We sat down with everybody’s best friend, Mike Beebe, brewer extraordinaire at the acclaimed El Segundo Brewing Company.
How did you get your start in the beer industry?
About 3 years ago I found myself with quite a bit of free time on my hands. Long story short, my career in the Real Estate biz had ended and I was informed through a close friend that Mike Hess Brewing was looking for help on their canning line. Beginning by volunteering my services in the brew house twice a week, I learned everything I needed to know on the job. Working the canning line quickly evolved into a crash course in packaging, cellaring, filtering and brewing. Thanks to Jason Stockberger, Head Brewer over at Mike Hess, I was able to move into a full-time position with the Mike Hess family. Roughly 2 1/2 years later I was ready to expand my horizons. Feeling ever grateful to the team at Mike Hess, I took my knowledge to our neighbors in the sleepy little town of El Segundo, CA.
What is your role at El Segundo Brewing Company?
I joined the El Segundo family a little over a month ago as an Assistant Brewer. It was a quick transition since I had known lead brewer Tom Kelley for quite some time. Tom put me in contact with owner Rob Croxall and I started within a month. El Segundo Brewing definitely allows a bit more freedom when it comes to brewing, as the brewers get a say in recipe development, especially when it comes to seasonals and one-offs. Don’t get me wrong; I loved working for Mike Hess and value the opportunity they gave me, but letting my creative juices flow has been a definite perk.
Who do you look up to in the beer industry?
Too many people to count…but I will name a few. First off…F#!K Cosimo, he is leaving.
Second, Bill Batten of Alesmith and Mikkeller Beer Company is an amazing human being and friend. One day while I was working at Hess, we realized our casked beer was not up to par. Knowing that Bill had great success with his casked beer at Alesmith, we reached out to him for help. Fortunately, he was hanging out at Toronado San Diego right up the street, so he hopped on his skateboard and headed our way. Bill spent about an hour with us discussing the do’s and don’ts of cask beer. It’s just another example of what is so amazing about this industry; the willingness and eagerness to share information and help out other local craft breweries.
Third, I would like to mention Doug Hasker of Gordon Biersch. Doug is simply killing it when it comes to Lagers. If there is anyone I would like to learn under it would be him.
Favorite El Segundo Beer?
Simply because of nostalgia I have to pick Blue House IPA. I believe wholeheartedly that I drank the first pint of that beer when they started distributing down South. I was at a little bar called Local Habit (which is no longer in service), and they had received one of the first kegs of Blue House in SD. It’s a delicious, balanced West Coast IPA that hits the spot every time.
What is your go to beer (other than El Segundo)?
Coors Banquet, a beer to drink when you just need one, Russian River’s Bling Pig, a beer you get whenever it’s on tap, and anything and everything from Fall Brewing Company.
To learn more about El Segundo Brewing Company visit their:
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