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Q & A

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?

I've always been that left-handed kid with the right brain, so I didn't really know for sure, but only lefties are in their right mind. Very into arts and stuff. Very much extroverted, having fun with the few years we have on this little rock.

Did you have a super hero lunch box?

No, I was a brown-bag it kind of guy.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

I've always been a big fan of revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson, Malcolm X, and Cesar Chavez. My heroes have generally been guys that have advocated the overthrow of the status quo, ha ha. I really feel that America is due for a revolution, not just political change.

If you could go to any time period, which one would you go to and why?

There are two time periods that I would like to sit in on. First, the American Revolution. How cool it would have been to go sit in a pub in Philadelphia with a couple of your buds and be like "this sucks, I'm gonna start over... it's a redo. We are going to write this document called the Declaration of Independence." The '60s would be my second choice. It was this complete overthrow of the way we used to do things.

Favorite book?

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson.

Favorite band?

I'm a Grateful Dead guy.

Favorite concert?

Oh that is an easy one. The Warlocks in the Hampton Coliseum, 1989. I can remember leaving there and there was just complete silence as people left like they had all witnessed Moses coming down from the mountain, or the reincarnation of Buddha, because the band finally played Dark Star and several other classic songs that they had not played in quite some time.

What do you drive?

1983 Mercedes Benz diesel, powered with bio-diesel I make in some old brewing tanks.

What's your ideal after-work activity?

Hanging with the fam... being a good dad, just chilling with the kids.

Have you ever been to a psychic?

Psychic... nah, but I think about that stuff and I have often laid on my back staring at the sky, pondering the great questions of life.

If you were ever to meet a genie what would your three wishes be?

I just saw the movie, "Aladdin" with my kids... I watch a lot of Disney movies. I think it would all be very cliché. World peace, sustainability... people being a lot more self-sufficient, and well... not that money really matters, but I'd like to have all the riches in the world.

Who would win in an arm-wrestling contest between you and Nate?

I would probably let Nate win and then throw a little salt in his eyes while I pummel him.

Why beer brewing?

It's one part science, one part art. Beer brewing expresses my artistic side but I've also been a scientist and studied biology most of my life, so it combines two elements that I feel really suit my personality.

Why Charlottesville?

Born and raised here, I came back from Colorado to share the gift of great beer.

Favorite kind of beer?

The one in front of me. Beer is about a social occasion. That being said, I like IPAs best.. I started cutting my teeth in Portland, Oregon where hops are grown out in the Northwest. So I am a big hoppy fan and I will generally drink pale ales anywhere I go.

Best part of coming up with a new beer?

I guess it's changed a little bit because it used to be the actual malt and hops, the blending of all the raw materials and refining that, which I have done a lot of over the course of my brewing career. Now, it's also about the branding and the imagery. People laugh at me for being such a daydreamer.

What would you want to do if you weren't a brew master?

My background is in botany and plants. I think I would be growing an orchard or a vineyard. Or as the Frank Zappa song goes... Movin to Monatna soon, going to be a dental floss tycoon and grow me some dental floss.

Proudest accomplishment?

It would have to be the 12 Great American Beer Festival medals and 2 World Beer Cup medals that Starr Hill has won for its beer.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I see myself enjoying a Starr Hill beer in Hawaii. I see myself having created a very successful brand with a lot of help from a lot of people and making a lot of money, so I can give it all away.

Biggest Regret?

No regrets.