewing.
What are your plans for the future? Do you want to stick around the craft beer industry?
I currently plan on staying with Pizza Port for the time being and learning as much as I possibly can from this experience. In the future, I would love to open up my own craft beer bar/brewery/eatery. Of course, I already have the food in place, courtesy of Schaner Farms. The vision is for it to be more of a destination spot, similar to Hill Farmstead in Greensboro, Vermont. Providing organic food, legendary beer and a rustic-style ambiance in Southern California.
Favorite part of the job?
With the Solana Beach location being such a small brew house I am afforded a great amount of freedom when it comes to recipe development. Choosing ingredients, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and making incredible beer that customers compliment on the daily.
Least favorite part of the job?
Advice for those entering the commercial brewing world?
Don’t expect to get paid too much when you start out. Keep on plugging away, volunteer, and take every opportunity to learn something new.
Any other advice?
Don’t drink and drive!
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